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Zombie, Avant-garde At 2Morrow Festival

The 2Morrow Film Festival, which starts Thursday, brings together a series of independent international and Russian films, including a controversial zombie porn movie, in a four-day festival.

Opening with the French Canadian film, “Les Amours Imaginaires,” about a love triangle, directed by and starring rising star Xavier Dolan, the festival has dozens of films on show from the obscure to classics like the 1934 French classic “L’Atalante” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” in a section that highlights films that have changed the world.

Conceived in 2007 by the late festival director Ivan Dykhovichny, 2Morrow aims to promote freedom of expression through experimental filmmaking. This sentiment keeps Dykhovichny’s wife, Olga, actively involved as creative producer of the event this year.

“Ivan always wanted to create his own festival. He saw it as a platform for creative people [to] show their innovative, brave ideas,” she said. “The films we are showing are the ones that today are seen as films ‘not for everyone’ but will tomorrow become a new source of fresh ideas and innovations.”

One film that is unlikely to be for everyone is Bruce LaBruce’s horror flick “L.A. Zombie.” Pegged “gay zombie porn” by the Melbourne International Film Festival, the film was subsequently banned from Australia.

“[‘L.A. Zombie’] premiered in Switzerland, before being banned in Australia. That gave it a lot of publicity and now it’s a high-profile film on dozens of other festival circuits,” LaBruce said in a telephone interview with The Moscow Times. “I was surprised at first to see that it’ll be showing in Moscow, but this festival is all for showcasing the edgy, international, more controversial films.”

LaBruce will be in attendance to watch the “cut” version of his film at the Moscow venue and said the film — despite its intended explicit nature — is not about sex or gender.

“I think [the film] is more a social commentary on class rather than gender. There is a scene where gay porn stars get shot and killed during a drug deal … but the film is more a statement on what all zombie films represent. [Typical] zombie films use zombies to represent the homeless and underclass of society. … In my film, the zombie is a healer, not a killer.”

Olga Dykhovichnaya denied that they were looking to cause controversy.

“[This festival provides] alternative cinematography for the public and a platform for talented people to create beyond the rules, frames, fashion and stereotypes. … [It is] for those who want to risk.”

”2morrow” runs Thursday to Monday. Films play in Rolan, 35MM and Pioner cinemas. Tel. 221-1343, www.2morrowfest.ru.

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