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ERA New Horizons IFF


9th Edition of the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival, to be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August.


Lydia Lunch Launches Music Series


by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor

The avant-gardist Lydia Lunch, whose varied career has ranged from punk music to indie film acting, will kick off the music events of the Festival at a special concert following the Opening Night Gala screening of THE WHITE RIBBON, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner by Austrian auteur Michael Haneke 

Lunch has been called “one of the most influential performers of the age” by the Boston Phoenix newspaper. She was born Lydia Koch in the New York upstate city of Rochester in 1959. After arriving in New York City at the age of 16, Lunch earned the surname "Lunch" by regularly stealing lunches for her often starving artist friends. In 1976, she founded the short-lived but influential No Wave band Teenage Jesus & the Jerks with her partner musician James Chance. 


At the same time as she was rocking venues in the US, Canada and Europe, she began an acting career, pretty much playing a version of her punk persona in that decade’s emerging American indie film scene. She appeared in two films directed by the husband and wife film-making team of Scott B and Beth B. In the short film BLACK  BOX (1978) she played an unnamed torturer, and in the feature length, neo-noir thriller VORTEX (1983) she played a private detective named "Angel Powers". She also appeared in the underground films of feminist director Vivienne Dick.


By the mid 1980s, she formed her own recording and publishing company called "Widowspeak" on which she continues to release a slew of her own material, from confessional songs to punk classics to spoken word recordings of her own poetry. Lunch's solo career featured collaborations with musicians that included Thurston Moore, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Billy Ver Plank, Robert Quine, Sadie Mae, Sonic Youth, Die Haut, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Black Sun Productions and the French band Sibyl Vane.


She also acted in, wrote, and directed underground films, sometimes collaborating with underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern (including several films such as the scandolous FINGERED, in which she performed unsimulated sex acts). More recently, she has collaborated with such artists as Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins, Don Bajema, Hubert Selby Jr., and Emilio Cubeiro, as well as authoring both traditional books and graphic novels. In 1997, she released Paradoxia, a loosely-based autobiography, in which she candidly documented her bisexual dalliances, substance abuse and flirtation with insanity.


Starting with Lunch's stint on Thursday evening, the Festival Club will host 25 extraordinary bands from North America and Europe that mix a wide genre from jazz to electronica to rock-n-roll. A special emphasis will be placed on musicians and DJs from Canada, Sweden and Hungary, the subject of film salutes at this year’s Festival. Rock on, Wroclaw……. 



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