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Fri 18 Jul 2008–Sun 3 Aug 2008, 3:45pm

Where: The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Since 1994 only one organisation has been dedicated in bringing you provocative, bizarre, challenging, surreal, offbeat and totally wild cinema to the big screen in New Zealand. For ten years this nation of ours was gripped in a moral panic as each unearthly celluloid delights unfolded on to screens.

The name might have changed a few times over the years but believe us when we say it's back from the grave and ready to party - 2008 marks the official return of the Incredibly Strange Film Festival. Hopefully a few uptight social and moral censors just shat their collective pants.

Apart from being a cheesy pun, the Rebirth of Cruel is quite apt for this years lineup - it is kinda cruel on many fronts, but not in a mean-spirited way (FRONTIERES and FUNNY GAMES, CARGO 200 the exceptions!) but somewhat cruel in the way that the selected films shamelessly manipulate you. From scaring the bejeesus out of you [REC], to lifting your spirits (KING OF KONG), to tearing your heart open (DEAR ZACHARY), to causing all men to wince in unison (TEETH), to playing mind-games on you (TIME CRIMES), to making you feel like a rubber-necker (I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW), to just completely entertaining you (SUKIYAKI DJANGO WESTERN).

SPECIAL GUEST - We're pleased as punch to have the director of our favourite film POP SKULL in town for the screenings of his stunning film. We seriously urge you not to miss it. You can also hear how Adam Wingard ended up making this surreal, haunting, ghostly, druggy masterpiece for three thousand bucks. And believe us when we say it is a 100% low-fi freakin' masterpiece.

Without you the audience along for the ride, programming films is a rather pointless exercise. These films demand to be seen with an audience and all of them scream to be seen on a large screen. So don't wait for that dvd you will never likely see for rent - just get your asses along to the big screen and get ready to be served at 24 frames per second.

CHEAPASS TICKETS Peoples Republic of V members can use their V tags and get a whopping discount on day sales. All you need to do is rock up on the day of your screening and show your tag to get a ticket for $9.50 + booking fee. That's nearly a $5 saving. If you haven't joined the Republic - then click here now.

Films playing at Paramount, Embassy, Bergman and The Film Archive.

See official website for full timetable.

Restaurants to book near Incredibly Strange Film Festival