Imagine if Lewis Carroll had been a Spanish surrealist with a penchant for musicals, bondage and videography instead of literature, young girls and photography: this will give you an idea of where Maximum Shame is coming from.
This is the third film by Spanish auteur, Carlos Atanes that we have shown at the festival (FAQ and PROXIMA were the other two), and this is his first feature in English.
To explain what the film is about is like trying to describe a dream, and possibly one you wouldn’t want to share anyway, but it involves black holes (instead of rabbit holes), mathematics and anthropomorphic chess pieces. Post-industrial warehouses, leather and musical numbers provide the backdrop to this unsettling vision.
It may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you like original and bizarre movies that don’t follow conventional structure, then this is full of obscure surprises that more than fulfil the sometimes overlooked ‘fantastic’ part of the festival’s remit.