Weird Weekend to unearth lost Bill Murray masterpiece
Tom Schiller's lost comic gem Nothing Lasts Forever features in the second Weird Weekend from Matchbox Cineclub, as does Joe Dante's suburban satire The 'Burbs and Věra Chytilová’s teen horror Wolf’s Hole
Weird Weekend is back! Matchbox Cineclub's festival of cult cinema will return to Glasgow's CCA at the end of August for another three days of strange and unseen cinema from around the world.
The first of the screenings to jump out at us is Weird Weekend's super-rare 35mm showing of the never released, long unavailable Bill Murray sci-fi comedy Nothing Lasts Forever. Directed by Tom Schiller, best known for the short films he wrote and directed in the early years of Saturday Night Live, the film was shot in 1982 and due for release in 1984, but was unceremoniously pulled by its producers at MGM, despite being invited to the Cannes Film Festival two years in a row.
Set in a retro-future New York, the film stars future Gremlins star Zach Galligan as a genius pianist who returns home after a spell abroad to find the Port Authority has taken control of the country, and the new regime forces him to take a job directing traffic after he's denied a government permit to perform his art. Of course, the only way out of his predicament is to travel to the moon by bus (the conductor is Bill Murray) to spread peace and love.
As you can probably guess from the above synopsis, Nothing Lasts Forever isn't like the other films that emerged from the SNL alumni in the early 1980s. It seems MGM was expecting a knockabout comedy along the lines of Caddyshack and Stripes, but what they got instead was a less than commercial prospect. "There was a test screening in Seattle," Schiller told the AV Club. "When I finished it, the studio said it was an 'art film,' and that wasn’t so great...
"It was very disappointing. However, in retrospect, I don’t mind that that was my only opus... It was the weird movie I’d always wanted to make, and I don’t think I was the Hollywood type to churn out movies like a Steven Spielberg or John Landis or Harold Ramis. Those were the other kind of Saturday Night Live comedy, director-type people. I was in my own world."
Another rare screening that shouldn't be missed is the outing of camp-cult sci-fi gem Teknolust, in which Tilda Swinton gives a tour-de-force quadruple-role performance. There's also a 30th-anniversary screening of Joe Dante's much-loved satire The ’Burbs, in which a group of curtain-twitching suburbanites get it into their heads that their foreign neighbours are up to something unwholesome in their basement. The festival will be screening the workprint cut, which features extended scenes and an alternate ending. After the screening, Dante will join the audience for a post-screening Q&A via Skype.
Also coming up at Weird Weekend you'll find a pair of 2K restorations of films by the late Sarah Jacobson aka the “Queen of Underground Film”: I Was A Teenage Serial Killer (1993) and Mary Jane’s Not A Virgin Anymore (1997). Czech master Věra Chytilová is also in the programme with 1987 film Wolf's Hole, her gonzo take on the 80s teen horror movie.
Described as one of the weirdest and most subversive movies of the 80s, we're also desperate to see Chris Shaw’s 1989 oddity Split, which is screening from a restored 2K extended cut. There's also the dreamy experimental fantasy film Anti-Clock from 1979, the final work of the writer-director team of Jane Arden and Jack Bond.
Other films screening include Mike Paseornek's Vibrations (1996); Ulrike Ottinger's Freak Orlando (1981); the UK premiere of AGFA and Bleeding Skull’s The Neon Slime Mixtape; and Grigori Kromanov's Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel (1979).
DeepFake creator Ctrl Shift Face will also attend Weird Weekend for a panel event entitled Weird World of DeepFakes, and The Arrow Video Cult Film Quiz returns for the second year. All films screen with captions for the deaf and hard of hearing, and tickets are priced on a sliding scale.
Weird Weekend, CCA, Glasgow, 30 Aug-1 Sep; more info at www.matchboxcineclub.com