The festival explores the role of folklore in horror films


When she returned to her hometown to take on the position of Assistant Programmer at the Winnipeg Cinematheque in 2007, Kier-La Janisse brought a bold voice to the film’s already vaunted reputation.

Prior to leaving in 2008 to launch her microcinema, Blue Sunshine, in Montreal, she launched, among other things, the Saturday Morning Cartoon Cereal Party (the TV cartoon / breakfast food frenzy was a holdover from her days of programmer at Austin ?? s Alamo Drafthouse), Plastic Paper, an animated and illustrated puppet film festival, and cutting-edge documentary festival Gimme Some Truth, that she was planning to showcase the kind of films that left you with the impression of having been struck. the face.??

During her stay here, she worked closely with the late Artistic Director of the Cinémathèque Dave Barber.

?? It’s hard to imagine the Cinémathèque without Dave, ?? she says. ?? It really is his theater. He had such a unique perspective on things, he championed so many Canadian filmmakers, but it was never to fill a quota or meet a funding requirement ?? he really loved canadian cinema and saw all the things that made him idiosyncratic and weird. ??

So it’s fitting that Janisse returns to Winnipeg from her home on Pender Island, British Columbia as headliner at December’s Gimme Some Truth Festival in her new capacity as a documentary maker. Janisse brings her epic three-hour documentary Bewitched Dark and Days Woodlands, a fascinating examination of popular horror in cinema, as the cornerstone of this year’s festival.

Janisse has been working on the film for years now, acknowledging that she had been fascinated by popular horror for a decade.

It was really around 2010 when the term was used in Mark Gatiss ?? s (BBC TV series) A horror story and people started to use it more? Janisse said in a phone interview from her home.

In theaters, a few exciting films have emerged as exciting new variations of the form, both directed by Ben Wheatley: Kill list and A field in England ?? and I started to see the term folk horror popping up a lot in articles, especially in UK magazines. ??

Janisse, 49, had the chance to act on her personal fascination thanks to Severin Films, an American film production / distribution company specializing in the restoration of cult films and their release on Blu-ray. Janisse has been working there since 2017, mainly as a producer and editor, creating additional DVD material for various releases.

?? It really started with the announcement by Severin Films of the film’s release. Blood on Satan’s claw around May 2018, ?? she says. ?? So I suggested to my boss David (Gregory), ?? For an extra, why don’t we do a folk horror documentary ???

?? He said, ?? OK, sure, go do it. ?? So that was it. ??

This mission would take Janisse years, drawing on her many contacts at the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, the organization she founded in 2010 dedicated to the serious study of genre films. For Forests, Janisse has interviewed 50 filmmakers, critics and academics, and concocted sequences for more than 200 films.

?? It was really meant to be a short featurette that would go on another Blu-ray, ?? she says. ?? And in a few months, I returned a piece that was over two hours long … so it was longer than Blood on Satan’s claw, ?? she says. So instead of telling me where to cut it to get it down, David said, “You have about half of a feature here. Why not continue ????

While the doc’s lineup of films spans roughly a century of directing, it does seem relevant, Janisse says.

“I think there’s a lot of talk in folk horror movies about community and what community means and the kinds of things people sacrifice to be part of a community,”? Janisse said. Which of these things are good things and which of these things are bad ???

As a bonus, Janisse also worked with Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin, who designed the film’s stunning animated collages.

?? I knew Guy made collages because he had a very active Instagram account where he always posted them ?? Janisse said. “And very early on, I knew I needed some kind of flair for the movie that I wasn’t really capable of.

?? So I asked Guy if he was considering making collages around vague themes ?? occult and nature / landscape ?? that I could animate myself for the film, ?? she says. ?? And luckily for me, he obliged. ??

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Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A Popular Horror Story screenings at the Cinémathèque on Saturday December 4 at 7:30 p.m. (with an introduction by Janisse), with additional screenings on Friday December 10 at 9:15 p.m. and Sunday January 2 at 3 p.m.

The film is already available online through services such as iTunes, and will arrive on Blu-ray on December 7, alone and as the centerpiece of a monster 15-disc box set with a total of 19 folk horror films. included. .

Additionally, the juggernaut Janisse will resume much of the Cinematheque’s December programming with additional screenings of folk horror films, including:

Blood on Satan’s claw

Described in Janisse’s film as one of three fundamental folk horror films (alongside Sorcerer General and The wicker man), this 1971 thriller from director Piers Haggard visits an 18th-century rural village where young people seem to be overrun by a demonic presence. It is screened on Tuesday December 7 at 7 p.m., Wednesday December 15 at 9:10 p.m., Thursday December 30 at 9:15 p.m. and Sunday January 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Clear cut

One of the rare Canadian examples of the folk horror form, this 1991 film from director Ryszard B Portugueseki stars Graham Greene (in his favorite role) as a trickster who kidnaps the manager of a logging company. to teach him a hard lesson. in environmentalism. It is screened on Tuesday December 7 at 9:30 p.m., Thursday December 16 at 9:15 p.m., Sunday December 19 at 3:00 p.m. and Wednesday January 5 at 7:00 p.m.

The wicker man

The serene summit of the realm of popular horror, Robin Hardy’s subversive 1973 thriller pits an austere Christian policeman (Edward Woodward) against the charismatic Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) on a remote island populated by a pagan population under the influence of Summerisle. . It airs on Friday December 17 at 7 p.m., Wednesday December 22 at 9:15 p.m., Tuesday December 28 at 9:05 p.m. and Thursday December 30 at 7 p.m.

Environment ?? Director’s Cup

Ari Aster reinvigorated popular horror in this Wicker man-esque 2019 film, the sequel to equally impressive Hereditary, with a story of American college students taking a trip to rural Sweden, where they encounter a bizarre pagan cult with deadly inclinations. It will be broadcast on Saturday December 18 at 1 p.m., Sunday December 19 at 7 p.m., Sunday December 26 at 7 p.m., Thursday December 30 at 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday January 5 at 9:15 p.m.

The full Cinémathèque program is online at

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King Randall


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