Abortion short film

The rotting remains of 2012's festival
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Marko
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Abortion short film

Post by Marko » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:27 am

During the short film segments - just felt pretty unnecessary.

I know the festival is all about pushing boundaries and being shocking etc but this just seemed if anything a bit lazy for the shock factor. Why not get some guy with cock rot disease on film for ten mins next year? picking apart his penis? Would be just as fun.

If the angle is meant to be 'well real life is so much more brutal than any horror movie' - well duh. No shit. Horror films are for the most part about escapsim and fantasy - we know there are real horrors out there and they are all too easy to find with the news and the internet at our fingertips.

So i thought this was a pointless segment to the short movies segment, reeked of attention seeking and im not sure if it was a coincidence that someone passed out and had a fit in the cinema while she was sticking a coat hanger into her vagina.
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by voor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:43 am

Hi Marko;

I'm the writer and one of the directors behind the film in question; 'Tokophobia'. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the film but it's inevitable with a screen showing over 28 films, some will appeal and some won't.
I'd like to clarify that the gentleman in question did not pass out but had a mild seizure. At first we were concerned that 'Tokophobia' might have been the reason for what happened but subsequently found out otherwise.
I'd also like to say that our aim was not to create just a lazy shock factor moment. When I wrote the small script, the intention was to take away the tragic label that films seemed determined to affix on female characters: with any situation that involves childbirth, there's an invitation for the audience to pity or feel sad for the woman in question: I thought what if we had a woman who, suffering from a real phobia, took a decision in her mind that was rational and followed each step of the process through. Would we sympathise? Would we feel differently about the acts?
I'd still like to thank you for watching the film. Hopefully you found something entertaining in the other shorts. My favourite of the lost was 'Un Jour Sang' which is a very clever little film - however 'Snails' and 'Metal Creeps' made me laugh, too.
All the best;
Evrim

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by Marko » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:53 am

voor wrote:Hi Marko;

I'm the writer and one of the directors behind the film in question; 'Tokophobia'. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the film but it's inevitable with a screen showing over 28 films, some will appeal and some won't.
I'd like to clarify that the gentleman in question did not pass out but had a mild seizure. At first we were concerned that 'Tokophobia' might have been the reason for what happened but subsequently found out otherwise.
I'd also like to say that our aim was not to create just a lazy shock factor moment. When I wrote the small script, the intention was to take away the tragic label that films seemed determined to affix on female characters: with any situation that involves childbirth, there's an invitation for the audience to pity or feel sad for the woman in question: I thought what if we had a woman who, suffering from a real phobia, took a decision in her mind that was rational and followed each step of the process through. Would we sympathise? Would we feel differently about the acts?
I'd still like to thank you for watching the film. Hopefully you found something entertaining in the other shorts. My favourite of the lost was 'Un Jour Sang' which is a very clever little film - however 'Snails' and 'Metal Creeps' made me laugh, too.
All the best;
Evrim
Thanks for taking the time to respond and thanks for contributing towards my fave event of the year. Its great you took the time out to put together a film for us to watch and also not get offended by my comments.

Given your explanation above and giving the film some context it makes a bit more sense - but unfortunately, for me at least, none of the context was present at all. The phobia i was oblivious of and not one of those questions popped into my head, it was simply a woman doing a self abortion for 10 mins - and for me, i hope you can appreciate, seemed like nothing more than an attempt at a shock factor film. (which i guess would be a success to some extent if it was!).

Good to hear that the individual who passed out was ok and that it was unrelated to the movie - thanks again.

Will you be doing anything else?
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by voor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:10 am

Hi Marko;

Yes, we have a few projects in the pipeline currently.

I don't know if you are aware but we have been doing a web series called 'Daddy Cross' as a tribute to the 70's British horror cinema , especially the works of Norman J. Warren and Pete Walker.

The series started out as a fake Grindhouse trailer for the 'Hobo With A Shotgun' competition which it did not win the US but did in the UK edition!

Here's the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auzb0fa4uDE

We are releasing 1 episode per month running upto a final Chrimstas episode.

Here's the teaser to announce the project:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEjUZ89dx_U&feature=plcp

Here's Episode 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfU5Vdq7BIQ&feature=plcp

Here's Episode 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXlYJWdauz0&feature=plcp

And finally here's a little behind the scenes sponsume video:

http://www.sponsume.com/project/daddy-c ... mmandments

Again, thank you for viewing our film.

All the best;

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by Marko » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:16 am

thanks for the links, i'll check all that out when i get home!

There had better not be any coat hangers!
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by anoy yin barsted » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:53 pm

Marko wrote:During the short film segments - just felt pretty unnecessary.

I know the festival is all about pushing boundaries and being shocking etc but this just seemed if anything a bit lazy for the shock factor. Why not get some guy with cock rot disease on film for ten mins next year? picking apart his penis? Would be just as fun.

If the angle is meant to be 'well real life is so much more brutal than any horror movie' - well duh. No shit. Horror films are for the most part about escapsim and fantasy - we know there are real horrors out there and they are all too easy to find with the news and the internet at our fingertips.

So i thought this was a pointless segment to the short movies segment, reeked of attention seeking and im not sure if it was a coincidence that someone passed out and had a fit in the cinema while she was sticking a coat hanger into her vagina.
Sorry Marko darling, I know that you're a big bloke and all that, but I have to disagree. This was a highlight for me, in fact one of the strongest of the especially impressive selection of short films this year.

I'm a little fascinated by the idea of family and pregnancy- one of the things that I liked about the otherwise pretentious 'We need to talk about Kevin' was the central idea of a mother not being able to bond with her kid. Its sort of expected that every woman aspires to be a mother, but what if you're not delighted by the idea? What if, in fact, the idea filled you with utter repulsion and dread? Surely it is the duty of horrror to look at transgressive and unusual themes. What other genre can explore these ideas?

I get what you are saying about real life horrors and all that Marko, but, fact is, vampires have been defanged by Twilight, werewolves are being subsumed into fantasy; the transparency of history and our media has made these sort of ghouls a bit whimsical. Real life horror is the thing now; not saying I like that especially, but that is just the way things are I’m afraid.

All that aside, I thought Tokophobia was very well made too- actually had me wincing and found it hard to breathe at points. Highly suspenseful. Before that poor fella went and had a fit, you could really feel the tense atmosphere in the Empire, something that was rare this year.

In fact, another aspect I liked was, in a year where some of the programming played extreme violence against women for laughs (that ‘skull f**king’ Turn of your Phone short was pathetic and inexcusable), it was interesting to have a film that focussed on an issue that women could especially relate to.

I too am going to check the other shorts out.

Take it easy mate, and well done makers of Tokophobia.
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by AdeBrown » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:33 pm

This year was my favourite of the shorts batches, and this film was certainly worth watching in that context.
When we get immersed in all that genre horror, it's worth pausing and realising how shocking something real can be.
And real emotions.

Simon Rumley's film The Living and The Dead had a similar effect a few years ago.
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by Stephen with ph » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:01 pm

anoy yin barsted wrote:
Sorry Marko darling, I know that you're a big bloke and all that, but I have to disagree. This was a highlight for me, in fact one of the strongest of the especially impressive selection of short films this year.

I'm a little fascinated by the idea of family and pregnancy- one of the things that I liked about the otherwise pretentious 'We need to talk about Kevin' was the central idea of a mother not being able to bond with her kid. Its sort of expected that every woman aspires to be a mother, but what if you're not delighted by the idea? What if, in fact, the idea filled you with utter repulsion and dread? Surely it is the duty of horrror to look at transgressive and unusual themes. What other genre can explore these ideas?

I get what you are saying about real life horrors and all that Marko, but, fact is, vampires have been defanged by Twilight, werewolves are being subsumed into fantasy; the transparency of history and our media has made these sort of ghouls a bit whimsical. Real life horror is the thing now; not saying I like that especially, but that is just the way things are I’m afraid.

All that aside, I thought Tokophobia was very well made too- actually had me wincing and found it hard to breathe at points. Highly suspenseful. Before that poor fella went and had a fit, you could really feel the tense atmosphere in the Empire, something that was rare this year.

In fact, another aspect I liked was, in a year where some of the programming played extreme violence against women for laughs (that ‘skull f**king’ Turn of your Phone short was pathetic and inexcusable), it was interesting to have a film that focussed on an issue that women could especially relate to.

I too am going to check the other shorts out.

Take it easy mate, and well done makers of Tokophobia.

Real life horror?

After 5 days of the “Frightfest diet” (popcorn and Costa coffee), I spent the entire day yesterday locked in the smallest room of my house, enduring a series of the most explosive and malodorous bowel movements I’ve ever experienced. Towards the end, by which time my entire house smelt like roadkill and my arse resembled a ragged Japanese flag, I started to imagine that a carefully inserted cork might be the only way to end this flatulent nightmare.

That’s a real life experience, which would fill any reasonable person with repulsion and dread. That’s something that many of us have encountered, albeit on a less extreme scale. That's transgressive.

But - importantly - at no stage did I resolve to make it the subject of a short film.

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by DavieT » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:30 pm

Stephen with ph wrote:
anoy yin barsted wrote:
Sorry Marko darling, I know that you're a big bloke and all that, but I have to disagree. This was a highlight for me, in fact one of the strongest of the especially impressive selection of short films this year.

I'm a little fascinated by the idea of family and pregnancy- one of the things that I liked about the otherwise pretentious 'We need to talk about Kevin' was the central idea of a mother not being able to bond with her kid. Its sort of expected that every woman aspires to be a mother, but what if you're not delighted by the idea? What if, in fact, the idea filled you with utter repulsion and dread? Surely it is the duty of horrror to look at transgressive and unusual themes. What other genre can explore these ideas?

I get what you are saying about real life horrors and all that Marko, but, fact is, vampires have been defanged by Twilight, werewolves are being subsumed into fantasy; the transparency of history and our media has made these sort of ghouls a bit whimsical. Real life horror is the thing now; not saying I like that especially, but that is just the way things are I’m afraid.

All that aside, I thought Tokophobia was very well made too- actually had me wincing and found it hard to breathe at points. Highly suspenseful. Before that poor fella went and had a fit, you could really feel the tense atmosphere in the Empire, something that was rare this year.

In fact, another aspect I liked was, in a year where some of the programming played extreme violence against women for laughs (that ‘skull f**king’ Turn of your Phone short was pathetic and inexcusable), it was interesting to have a film that focussed on an issue that women could especially relate to.

I too am going to check the other shorts out.

Take it easy mate, and well done makers of Tokophobia.

Real life horror?

After 5 days of the “Frightfest diet” (popcorn and Costa coffee), I spent the entire day yesterday locked in the smallest room of my house, enduring a series of the most explosive and malodorous bowel movements I’ve ever experienced. Towards the end, by which time my entire house smelt like roadkill and my arse resembled a ragged Japanese flag, I started to imagine that a carefully inserted cork might be the only way to end this flatulent nightmare.

That’s a real life experience, which would fill any reasonable person with repulsion and dread. That’s something that many of us have encountered, albeit on a less extreme scale. That's transgressive.

But - importantly - at no stage did I resolve to make it the subject of a short film.
Graphically :) well put. I was running late so didn't catch many of the shorts - I did catch this one and regretted it. Watched it with a WTF expression on my face for the entire time, probably the same one I had watching a short which I think was called The Trunk (?) a few years back. There are some things I don't personally have any time for - this short is an example of one of them

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by anoy yin barsted » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:50 pm

Stephen with ph wrote:
anoy yin barsted wrote:
Sorry Marko darling, I know that you're a big bloke and all that, but I have to disagree. This was a highlight for me, in fact one of the strongest of the especially impressive selection of short films this year.

I'm a little fascinated by the idea of family and pregnancy- one of the things that I liked about the otherwise pretentious 'We need to talk about Kevin' was the central idea of a mother not being able to bond with her kid. Its sort of expected that every woman aspires to be a mother, but what if you're not delighted by the idea? What if, in fact, the idea filled you with utter repulsion and dread? Surely it is the duty of horrror to look at transgressive and unusual themes. What other genre can explore these ideas?

I get what you are saying about real life horrors and all that Marko, but, fact is, vampires have been defanged by Twilight, werewolves are being subsumed into fantasy; the transparency of history and our media has made these sort of ghouls a bit whimsical. Real life horror is the thing now; not saying I like that especially, but that is just the way things are I’m afraid.

All that aside, I thought Tokophobia was very well made too- actually had me wincing and found it hard to breathe at points. Highly suspenseful. Before that poor fella went and had a fit, you could really feel the tense atmosphere in the Empire, something that was rare this year.

In fact, another aspect I liked was, in a year where some of the programming played extreme violence against women for laughs (that ‘skull f**king’ Turn of your Phone short was pathetic and inexcusable), it was interesting to have a film that focussed on an issue that women could especially relate to.

II too am going to check the other shorts out.

Take it easy mate, and well done makers of Tokophobia.

Real life horror?

After 5 days of the “Frightfest diet” (popcorn and Costa coffee), I spent the entire day yesterday locked in the smallest room of my house, enduring a series of the most explosive and malodorous bowel movements I’ve ever experienced. Towards the end, by which time my entire house smelt like roadkill and my arse resembled a ragged Japanese flag, I started to imagine that a carefully inserted cork might be the only way to end this flatulent nightmare.

That’s a real life experience, which would fill any reasonable person with repulsion and dread. That’s something that many of us have encountered, albeit on a less extreme scale. That's transgressive.

But - importantly - at no stage did I resolve to make it the subject of a short film.
The first time I read this, I read 'cork' as 'cock'!

Anyway, amusing mis-readings aside, I don’t really get your point Steven. Are you really comparing your unfortunate case of the runs to the misery and horror of a self-administered abortion?

I would like to imagine that no subject is beyond the province of a good film maker. Who is to say that your sad episode in the bog would not make for a good entry in the short film showcase? ‘Hell’, who is to say that, with the right director, a good script, and a solid performance from the lead, it wouldn’t make for a great opening or closing film? If there are any producers or suchlike perusing this forum, perhaps they will option your tale of toilet woe. However, I must admit that this is sadly unlikely. We will, however, always have a very funny post from you to enjoy. My favourite bit was when you compared your bum to the Japanese flag!

I hope your tummy is better soon though mate. I’ve had really bad diarrhoea a couple of times and I know that it is no joke. However, all hilarity about having a bad stomach aside, I’m still not sure of the thrust of your argument. Is it that certain subjects should not be potential for horror cinema? Or that you didn’t think that Tokophobia was any good?

Thing is, after having the bums a few times, like most people, I’m not sure if it is the stuff of horror cinema, as really it’s just an inconvenience at worst, and the stuff of amusing forum posts at best; so, of course you wouldn’t consider making a film about it, any more than you would spilling your cup of coffee or burning your toast. But a film about a woman resorting to such actions against her own body and progeny I found deeply uncomfortable, and also emotive.

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by Marko » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:04 am

anoy yin barsted wrote:
Stephen with ph wrote:
anoy yin barsted wrote:
Sorry Marko darling, I know that you're a big bloke and all that, but I have to disagree. This was a highlight for me, in fact one of the strongest of the especially impressive selection of short films this year.

I'm a little fascinated by the idea of family and pregnancy- one of the things that I liked about the otherwise pretentious 'We need to talk about Kevin' was the central idea of a mother not being able to bond with her kid. Its sort of expected that every woman aspires to be a mother, but what if you're not delighted by the idea? What if, in fact, the idea filled you with utter repulsion and dread? Surely it is the duty of horrror to look at transgressive and unusual themes. What other genre can explore these ideas?

I get what you are saying about real life horrors and all that Marko, but, fact is, vampires have been defanged by Twilight, werewolves are being subsumed into fantasy; the transparency of history and our media has made these sort of ghouls a bit whimsical. Real life horror is the thing now; not saying I like that especially, but that is just the way things are I’m afraid.

All that aside, I thought Tokophobia was very well made too- actually had me wincing and found it hard to breathe at points. Highly suspenseful. Before that poor fella went and had a fit, you could really feel the tense atmosphere in the Empire, something that was rare this year.

In fact, another aspect I liked was, in a year where some of the programming played extreme violence against women for laughs (that ‘skull f**king’ Turn of your Phone short was pathetic and inexcusable), it was interesting to have a film that focussed on an issue that women could especially relate to.

II too am going to check the other shorts out.

Take it easy mate, and well done makers of Tokophobia.

Real life horror?

After 5 days of the “Frightfest diet” (popcorn and Costa coffee), I spent the entire day yesterday locked in the smallest room of my house, enduring a series of the most explosive and malodorous bowel movements I’ve ever experienced. Towards the end, by which time my entire house smelt like roadkill and my arse resembled a ragged Japanese flag, I started to imagine that a carefully inserted cork might be the only way to end this flatulent nightmare.

That’s a real life experience, which would fill any reasonable person with repulsion and dread. That’s something that many of us have encountered, albeit on a less extreme scale. That's transgressive.

But - importantly - at no stage did I resolve to make it the subject of a short film.
The first time I read this, I read 'cork' as 'cock'!

Anyway, amusing mis-readings aside, I don’t really get your point Steven. Are you really comparing your unfortunate case of the runs to the misery and horror of a self-administered abortion?

I would like to imagine that no subject is beyond the province of a good film maker. Who is to say that your sad episode in the bog would not make for a good entry in the short film showcase? ‘Hell’, who is to say that, with the right director, a good script, and a solid performance from the lead, it wouldn’t make for a great opening or closing film? If there are any producers or suchlike perusing this forum, perhaps they will option your tale of toilet woe. However, I must admit that this is sadly unlikely. We will, however, always have a very funny post from you to enjoy. My favourite bit was when you compared your bum to the Japanese flag!

I hope your tummy is better soon though mate. I’ve had really bad diarrhoea a couple of times and I know that it is no joke. However, all hilarity about having a bad stomach aside, I’m still not sure of the thrust of your argument. Is it that certain subjects should not be potential for horror cinema? Or that you didn’t think that Tokophobia was any good?

Thing is, after having the bums a few times, like most people, I’m not sure if it is the stuff of horror cinema, as really it’s just an inconvenience at worst, and the stuff of amusing forum posts at best; so, of course you wouldn’t consider making a film about it, any more than you would spilling your cup of coffee or burning your toast. But a film about a woman resorting to such actions against her own body and progeny I found deeply uncomfortable, and also emotive.

Life or death: essence of horror. What do you say?
Heard the expression a time and a place?

As already said in this thread - yes abortion is horrible but so what? What the **** does that have to do with frightfest? I mean if true to life horrors are what interest you then maybe they should also show some films about the slaughter of the millions of the jewish civilians in WW2? Or the recent Syria conflict? Or the plight of the millions of homeless around the world scratching for food and shelter each day, or the disease ravaged third world? Lets watch a movie on how poor and desperate egyptians hack off their own limbs to try and gain western tourists sympathy to get better begging opportunities?

No. nobody wants to see that - we know it goes on and there is a time and place for it - frightfest is about escapism, enjoying ourselves and watching some damn good movies. I do not want to see a home abortion with NO script or storyline to speak of, in fact i would actually prefer to see Stephen take that shit just to see the japanese flag.

And thanks for the 'darling' - i'm 28% camper now because of that :wink:
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by anoy yin barsted » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:00 am

Marko- stop!

You're giving the director of Hidden in the Woods ideas!

In fairness though, I do think that the subjects you mentioned above could well make for interesting and captivating films. Why not?

I suppose you could well have written something like, ' Lets watch a movie on how the Balkans conflict has led to the enforced prostitution of widowed, fatherless women, yeah? Is that what you want? It could be set in a brothel and we could see a kid prepare the captives with drugs before they get raped and brutalised, jeez, why not make the kid watch her own mum get shot in front of her by a squaddie and for extra measure, lets make the poor girl deaf?'

But that would be ridiculous!
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by MaxRenn » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:19 pm

Obviously there are some heated reactions provoked by this short, and other films in the fest.

I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what horror is about, it's a very broad church, and for me it just as valid for the genre to express and explore actual fears and issues in our lives as it is to offer fantasy and escapism. What is the actual issue with Tokophobia? I could discern no actual misogyny in the short, no sense it was expressing a hatred of women. But it sure was unpleasant to watch, but actually it's surprisingly not that graphic in terms of what is actually onscreen. I wonder what reaction films like Cannibal Holocaust or Nekromantic would have received had they first been shown last weekend.

Of course we could have a set of rules on what makes a horror film, and have five days of zombie movies. Maybe that would please some people, but I wouldn't make the effort to attend.
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Re: Abortion short film

Post by The Soapmaker » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:32 pm

I wasn't particularly disturbed by Tokophobia and I wouldn't say it was out of place at FrightFest, but I did find it a surprising topic for a short film made by three guys.

I'm not saying it's a taboo subject that no man should dare to approach, but it is undoubtedly "sensitive". I wonder, whilst making the film did you run it by any women of your acquaintance to see what they thought about it?

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Re: Abortion short film

Post by Stephen with ph » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:22 pm

anoy yin barsted wrote:
The first time I read this, I read 'cork' as 'cock'!

Anyway, amusing mis-readings aside, I don’t really get your point Steven. Are you really comparing your unfortunate case of the runs to the misery and horror of a self-administered abortion?

I would like to imagine that no subject is beyond the province of a good film maker. Who is to say that your sad episode in the bog would not make for a good entry in the short film showcase? ‘Hell’, who is to say that, with the right director, a good script, and a solid performance from the lead, it wouldn’t make for a great opening or closing film? If there are any producers or suchlike perusing this forum, perhaps they will option your tale of toilet woe. However, I must admit that this is sadly unlikely. We will, however, always have a very funny post from you to enjoy. My favourite bit was when you compared your bum to the Japanese flag!

I hope your tummy is better soon though mate. I’ve had really bad diarrhoea a couple of times and I know that it is no joke. However, all hilarity about having a bad stomach aside, I’m still not sure of the thrust of your argument. Is it that certain subjects should not be potential for horror cinema? Or that you didn’t think that Tokophobia was any good?

Thing is, after having the bums a few times, like most people, I’m not sure if it is the stuff of horror cinema, as really it’s just an inconvenience at worst, and the stuff of amusing forum posts at best; so, of course you wouldn’t consider making a film about it, any more than you would spilling your cup of coffee or burning your toast. But a film about a woman resorting to such actions against her own body and progeny I found deeply uncomfortable, and also emotive.

Life or death: essence of horror. What do you say?
I’m not comparing my pebble-dashing nightmare to the experience of having an abortion.

My point is simply that a movie (or indeed any work of art) should be founded upon more than the intention of causing shock or offense. Whether that offensive spectacle be scatological or gynaecological is irrelevant – it’s a question of principle, not degree. I would apply this argument equally to torture porn, the latest work of Tom Six and the film Tokophobia.

For the record, let me state that I have nothing but unalloyed respect for anyone who, instead of sniping at filmmakers during the Q&A sessions or at the bar afterwards, actually finds the resolve to make their own movie and hold it up for public inspection. However, I do have a huge problem with the result of their labours in this case – specifically, its subject.

Yes, I was certainly upset by what I saw, and if that was the intention of the directors, then they should be congratulated. But that’s not much of an artistic ambition, is it?

I’d also take issue with your observation that this was “a film about a woman resorting to such actions against her own body and progeny” – it was, in fact, just a cinematic representation of some yucky stuff, entirely without context. At least “Embarrassing Bodies” makes a passing attempt at narrative.

“Life or death: essence of horror.” Undeniably true – but only when the otherwise gratuitous scenes of death, disembowelling and face-eating serve a higher narrative purpose, supported by subtext, social comment, metaphor or the odd gag. “The Woman” made for challenging viewing last year, but, in my opinion, amounted to so much more than just looking at nasty events on screen and feeling queasy.

However, on the plus side –I can confirm that I have now got my shit together.

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