A Europeanized version of the annual Underground Film Festival, and programmed by the UFF's Ed Halter, XENO devotes far too much time to the oeuvre of Netherlands experimental filmmaker Ian Kerkhof, whose wildly swinging camera movement, superimpositions, abrasive sound, and collages of pornography and bloody mayhem retread the worst of '60s avant-garde filmmaking. Among the Kerkhof films in XENO is Beyond Ultraviolence, a portrait of the Japanese composer Masami Akita (a/k/a Merzbow), in which Kerkhof attempts to imitate the Merzbow style but instead renders it totally incoherent.

— Rave culture also figures prominently in the ResFest, but American devotees seem bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in comparison with their European counterparts. A touring show devoted to digital movie-making, Res mixes screenings and panel discussions (you can also download movies from their Web site www.resfest.com). The main event is Jesper Jargil's The Humiliated, a barbed portrait of Dogma guru Lars Von Trier directing his overrated The Idiots (still unreleased in the U.S.). Jargil catches the emperor without his clothes, literally, as Von Trier strips to put his actors more at ease in their sex scenes. The documentary also includes bits of Von Trier's diary, in which he reveals himself as a megalomaniac and a lech to boot.


The Best Man
Written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee
A Universal release
Opens October 22

XENO International Film Festival
At BAM Rose Cinemas
October 2224, 2931

At the New School
October 2123

Two Res features are devoted to the music scene. Jon Reiss's lively Better Living Through Circuitry features such digital sound innovators as Moby, D.J. Spooky, and Frankie Bones. Carter Smith and Kevon Ford's Three Days follows Jane's Addiction and Cinque Lee on tour. Skimpy on films but with enthusiasm and information to spare, ResFest is a pioneer of indie film's digital age.

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