The 12th edition of the Even Pas Peur fantasy film festival kicked off today. Monsters, witches and amazons under LSD have invaded the cinema of Saint-Philippe, a small town in the south of Reunion Island!
When you arrive in Reunion in February, you have a choice: take advantage of the magnificent hikes offered by the “intense island” through its primary forests, volcanic valleys and waterfalls… or take the direction of Saint-Philippe, in the very south, to discover dozens of fantastic reels in the southernmost film festival in France: Even Pas Peur!
At the head of these festivities, Aurelia Mengina tireless actress, director and programmer who has been shaking the island for 12 years now. “Saint-Philippe is nestled at the foot of Piton de la Fournaise, a volcano that frequently erupts. The houses were built on dried lava and the inhabitants got used to living in self-sufficiency, while the lava flows from the volcano regularly cut off the roads. What better setting to celebrate fantastic cinema? »questions this native of Reunion, who fights every day to make this completely free and “to bring cinema and culture far from the big cities, to the people who need it most! » The fire that animates Aurélia allows her to select an anthology of international films and short films each year, with the complicity of her co-organizer, Nicolas.
Kick-off this Thursday, February 17 with a session of short films dedicated to middle school students, followed by debates and exchanges. The room is full. Witches, dinosaurs, monsters at the bottom of a well… Nothing is spared the local children who jump at each jump scares, shudder with every drop of blood and applaud wildly between films. The atmosphere is electric, they always ask for more and scream in terror in front of The Tenant, a frankly creepy Spanish short, which tells the dirty day of a woman whose ankle an invisible witch clung to. The opportunity for the mediators to discuss with the children about the fear of the dark and the power of suggestion in the cinema. Many children will fall asleep tonight with the light on, but no doubt also, with the desire to grow up and face the monsters hiding in their closet.
The evening continues with After Blue (Paradise Dirty)the last UFO of Bertrand Mandico which comes to spread its share of sequins, fluids and poisonous colors. In this second feature film, the most artsy French directors abandon the mysterious island of Wild Boys (partly shot in Reunion), to lose ourselves on After Blue, a phantasmagorical planet on which women have found refuge, far from men and technology. The fragile balance of this society of Amazons is broken when young Roxy crosses paths with Kate Bush, a ruthless killer with an organ that has not been seen in the area for a long time. Roxy and her mother embark on a hallucinated and erotic road trip populated by witches, femme fatales and lustful monsters.
We have been warned: you have to put your left brain, the seat of logic and reason, at the entrance to the room. Bertrand Mandico unleash the horses and deploy the full extent of his organic and psychedelic universe over more than two hours. Like a demiurge under LSD, he takes care of each shot, each light, magnifies his actresses in kitsch and lascivious paintings (Vimala Pons bursts the screen as an eccentric killer artist) and loses us in a deluge of double exposures and strobe effects all performed on set. It’s a total experience that is offered here, but a too generously dosed blotter often leads to a bad trip! Constantly overstressed, our senses begin to dull and we end up getting completely lost in the plot of this great cosmic delirium. Fortunately, the glasses of arranged rum that close our first Reunion evening will allow us to get back to reality shortly afterwards.