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Arts & Exhibits

BUFF launches eight days of cimematic insanity

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BUFF
BUFF week starts tonight

 This week — starting tonight — step away from the tv and live what the organizers of the Boston Underground Film Festival call “the communal hysteria of the meatspace cinema experience.” From Japanese teenage perversity to Italian horror, ’90s Serbian porno cabaret to ’80s incestuous roller disco, with a heaping helping of love, death, music videos, and giant penguins, BUFF has something to satisfy your freaky side.

Now in its twelfth year of keeping Boston weird, BUFF is hitting puberty. Mascot Bacchus the bunny is starting to grow hair in strange places. His voice is changing, and it’s only getting stranger.

Tonight’s festival opener Love Exposure is an epic piece of Japanese insanity about a teenage boy mastering the art of upskirt photography while searching for his Virgin Mary. The Phoenix calls it “exquisitely weird.” Read the full review, and more festival coverage in the Weekly Dig and Stuff at Night.

Two other films that are like nothing you’ve seen before are The Life and Death of a Porno Gang and Maverick Mother. Both tell the stories of filmmakers on transformative journeys, but the final destinations couldn’t be more divergent. During the twilight years of Milosevic-era Serbia, Porno Gang protagonist Marko recruits his friends for a degenerate theatrical roadshow — and their artistic projects soon become more twisted than he ever imagined. The film is bleak and graphic in every possible way, while at the same time funny and exhilarating. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s not to be missed. In Maverick Mother, Australian filmmaker Janet Merewether documents her quest to become pregnant before her 40th birthday, with or without a father in the picture. It’s a topic that could have easily descended into tedious narcissism, but Merewether’s unique visual style and quirky humor, combined with a thought-provoking and refreshingly unromantic view of parenthood, make it riveting.

Where and When: Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge. Get the full schedule of features, shorts programs, and parties. Read more about tonight’s party, featuring the bands HUMANWINE and Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys.

Tickets for each screening are available for purchase online in advance or in person at the Kendall Square Cinema box office on the day of the screening. $10 general admission; $8 with student ID; Festival Passes are $100 and include admission to all screenings, priority seating, admission to all parties, two drink tickets at each party, and a BUFF t-shirt; Recession-Special Passes are $35 and get you admission to all screenings between 3/29-4/1.

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