In the realm of cinema, where storytelling knows no bounds, there exists a remarkable event that celebrates the strange, the atypical, and the utterly bizarre. Lyon L’Étrange Festival, an offshoot of the renowned L’Étrange Festival in Paris, has been enchanting audiences since its inception, offering a unique cinematic experience that defies convention and celebrates the extraordinary.
Born in 1993, the L’Étrange Festival was a response to the growing difficulty in accessing so-called “different” cinema, which often houses a treasure trove of quality works. The festival’s mission is clear: to bring these rare, sometimes unpublished, films to the forefront and present them to the public in the best way possible — on the big screen.
Lyon L’Étrange Festival, like its Parisian counterpart, is a genre film festival with a penchant for the surprising and the unconventional. The films showcased here span the entire spectrum of cinema, from fantasy and drama to horror, documentaries, and even children’s tales. It’s a cinematic feast that caters to all tastes, with a focus on the unique and the unexpected.
The festival’s programming is a delightful tapestry of thematic nights, director spotlights, and carte blanche presentations. Since 2004, it has also featured L’Étrange Musique, a series of concert evenings that complement the strange and extraordinary nature of the event. In keeping with the festival’s spirit, audiences are not only treated to cinematic and musical wonders but are also invited to explore exhibitions in various Parisian galleries, adding an extra layer of artistic richness to the experience.
Over the years, L’Étrange Festival has had the privilege of hosting esteemed guests from the world of cinema, including luminaries like Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Charlotte Rampling, Jan Kounen, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Gaspar Noé. These celebrated figures have added their own unique flair to the festival, enriching the experience for attendees.
L’Étrange Festival’s influence extends well beyond Paris. Since 1995, it has embarked on a journey to provincial towns such as Strasbourg, Caen, Nantes, and Lyon, where it has evolved into Collective Hallucinations. This expansion reflects the enduring appeal of the festival’s vision, one that thrives on celebrating the unconventional and pushing the boundaries of cinematic storytelling.
Lyon L’Étrange Festival is a testament to the power of cinema to surprise, provoke, and inspire. It’s a celebration of the strange, the unexpected, and the extraordinary that reminds us of the endless possibilities of storytelling. In Lyon, as in Paris, L’Étrange Festival invites you to step into a world where the weird and the wonderful reign supreme, where cinema is an adventure, and where the boundaries of reality are meant to be challenged and explored.