Can’t-miss 2018 CUFF picks from theYYSCENE

On Monday, April 16 it begins.

The 15th edition of the Calgary Underground Film Festival gets underway, kicking off a week of weird, weird wonderfulness at the Globe Cinema that you’d likely never see on a city big screen unless these excellent folks were around to make Calgary the place it is.

Need some help navigating what CUFF is all about and has to offer?

Some of theYYSCENE’s writers step up and offer their picks for flicks that we wanna see, that you’re probably gonna wanna see.



Revenge (Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m./Sunday, April 22 at 4:15 p.m.)

The “Rape-Revenge” subgenre has produced films both grotty (I Spit on your Grave) and sublime (The Virgin Spring). How will this stylish French film address this troublesome topic? With considerable emotion and gravitas, if the trailer is anything to go by.

Found Footage Festival Volume 8 (Saturday, April 21 at 9:15 p.m)

An old favourite returns! These guys always put on an amazing show, sharing their craziest bits of dusty old VHS tape, scrounged from flea markets and garage sales.

Let the Corpses Tan (Thursday, April 19 at 9:45 p.m.)

This just looks cool.


You Were Never Really Here (Tuesday, April 17 at 9:45 p.m.)

From the trailer, it looks like an arthouse hitman flick in the vein of Leon: The Professional, and by all accounts it is. Gorgeously shot, brilliantly acted, guttural yet cerebral, this film starring Joaquin Phoenix is also part of the retrospective featuring director Lynne Ramsay’s other acclaimed films We Need to Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher. Should be amazing.

Tigers Are Not Afraid (Friday, April 17 at 7:15 p.m./April 22 at 1:45 p.m.)

It has been called “the Best Guillermo del Toro movie he never made,” and it looks like a magical, fantastical, horror fairytale rooted in the harshest and ugliest things that humanity has to offer — the brutal Mexican drug wars and the children orphaned by them. Director Issa López has, according to all reviews, created something that resonates, elevates and inspires.

Vampire Clay (Friday, April 20 at 11:59 p.m./Sunday, April 22 at 11 a.m.)

What the ever-loving fuck …?


Ratcatcher (Saturday, April 21 at 1:45 p.m.)

Any film set in 1970’s Glasgow is sure to be a gut-wrencher. Ratcatcher contrasts the angst of a troubled childhood in less than ideal conditions — a garbage strike in Glasgow can never be good — against the beauty of optimism and hope. There’s humour, there’s emotion, and there’s Scottish accents which, let’s face it, are the greatest accents of all.

Found Footage Festival Volume 8

I cannot rave enough about the Found Footage Festival. I haven’t missed a showing yet, and always leave giggling for days at some totally insane video that “founders” Nick Pruher and Joe Pickett have unearthed in the deep, deep depths of charity shops, dumpsters, your parents’ basement … This year they are luring us in with highlights from David Letterman’s video collection, a collection of satanic panic videos from the ’80s and out-takes from on-air bloopers from 20 years of North Dakota local news. I’m laughing already.


You Were Never Really Here

This film looks like it is perfectly poised as captivating, haunting and heartbreaking. I suspect it will be the exact amount of physical tension and emotional turmoil that the human soul can endure at the movies.

Roller Dreams (Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m./Sunday, April 22 at 11:30 a.m.)

As a person with dreams of roller-skating well enough to complete a lap with relaxed confidence and style, a documentary devoted to the socio-economic commentary (not to mention the fashion) surrounding the roller-dancing phenomenon of the 1980s is very appealing. Big hair! Big dreams!

Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary (Sunday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.)

One of my favourite television shows under the microscope, complete with interviews with the cast and crew? Yes, please! Looking forward to revisiting some of the great moments that made Freaks and Geeks resonate with so many in this doc from Alberta’s own Brent Hodge.

For tickets and more information, please go to And for the most comprehensive coverage — interviews and reviews of CUFF films — as well as giveaways for some of the screenings, please return to, check out our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter at @theYYSCENE.