BUFF screening: "Excision"


The Boston Underground Film Festival, which opens tonight with "John Dies at the End," continues its trangressive programming tomorrow night with Richard Bates Jr.'s debut feature "Excision."  It's kind of like "Welcome to the Dollhouse" with surgical instruments.

     Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord, who here evokes a young, female Crispin Glover) doesn't fit in, her strangeness perhaps going back to a childhood when her father saved her from near-drowning by administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and in the process inadvertently transmitting a virulent dose of herpes. Make of that what you will, Freudians. Still, that doesn't really account for her recurrent sexual fantasies involving lacerations, bandages, exposed organs, and rivers of blood.

     So now she's a sardonic teenager with a permanent eruption of cold sores on her face, hated by her peers, despised by her holy roller mother (Traci Lords!), ignored by her spineless father, and alight with fantasies of becoming a surgeon. In the midst of all her gleeful hate and bitterness, she still adores her pampered younger sister, who is suffering from cystic fibrosis, and whom she vows to one day heal. Veering from the blatant and obscene satire of John Waters (he has a cameo as a pastor) to the oneiric weirdness of David Lynch, "Excision" is sometimes exhilarating, and always unsettling.

"Excision" plays Friday night at 7:30 pm at the Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St, Harvard Square. The director Richard Bates Jr. will attend the screening. 617.876.6837


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