THE STRANGE times we are living in are about to get even stranger when A World of Dark Comedy comes to town on November 4.
Now in its fourth year, the Perth film festival screens comedy shorts from around the world that feature gallows humour and dark, uneasy laughs.
Festival director Greg Coffey says this year’s flicks push the boundaries of black humour, but covid has prompted some directors to create touching works.
“The great thing about covid (yes there is one) is that filmmakers are now making tighter productions without big teams or locations, and surprisingly more films with an intimate human quality,” he says.
“This year we have 14 films from all over the world and our second from Iran – watch out for this country’s growing film contribution.
“Oh, and France knocks it out of the park for their twisted prowess.”
One of the most memorable on-screen characters is MC Krewd, a single mother of eight living in the govie flats of Canberra.
Clad in denim shorts, fish net tights and a gratuitous platinum blonde wig, the wannabe hip hop artist, philosopher and defender of the outcasts stars in The Krewd Party.
Watch through gritted teeth as a documentary crew come to film MC Krewd hosting a barbecue for neighbours, but she has other plans to get her voice heard…
If you enjoy films that are like Russian dolls, then Broccoli will be right up your street.
It’s dinner time and young Blade won’t eat his broccoli, so mum decides to tell him a cautionary tale from her childhood about the time she lost a hand to her father for not eating her broccoli.
Within that story, her father tells another cautionary tale about how he lost his leg to his mother for not eating his broccoli, and she tells a similar tale which continues into another and another and another, ending with the bizarre genesis of this violent family tradition.
Things get decidedly political in The MP’s Body, a New Zealand film about people dumping dead bodies for the prime minister.
Across the pond, the topical US short Forced Parenthood follows Republicans on the verge of eliminating abortion rights.
The trusted trope of mistaken identity is explored in the French film Catarina, where a jilted husband kidnaps the dog sitter by mistake.
Cinemagoers who like their humour on the philosophical side will enjoy the Spanish flick Survivors, where natural selection is put to the test when the entire human race becomes stupid.
Coffey says the dark shorts pull no punches.
“Man do these films push boundaries – in politics, the possible head-exploding end of humanity,” Coffey laughs.
“Bravo to all filmmakers; it’s an honour and delight to see their work on the big screen.”
A World of Dark Comedy 4 is at the Backlot cinema in West Perth from November 4 – 6.
Tix at darkcomedy.com.au/the-tour/
By STEPHEN POLLOCK