“It’s good to disturb people”: Mascara & Popcorn
If you missed Fantasia, or if your taste for underground film is still not sated, Mascara & Popcorn’s programme of ballsy burlesque, homegrown horror, and indie cinema will restore your faith in the arthouse community, Aug 16-19. Don’t miss the special screening of Eisha Marjara’s “House for Sale” starring Atif Siddiqi on opening night!
- Framed nation(s): portraits, politics and local colour at Image + Nation
- MIAMI GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL – APRIL 26TH TO MAY 5TH
- Opening Night at FIFA: The Fatwa—Salman’s Story
“Mascara is for glamour/splendour, popcorn is for horror and exuberance,” says Florence Touliatos, the tireless programmer and founder of this eclectically curated mini-fest. “The Fringe Festival is a big inspiration. We work with the indie B-movie filmmakers, where there’s a strong circus/freak-show/glamour-trash element,” the beaming, excited Touliatos tells me, leaning across a café table with her sparkling make-up and shock of purple hair. Now in its third year, her Mascara & Popcorn Festival unites a love of cult film with a yearning to show everything DIY, sexy, and grotesque that the multi-oriented local scene has to offer.
Mascara & Popcorn is “all of the stuff I love about transgression,” Touliatos adds, who was inspired to create the festival while re-watching the canonical John Waters romp Pink Flamingos. “I wanted to feel something intelligent and timely, but also grotesque. We have the soft-core stuff and the hard-core stuff,” she adds, referring to the varied programme of B-horror film, DIY productions, and more art-house fare, such as the much-anticipated House for Sale by Montréal director Eisha Marjara.
Starring gender-artist, fashionista and musician Atif Siddiqi (aka Tranietronic), Marjara’s 18-min short will be the toast of the festival’s opening night, Thurs. Aug 16 (6:30pm at the Centre St-Ambroise, 5080-A St-Ambroise, Montréal), at least for queer viewers. Siddiqi plays Salim, who “does not fit into any traditional mould as a romantic hero/ine. S/he is transgender, s/he is South Asian, s/he is almost always left out.” We’re pretty sure there’s a love triangle involved in the film, which focuses on Salim’s “skirting his own dual nature in a conservative white middle class suburb from which s/he is excluded.” Marjara, who is a known entity on the European documentary circuit, is queer and likes to tackle the subject of taboo, says Touliatos. “It’s a deep film, with subjects that affect us all.” The thoughtful short has already won the Crystal Cactus (best trans short) at Arizona’s Out in the Desert Festival and took home a special jury prize at Calgary’s Fairy Tales this past June.
Where House for Sale might lack the irony and vulgarity some might expect from a “B-movie” festival, rest assured it will be screened alongside an almost comically diverse programme of horror (Louis Costa’s Drama), humour (Blobzilla) and surrealism (Bob’s Pet Ant by Thomas Baldwin).
The Redhead Burlesque troupe variously opens or closes three of the festival’s four nights. The exception being the very special Black Flag TV night with fetish personalities The Richard, Holy Scar, and Patricia Chica. Black Flag TV has become a non-profit powerhouse of B-movie distribution through the highly popular website that houses DIY and horror films that you won’t find anywhere else. This penultimate event is held in a loft space on the down-low, so check out the website for details. (Sat. Aug 18. 7pm, $10).
“It’s good to disturb people sometimes. That’s the philosophy behind it,” Florence Touliatos concludes. And we agree.
Mascara & Popcorn Festival
Aug 16 -19, 2012
@ Centre St-Ambroise, 5080-A St-Ambroise, Montréal
Banner photo: Atif Siddiqi in House for Sale by Eisha Marjara