HIGH STRANGENESS will premiere at this year’s Melbourne Underground Film Festival between December 8 – 16. MUFF is an ideal venue for films with an offbeat approach to their genre.
I am one of two executive producers, the other being Philippe Mora, who made a remarkable UFO abduction movie himself: Communion, starring Christopher Walken.
Communion beat out Close Encounters in the Movieweb survey linked here: https://movieweb.com/best-alien-abduction-movies-ever-made-ranked/
I made a UFO movie for the Sci-Fi Channel, “Official Denial”, aimed at family audiences. Both Philippe and I share the X Files’ belief that the truth is out there…
Finally, after decades of denial, the recent United States Congressional hearings showed authentic radar footage of UFOs, or UAPs as they are now being called, and acknowledged such phenomena has yet to be explained.
Philippe Mora and I support High Strangeness because it is creatively ambitious; an example of gonzo, seat of the pants film making at the micro budget level. Producer Destiny West and writer/ actor/ director/ editor Casper Jean Rimbaud made the film basically with their bare hands.
One of the many subsets of Horror Cinema is psychosis horror. Who could forget this image from Roman Polanski’s Repulsion?
Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor, Martin Scorsese’s Shudder Island are classic examples of a character’s descent into madness.
Writer director Casper Jean Rimbaud, for his first film, has adopted a meta approach to psychosis horror, as viewed through the prism of popular culture conspiracy theories.
Here’s the trailer:
High Strangeness is a UFO abduction fever dream, told not from outside, but from inside the principal character’s psychosis. Abigail is under stress. She is moving into her deceased parents’ empty farm house in remote Western Australia with her 10 year old sister, but her boyfriend, who’s supposed to help, keeps being delayed by a business deal that will not close.
Abigail suffers from a syndrome of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder known as ‘pure’ OCD; random intrusive thoughts and corner of the eye manifestations cutting in and out, unable to be dismissed., causing her world to become a warped, surreal and frightening place. The secrets of the house seem to come alive. Time, memory, and delusion elide, with tragic results.
The director uses this disjunctive framework to homage his heroes – Hitchcock, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper, Kubrick, Polanski, Von Trier, Scorsese, Coppola and Spielberg He conjures up a dark side of the moon Close Encounters, filtered though the pastel atomic-age flying saucer movies of the 1950s. Particularly the original ‘Invaders from Mars’. Rimbaud underscores his mixed media image making with a sound design of creeping dread. His stated intention is to make a simulation of psychiatric distress. ” I didn’t want to make a film about a woman losing her mind. I wanted you to lose your mind with her.”
High Strangeness is part experimental, part arthouse horror, with a subtext of sympathy for people with mental health issues. I hope the MUFF screening will attract a distributor. With the right handling, High Strangeness can reach a world wide audience of UFO devotees ready to download a provocative riff on their favorite subject.