Friday, 31 October 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 323: Fri Nov 21

Begotten (Merhige, 1990): Horse Hospital, 8pm

Here's a chance to catch a rare screening of a landmark American experimental horror film written, produced and directed by E. Elias Merhige.

Here is the Horse Hospital introduction: God disembowels himself with a straight razor. The spirit-like Mother Earth emerges, venturing into a bleak, barren landscape. Twitching and cowering, the Son Of Earth is set upon by faceless cannibals as a new Aeon is born.

A film cultist’s delight, the breathtakingly stark Begotten presents birth, life and death as an endless procession of the damned, crawling through filth to a new aeon, accompanied by a soundtrack of cricket stridulations. Painstakingly shot and processed on black and white reversal film, director Merhige claims that each minute of film took ten hours to process and distress. Banned in Singapore and long unavailable on DVD, Begotten has been described by Susan Sontag as “one of the 10 most important films of modern times”.

Tonight’s screening will be accompanied by The Begotten’s live, improvised soundtrack for guitar and electronics.
"Few motion pictures have the power to jolt an audience with the fury, imagination, and artistic violence of Begotten, a 1991 tour de force from Elias Merhige currently debuting on home video. This cryptic independent production is a film of eccentric brilliance, skillfully balancing the glorious and the grotesque in an unforgettable work of art."
—Phil Hall, Wired

Here (and above) is an extract.

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