Etrange Festival
Winners of the 25th Edition

Ending clap on this Sunday for the most inclassifiable of festivals, which celebrated its 25 years.
A rather small winners list, that fail to represent all the abundance of experiences offered during the festival.

By Michael Patin

Reading time 4 min.

The Etrange Festival is one of the rare events in cinema where the competition between the movies is minor, almost paltry. Probably because it is not a big industry meeting, but a gathering of passionate viewers. Probably also because Frédéric Temps and his teams would rather mix genres and eras, instead if falsely ranking them. We don’t lock ourselves in the Forum des Images to mutually agree for a Palme d’Or, but to watch movies that are sources of contention. Ones that change lives, wether they are older (Walkabout, Police sotry, La proie Nue…) or more recent ( the searing Tumbbad and Adoration).

Historical partner, Canal+ gave its “New Genre Great Prize” to Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium. In this movie, which was already screened at the Director’s Fortnight during Cannes Film Festival, a couple find themselves trapped in an allotment when they are apartment hunting. Despite the performances of Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg (also starring in The Art of Self Defense), Finnegan don’t really know what to do with his high concept, inbetween Vincenzo Natali’s Nothing and Black Mirror. We would —by far — have preferred to see Monos on the podium.

On the other side, the audience set its sight on The Odd Family: Zombie on sale, the first feature from the Corean director Lee Min-Jae. The programmation announced a movie betting “ everything on entertainment and schoolboy humour, for a funny, generous and satisfying result”. It was the reason why we missed it, too busy looking for a good scare and a good illumination. We are wating for a release date to make ut up.

On the side of short-movies, the Canal+ Great Prize was given to Please Speak Continuously and Describe your experiences as They Come to You. A hope for the director Brandon Cronenberg, son of David Cronenberg, who had not convinced audiences with his first feature, Antiviral (2012). The public put ex aequo on the podium Guillaume Pin’s VagabondageS — focusing on the art of bondage — and Izabela Plucińska’s Portrait en pied de Suzanne, adapted from Roland Topor. Experimental cinema has not said its last word.

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