First announced in September 2016, celebrated music artist Flying Lotus, and filmmaker Eddie Alcazar partnered up to form the independent film finance and production outfit, Brainfeeder Films. The newly formed operation’s first feature film is “Kuso,” which Flying Lotus directed under his real name, Steven Ellison, from a script he co-wrote with David Firth and Zach Fox.
Starring Iesha Coston, Zack Fox, Hannibal Buress, The Buttress, Tim Heidecker, Mali Matsuda and George Clinton, “Kuso’s” synopsis reads: Broadcasting through a makeshift network of discarded televisions, this story is tangled up in the aftermath of Los Angeles’ worst earthquake nightmare. Travel between screens and aftershocks into the twisted lives of the survived.
The film made its World Premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in January, in the MIDNIGHT section, which includes genre films, from horror and comedy, to works that defy genre classification. Flying Lotus’ “Kuso” falls into the latter category if what we’ve heard about it from those in-the-know is true.
Hiro Murai, who has apparently seen the film already, tweeted the below in reaction to it (by the way, Murai is a frequent collaborator of Donald Glover’s; in addition to directing music videos for Glover’s rapper alter ego Childish Gambino, Murai also directed most of the episodes of his hit FX series “Atlanta”):
.@flyinglotus is on some Black Jodorowsky / Funky Forest / Salad Fingers shit with his movie. I feel completely insane from watching it
— Hiro Murai (@MuraiHiro) December 16, 2016
“Jodorowsky” is Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky known for his violently surreal cinematic images that often provoke via a blend of mysticism and religious symbolism.
“Funky Forest” is a Japanese film comprised of a collection of outrageously surreal stories, including both computer generated and hand drawn animation segments and musical interludes.
“Salad Fingers” is a once immensely popular British surreal post-apocalyptic, psychological horror Flash cartoon series.
You can see some commonalities in all 3 of these references – Surrealism, hybrid formats, darkness, violence… so prepare for the proverbial mind-f*ck.
Shudder – the SVOD service featuring horror films (which is owned by AMC) – has picked up North American and UK/Ireland rights to “Kuso,” to be released on the streaming service, as well as in a limited theatrical release (New York and Los Angeles) starting on July 21.
“’Kuso’ pushes the boundaries of filmmaking and we’re delighted to be working with Steve on this highly unique film, as Shudder continues it’s commitment to bringing new and innovative programming to its community,” said Shudder GM Linda Pan.
Eddie Alcazar is producer of the film, which was shot in Los Angeles.
Check out a first poster (above); and a first trailer for “Kuso” (below):