no Value for FAVICON
24th Athens International Film Festival

Post Blue Velvet Days

The history of cinema is an endless calendar full of missing celluloid pages. The people that make up the so-called "audience" will never know what was in these pages, who took them out and why. We're free to let our imaginations roam, wondering whether we'd be able to make out unspoken desires or whether these pages contained all the missed opportunities for exciting aesthetic twists or if we'd secretly laugh at established filmmakers' most personal moments. The Post Blue Velvet Days tribute in this year's Athens International Film Festival talks about some of these missing pages in the history of cinema. It's not a movement, it's more of a trend manifested in the US in the mid-80s until the early 90s.

We're talking about some of the weirdest movies ever made, influenced directly or indirectly by "Blue Velvet" (1986), in the sense that they would have probably never been greenlit by the studios if it hadn't been for David Lynch's sleeper hit. Their common denominator is their harsh criticism on the American Dream and the fact they all flopped at the box office, often banishing the directors who dared make them to obscurity.

Picking up the baton from a fraction of Greek cinema that's doing spectacularly well abroad - pegged by foreign journalists as "weird" - the films making up the Post Blue Velvet Days tribute could potentially be considered a coordinated attempt for weirder subject-matters and aesthetics that have spread across every art form in the past 20 years, from the underground to the mainstream, like Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson movies.

The Boy


      Miracle Mile

      Miracle Mile

      A sunny, romantic comedy is suddenly transformed into one the most savage films on nuclear destruction ever made, when the leading man answers the phone at a random telephone booth 10 minutes in, only to find out from the voice of an unknown soldier that a nuclear bomb will destroy Los Angeles in less than an hour.

      The Rapture

      The Rapture

      "The Rapture" chronicles the internal journey of an amoral telephone operator who turns into a religious fanatic and moves to the desert with her young daughter to await the Apocalypse, when she realizes she's not the only person to have seen a strange dream.

      The Dark Backward

      The Dark Backward

      In a mirthless alternative universe, where people eat moldy food, have sex with corpses in junkyards and never go to the doctor unless they want to feel worse, Marty Malt - the worst stand-up comedian in the world - suddenly becomes popular when a third hand grows out of his back.

      Motorama

      Motorama

      Having penned the Kafkaesque "After Midnight" by Martin Scorsese and "Vampire's Kiss" by Robert Bierman (Nicolas Cage's best performance in his entire career), Shills delivers a surreal journey through America, featuring Susan Tyrrell, Jack Nance, Mary Woronov, Meat Loaf and Drew Barrymore alongside a remarkable Jordan Christopher Michael as Gus, one of the best child characters in recent history.

      Twister

      Twister

      Almereyda recruits HarryDean Stanton, Suzy Amis, Tim Robbins, Dylan McDermott and Jenny Wright to return to Kansas and its famous twisters 50 years after "The Wizard of Oz", introducing us to a different side of America.