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ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers.
The next and 8th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will be held in Paris, France in the early spring of 2013.
For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at www.ecufilmfestival.com.
The Strangeness of Poo
by Ana Clara Soares, ÉCU writer
All of us can create certain ideas of what to expect of film festivals simply from thinking about their names. If it’s named Silhouette one can somehow expect “silhouettes” of ideas, expressed in a short film format. If it’s named The European Independent Film Festival, you can expect from us to watch some exciting European indie films. But what about a festival named L’Étrange (i.e. The Strange)? I bet your expectations are less clear-cut in this case, aren’t they? After all, what is strange?
Poo can be surprisingly strange. As can a short movie competition hosted by the L’Étrange Festival in a greatly familiar venue such as the Forum des Images. Let me paint the picture for you: the Forum des Images is a perfectly normal, modern film hub. It hosts many of Paris’s film events, like the summery Clair de Lune (read previous article: http://www.ecufilmfestival.com/en/2010/08/paris-fermeture-annuelle/) and the upcoming Moscou – St. Petersburg. And there I went, together with a fellow ÉCU intern, off to an evening full of strangeness.
L’Étrange Festival promotes feature films as well as a short movie competition – all along the common idea of, well, the uncanny. From my personal experience, the event presented a range of movies that questioned my sense of what is normal, or even acceptable, in one’s movie-going experience. For instance, the day I attended the short movies competition was opened by Manuel Kapp’s “Stroboscopic Noise”, a film showing flashing white lines against a black background that changed rhythm and played with your vision, creating illusory 3-D spaces and so on and so forth. After 9 minutes of intense exposure to it, frankly all I wanted to do was to close my eyes for a good hour. But no, I didn’t. I still had 7 short movies to go and I was going to make it.
And I did make it, 1 hour, 50 minutes and a lot of poo later. And when I say a lot, I mean a surprising lot. Who’d say that poo could still be so weird, even after having been made cult back in the 70s by John Waters and the Divine-dog-poo-eating-scene in Pink Flamingos? Poo can still be disturbing in stop motion, when the characters’ whole world seems to be made of it (such as in Jelena Girlin and Mari-Liis Bassovskaja “Oranus”), or when a beautiful woman has sexual intercourse with a poo monster… (as in Carlos Eduardo Nogueira’s “Zigurate”).
The short movies competition did, however, allow me to perceive in a nutshell what would be considered strange in a number of different countries within a 2-hour frame, and for that I’m happy I went. I’m also positive that the great majority of films featured in the festival, no matter how long, did provide a unique experience to their viewers. And that’s what we film-lovers are all about, ain’t it?
For more information on this year’s L’Étrange Festival, check out their website at:
About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival
Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.
Hillier began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction.
Hillier studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France.
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