LORDS OF CHAOS
2018, 112 min, UK/Sweden, Dir: Jonas Åkerlund

Set in 1987, this is the story of the birth of Mayhem, the notorious Norwegian black metal band that wore corpse paint, aimed to create the most extreme metal music ever heard, burned down churches and were involved in brutal murders. Rory Culkin stars as Euronymous, guitarist and leader of a little-heard extreme metal band struggling to break out to a wider audience. Although he talks about creating suffering, chaos and death, it’s mostly just talk - until he meets Varg (Emory Cohen) and alpha-male one-upmanship kicks in. As the original drummer for black metal band Bathory, director Åkerlund knows his subject matter well, and LORDS OF CHAOS is shot through with pitch-black humor and unflinching violence without ever placing these princes of darkness on a pedestal.


CLIMAX
2018, A24, 95 min, France, Dir: Gaspar Noé

The setting is France in 1996; Daft Punk has just redefined music and the dance community has responded with a visceral new language as violent as it is beautiful. As a group of dancers unwinds at a remote lodge, an acid-spiked punch turns hedonism into horror, and the gathering quickly descends into Lord of the Flies territory. Sofia Boutella (THE KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE) stars as Selva, the troupe's manager, with some of France’s hottest dancers (including Claude Gajan Maull, Vince Galliot Cumant and Thea Carla Schott) surrounding her. Filled with bravura sequences, the relentlessly immersive onslaught that is CLIMAX reaffirms Gaspar Noé’s status as one of contemporary film’s greatest provocateurs.


LUZ
2018, 70 min, Germany, Dir: Tilman Singer

Shooting on luscious 16mm Scope, first-time feature writer-director Tilman Singer crafts a revelatory experimental shocker, with a dual ’70s arthouse and horror sensibility: Think Fulci by way of Zulawski. Bloodied and bruised, Chilean cab driver Luz (Luana Velis) stumbles into a near-empty police station on a stormy night. Elsewhere, her childhood friend Nora (Julia Riedler) seduces a psychologist with alcohol; by the time the doctor is ushered into the police station, it’s obvious there’s more to him than meets the eye. As Luz is repeatedly forced to rehash the events leading up to her arrival at the station, it becomes clear that something truly sinister is afoot, with life-and-death implications.


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