And we’re back after a brief respite for the goings-on at PoetCon last week. And where better to pick things up than The Naro?
If you can’t find me in the Cult section, the next place to look would be Foreign Horror. That’s where I found Fabrice Du Welz’s Calvaire.
I don’t even know where to start. Just to give you the vaguest frame of reference if you haven’t seen it, imagine fusing the backwoods elements of Deliverance, a little Hitchcock, a little Almodóvar, and Eraserhead.
I’m not kidding.
It’s not an easy film to watch. It shouldn’t be.
The English title, after all, is The Ordeal. But that’s not the only meaning. It also refers directly to Calvary, and there is more than enough unnerving religious imagery to warrant this connection.
I thought that this week I’d do something just a little out of the ordinary (for me anyway). Partly this is in honor of National Poetry Month. Partly it’s because on Saturday, April 23, I’m taking part in a big, all-day poetry thang called PoetCon at The Venue On 35th in Norfolk, Virginia.
I started reading horror by the time I was ten or so. For anyone who knows me, this probably explains much. I stumbled across my first Lovecraft story, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” by the time I was twelve, maybe thirteen. I’ve been a fan of weird fiction and cosmic horror, Lovecraft and others, ever since.
This is why The Lovecraft eZine fast became one of my all-time favorite websites. It made perfect sense, then, that my first ever interview for Blogferatu should be with the eZine’s editor, Mike Davis.
Stephen King has written about “being alert to the humor implicit in horror.” Before him, Hitchcock made similar observations, and both put this awareness to good use.
That’s nothing unique really. Think about Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, even Shel Silverstein if you know where to look. All were well aware of what Hitchcock called “the humor of the macabre.”
To say I love Hitchcock would be a nearly criminal understatement. My fascination with and admiration for his films and his directing skill border on worshipful awe.
Tattoo done by Shannon Reed at Norfolk Ink Gallery
I even have a tattoo to prove it.
Naturally, when Hitchcock/Truffaut hit Naro Expanded Cinema, I ran to see it. It’s the film of Truffaut’s book, Hitchcock, nearly 370 art book sized pages covering the 50 hours of interviews Truffaut did with Hitchcock. After the film, I ordered a copy.
Required reading, class.
Seriously. If you’re interested in Hitchcock, filmmaking, cinema, or just the creation of suspense and fear on screen, drop everything right now and order a copy.