CENTREFOLD / Astral projections: Inexplicably wierd film season dedicted to 21 years of the Fortean Times

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Indy Lifestyle Online
When there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? If Ghostbusters aren't answering the phone, Bob Rickard and Paul Sieveking, editors of the Fortean Times, the 'Journal of Strange Phenomena' celebrating its 21st birthday, will be glad you rang. Over the years, its pages have told of a cactus wreaking revenge on a man who used it for target practice, and a woman whose clothed body was mummified in vanilla and chocolate cake frosting. Sieveking himself has experienced a ladybird storm. His spirit fled his body too, in Richmond Park. With 17 per cent of readers believing in fairies, it's easy to envisage a flock of be-anoraked touch-me-nots wielding binoculars in Shropshire tree-houses. But banish your city-bred cynicism and snobbery - these guys have a sense of humour and a ruddy-cheeked elan, even if their declarations of pride - 'Where else can you find a range of data on crimes committed with a cucumber?' - often encourage the condescending quizzical sneer.

From tonight, the NFT are holding a prolonged birthday party for the FT, in the shape of nine films dealing in unexplained events. There are some gems here that you shouldn't miss: Werner Herzog's The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (also known as Every Man for Himself and God Against All), a kind of 19th-century ET that you'll find strong echoes of in the forthcoming Australian oddity Bad Boy Bubby; the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, an eerie allegory of the McCarthy era; the juicy Tremors, a real howler with underground worms straight out of Dune guzzling man, woman and beast; and most chillingly, the week ends with Vincent Price as the 17th-century witch-hunter, Matthew Hopkins, using the chaos of a civil war to smokescreen his sadistic practices in Witchfinder General.

To 24 June, NFT, South Bank, SE1 (071-928 3232). See Independents

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