UFO death cult thriller, Mexican wrestlers, restaurant mayhem in VIFF’s Altered States series

Friendly Beast is the debut feature from Brazilian filmmaker Gabriela Amaral Almeida.

Amidst all the kitchen-sink foreign dramas, big-name Hollywood blockbusters and poignant, thought-provoking documentaries, the Vancouver International Film Festival also makes room for mind-bending, compelling and sometimes just weird genre (and genre-bending) movies.

This year, the VIFF (Sept. 28-Oct. 13) is once again presenting its Altered States film series. The series features 10 movies that don’t fit in with the regular, more mainstream (read: less gory/perverse/violent) fare. This year’s 10 Altered States run the gamut from UFO death cult thriller (The Endless) to surreal relationship drama (Animals) to weird domestic nightmares (Housewife, Bitch).

Here are five Altered States films that look particularly intriguing. (Note: click on film titles to watch trailers.)

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UFO death cult thriller, Mexican wrestlers, restaurant mayhem in VIFF’s Altered States series

Sock puppets, an octopus and more at the NSFW film fest for the open-minded adult

Short, sexy films covering workplace power dynamics, playful doggie cosplay, and a dreamy animated octopus are coming to Vancouver this weekend.

Born and bred in the great Pacific Northwest, Dan Savage’s HUMP! Film Festival has been bringingΒ audiences a new kind of porn since 2005.

The annual short film festival features erotic and explicit clips from amateur filmmakers. Popular syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage curates the sex-positive program, which is an all-inclusive cornucopia of body types, shapes, ages, colours, sexualities, genders, kinks, and fetishes.

The annual festival premieres a new program each fall in Seattle and Portland. In the meantime, however, the touring edition of the 12th annual compilation is coming to Vancouver’s Rio Theatre this weekend, Sept. 14-16. Read about some of the NSFW entries below.

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Sock puppets, an octopus and more at the NSFW film fest for the open-minded adult

Killers, thieves and gumshoes – Cinematheque’s Film Noir series is back!

The iconic image from the Coen brothers' Blood Simple.

The iconic image from the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple.

Each year, Vancouver’s premiere arthouse Cinematheque presents a festival of dark shadows, lonely streets, tough guys and tougher dames. This year’s Film Noir festival (Aug. 4-22) includes not only seminal works from the genre’s postwar heyday, but also “neo-noir” selections from the sixties and the eighties, too.

All told, Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) is screening 13 films, nine for the first time. Here are some highlights.

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Killers, thieves and gumshoes – Cinematheque’s Film Noir series is back!