Five days, more than 100 features, documentaries and shorts, and all of the weird and wonderful cinema delights a movie buff could ask for. Add them together, and that's the 2017 Sydney Underground Film Festival in a twisted nutshell. Celebrating its 11th year from September 14 to 17, this alternative film fest knows how to venture beyond the mainstream. It's the perfect follow-up to Sydney Film Festival.
Take this year's opening and closing efforts, for example. When SUFF kicks off, it'll be with a treasure trove of unearthed VHS finds that you literally won't see anywhere else — and to close things off, it'll bring a flick that sparked walkouts at Sundance to its long-term home at Marrickville's Factory Theatre. The former comes courtesy of the Australian debut of the live comedy and commentary-filled Found Footage Festival, while the latter is the post-apocalyptic, stomach-churning, Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker-starring Kuso, and they're set to provide quite the festival bookends.
In between, SUFF will venture from the mind-bending cult thrills of The Endless — a destined-to-be cult movie about a cult — to one-take Aussie effort Watch the Sunset and the maternal mayhem of Prevenge, where being pregnant brings murderous messages from the unborn. Michael Cera pops up in Lemon and Nick Offerman in Infinity Baby, two American indies demonstrating humanity's social deficiencies in very different ways. Slasher satire Tragedy Girls, ultra-violent Japanese cyberpunk comedy Meatball Machine Kodoko and a tribute screening of George A. Romero's The Crazies help up the horror quota.
From the documentary slate, the festival goes heavy on music thanks to factual explorations of L7, The Melvins, ambient house pioneers The Orb, British DIY duo Sleaford Mods and the family members of late American extreme punk musician GG Allins, and also gives cinephiles an extra thrill via Dawson City: Frozen Time, which journeys through a once-lost nitrate film collection. Real-life exorcisms in Liberami also prove a highlight, as does docu-fiction consumerism takedown Drib and the search for a fake rock in Where is Rocky II?
If that's not enough, SUFF will also host a soiree dedicated to 16mm cinema, the return of the breakfast cereal cartoon party (and a new late-night session as well).
The 2017 Sydney Underground Film Festival runs from September 14 to 17 at The Factory Theatre, Marrickville. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the festival website.