Australian director Sophie O’Connor’s feature debut puts a new twist on the downward-spiral trope, with some very convincing sex scenes thrown in for good measure. Jordan (Lily Hall) is a university history major with hopes of making the Olympic swim team despite a recent shoulder injury. While she’s looking to score points doing extra work for her professor Cameron (Andrew Curry), she ends up scoring his girlfriend, Angie (Christina Hallett), instead, who also happens to be her TA. With her chronic need for success, an overbearing mother and her home-wrecking romance, Jordan starts to crack under the pressure. Her bisexual roommate Lucas (Kevin Dee) pushes her to let loose and party a bit, which leads to her first taste of drug culture (performance enhancing and otherwise). If all that isn’t enough, she ends up also falling for Delilah (Georgia Bolton), a dominatrix with Bettie Page hair who introduces her to underground sex clubs.
Fri, May 24, 6:45pm
Lose Your Head
Though it’s a work of fiction, this psychosexual thriller from German writing/directing team Stefan Westerwelle and Patrick Schuckmann is inspired by the true story of a Portuguese party-boy who disappeared several years ago after a night at Berghain, one of Berlin’s best-known dance/sex clubs. The film follows Luis (Fernando Tielve, the child star of Pan’s Labyrinth), a young Spaniard on holiday in the German capital after calling it quits with his boyfriend back home in Madrid. At a street party, he falls for the sadistic Viktor (Slovenian actor Marko Mandi), who might be behind the disappearance of Dimitri (Jan Amazigh Sid), a Greek tourist who looks suspiciously like Luis. Luis snorts and fucks his way through Berlin’s underbelly until neither he nor the viewer is sure what’s real anymore.
Sat, May 25, 7pm
The quirky feature-length debut of Barcelonian director MarÃ§al ForÃ©s is the Donnie Darko-esque tale of Pol (Oriol Pla), a teenager taking stabs at coming of age. Unsure of his sexuality, he pals around with Laia (Roser Tapias), a straight girl with a not-so-secret crush on him, and Mark (Dimitri Leonidas), a gay friend who keeps pushing him to try fucking guys. When he meets Inaki (Augustus Prew), an edgy outsider with a penchant for self-harm, he’s more confused than ever about his sexuality. Though the basic premise sounds somewhat clichÃ©d, Animals gets weirder by the minute. There’s a possible murder mystery brewing, when one of the school’s popular girls goes missing and her car is pulled from the lake. The strangest twist of all is Deerhoof, Pol’s sentient, childhood teddy bear, who follows him around speaking in an inexplicably robotic voice only he can hear, reminiscent of mid-period Kraftwerk. Despite repeated attempts to separate himself from this obvious icon of youth, Deerhoof keeps returning in an eerie Pet Sematary-esque way, no matter what steps Pol takes to get rid of him.
Wed, May 29, 7:15pm