Not Your Ordinary Film Series:The Burning Moon

By IndieFilmClub

We are pleased to introduce the Independent Film Club Miami (IFCM) an organization dedicated to the next generation of local filmmakers and film enthusiasts. Of course, there is a film community in South Florida! Surprised?

The Independent Film Club Miami will cover local film happenings and original, bold, intrepid films and filmmakers via a new series on Tropicult. IFCM attended the screening of The Burning Moon at O Cinema and sat in a dark room with Jillian Mayer to present to you this delightfully frightening series premiere….

For good luck, we decided to begin working on the new series for Tropicult on Friday, April 13th at a screening with the ominous name, The Burning Moon. Directed by German twisted soul Olaf Ittenbach, the film had all the ingredients of a low-budget exploitation of violence. Olaf, a splatter movie legend, not only directs his films but also acts in them. He also creates his own special effects and helps other filmmakers with their low budget gore goodness.

“I am not super into gore but I am into distinct voices and with Germany having unleashed one of the most horrid events in human history, it is not surprising that German filmmakers have a unique perspective” Lucas Leyva

On this particular Friday the 13th, the Borscht Corporation took the Midnight Madness experience into the uncharted territory of art installation. O Cinema is the obvious choice for such a screening, they are the only cinema that is cool enough to play a super gory film shot in the early 90s on a VHS.

By the time we took our seats we were still buzzing from the visceral stimulation of it all — the free flowing quadruple distilled Crystal Head Vodka (which we were told was blessed by a Santeria Priest) from the remote Canadian island of Newfoundland, combined with satisfyingly geeky conversations with other fans, and the low-riding smoke emitted by what we presume were the pits of hell.

On all accounts, The Burning Moon was splatter excellent. Using the narrative device of a young drug addict, Peter (Olaf) comes home high as a kite and proceeds to tell bedtime stories of macabre to the horror of his little sister. The screening was introduced by artist Jillian Mayer and was preceded by a barrage of trailer-like montages of horror film scenes so entertaining, they alone made the screening worthwhile.

Shortly after the film began. After much anticipation we are happy to say, boy, did it deliver! The audience in the theater emitted piercing screams sending shivers down our spines. There was gasping, roaring, and we were admittedly visually assaulted by the screen. During the film, we were unexpectedly nudged by a grim reaper who was lurking in the cinema’s aisles. Stifling our screams we ran out of the cinema and right into Lucas Leyva, a local filmmaker with the esoteric title of Minister of the Interior for Borscht Corporation. Leyva was willing to answer a few questions and so as the film rolled on we sat in a dark room at O Cinema.

To lighten things up, we opted to proceed with an informal interview that we later dubbed as Truth or Middle Finger:

Was “The Burning Moon” truly banned in 20 countries?

It was banned in 7, but there are at least 13 other countries that would not like it screened there.

This film is going to be the first one of a gruesome tradition. Truth?

Don’t know about gruesome but this is the first of a monthly screening series we are planning at O Cinema.

One the scale of 1 to having nightmares for a week, how would you rate this film?

I am standing out here with you guys and not watching it, so there’s your answer.

Is Borscht involved in the re-release of “The Burning Moon” DVD?

We are not involved in the re-release of the DVD but we support Severin Films and Intervision Picture Corporation, known as the Criterion Collection of smut. We were able to meet them at SXSW and it was super cool, so there is a connection there and there is Hunter’s article in Vice Magazine which started it all (read article here). We had heard the name Hunter twice now and we decided we had to meet him before the end of the night.

As far as the promotion of the event you re-branded the film with that incredible poster. Was that something you planned?

It is going to be a part of the screening series, we have access to so many cool artists in Miami, that we thought it might be cool to see these classic works through our lens.

Did you really get a private tour of Dan Akroyd’s fabled refineries in Newfoundland?

I just drank from Dan Ackroyd’s scull.

Is it true that the next Borscht Film Festival will happen at Bayfront Park in partnership with Ultra in 2013?

The next Borscht will happen in November of 2012 and it’s going to happen in a place that has…it’s going to be in a very special place…

Will Borscht have a special division this year called “ Metamucil Plus” for filmmakers 30 and up?

We actually got rid of the below 30 clause last year when we invited Franco Parente, a staple of the Miami filmmaking community, to exhibit his film. Keep in mind that the 30 plus clause was like a shield because we were learning as filmmakers and we are still learning. Franco was so great to work with we realized that as long as they are down to play with us and realize that it is not going to be your typical commercial project.

Did you give an Uncle Luke whoopee cushion to Robert Redford when the film “The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke” was screened at Sundance this year?

Jillian Mayer went to the director’s lunch, but Robert Redford was very far away. A lot of people did enjoy the whoopee cushion. Robert Rodriguez loved the whoopee, Richard Linklater loved the whoopee.

You are staying in Miami and not moving to L.A.

I am absolutely going to stay here. By now the film has ended and the rowdy crowd was leaving their seats. For the record, Lucas is very polite, he answered every question we asked him and wrapped the interview by graciously thanking us for our effort to support local film and filmmakers through our monthly screenings I’m Not Gonna Move To LA at O Cinema and Let’s Experiment at Lester’s Cafe. The next Borscht Film Festival happens in November 2012. ‘Till then, look out for next month’s Midnight Madness screening from Borscht at O Cinema. Meet you in the darkest room.