Gerald Potterton | Canada, United States | 1981 | 90 min | EN | CS sub
The French comics scene of the early 1970s witnessed the birth of the essential comics magazine Métal Hurlant. The combination of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, always spiced-up with sex and scantily clad women, soon caught on to such a degree that it gave birth to the English version called Heavy Metal, which has inspired an anthology feature film adapting several stories. True to its name, the film is accompanied by music by Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Cheap Trick and Nazareth. Heavy guitar riffs alternate with an orchestral soundtrack by one of the best known film music composers, Elmer Bernstein. Shortly after its premiere, the film attracted a cult following among comic book lovers and thanks to its blatant campness, it’s also popular among viewers who frequent midnight screenings. Many sequences of the film are made using rotoscoping, which ensures that the movements of characters in scenes with elaborate artistic style are incredibly fluid. The film – like Disney’s Fantasia (1940), which we are also screening in line with the festival’s theme Hear Animation – got a sequel in the magical year of 2000, unsurprisingly named Heavy Metal 2000.