Bay Area Film Events

Kier-La Janisse on "House of Psychotic Women" and IndieFest

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I first heard of Kier-La Janisse when a film she'd compiled, Metal Storm: The Scandinavian Black Metal Wars, screened at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2005.

That would be a rad enough reason to want to read her new book, House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 360pp., $29.95), but the Canadian dynamo's resume doesn't stop (or start) there: she's also the creator of Vancouver's late, great CineMuerte Horror Film Festival; co-founder of Montreal's Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre; has programmed at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Tex.; was the subject of the 2004 doc Celluloid Horror; and has written or contributed to too many film magazines and books to list here. (One of them is Fangoria, though.)

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Toasting the titan

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Special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen had to invent unconventional techniques to bring his movie magic to the big screen when he revolutionized the world of fantasy film making in the 1950s and 1960s. His work on Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), among many others, has influenced several generations of filmmakers that grew up watching his stop-motion creatures.

Harryhausen's life and incredible career are celebrated in a new documentary, Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan, an expansive look not only at the man and his work, but also the huge influence he continues to have in modern movie magic. Featuring interviews with Harryhausen (now 92), alongside Hollywood heavyweights like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg, the film is having its United States premiere Sat/8 at San Leandro's Historic Bal Theatre thanks to Bay Area Film Events.

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