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WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/24/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Antiporno (2017): A female artist/novelist degrades her submissive assistant, or at least that’s what seems to be going on… Nikkatsu studios revived their 1970s/80s “roman porno” (i.e. softcore erotic film) franchise recently, and 366-fave ‘s subversive, experimental take on the subgenre looks like a minor international breakout hit. Nikkatsu English-language page for Antiporno.

NEW ON DVD:

Jabberwocky (1977): A hapless medieval cooper is thrust into the role of knight to defend his town from the rampaging Jabberwocky. Though directed by  and starring , original ads warned it was “definitely NOT a Python film.” Buy Jabberwocky.

Lemon (2017): An unsuccessful, socially-inept jerk actor loses his blind girlfriend and finds a new interracial relationship in this indie comedy. Probably more in the quirky vein, but at least one critic called it “deeply weird.” Buy Lemon.

Liquid Sky (1982): Read our review! Vinegar Syndrome is making a big deal out of this long out-of-print cult classic about aliens who get high off hormones released during human orgasms. For now, a limited edition of 3000 DVD/Blu-ray units is only available for order via the Vinegar Syndrome website.

“Mystery Science Theater: Volume XXXIX”: What looks to be the final box set release of the original series includes Mamie van Doren in Girls Town, ‘s b-movie mistake The Amazing Transparent Man, and ‘s colorful (and not bad) spy thriller Danger: Diabolik, which served as the series finale. Since Shout! Factory could not obtain rights for a fourth film, they released the host segments from the eleven remaining unreleased episodes on a separate disk entitled “Satellite Dishes.” Buy “Mystery Science Theater: Volume XXXIX”.

Porco Rosso (1992): Read our review. Gkids continues with their Studio Ghibli re-releases with this tale of a pig pilot in an alternate WWI setting. Buy Porco Rosso.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017): Read our review. Our called Luc Besson‘s latest attempt to recapture the magic of The Fifth Element “all frosting, no cake.” Buy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

“Fritz Lang: The Silent Films“: Includes Die Nibelungen (1924), Spies (1928), Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), Destiny (1921), The Spiders (1919), Woman in the Moon (1929), Four Around the Woman (1921), Harakiri (1919), The Wandering Shadow (1920), The Plague of Florence (1919), and of course the Certified Weird classic Metropolis (1927), with numerous documentaries spread across the 12 discs. An expensive way to own Metropolis, but a great Christmas present for the cinephile in your life. Buy “Fritz Lang The Silent Films”.

Jabberwocky (1977): See description in DVD above. Criterion Collection extras include a new documentary and interviews. Buy Jabberwocky [Blu-ray].

Liquid Sky (1982): See description in DVD above. Don’t worry, if you can’t afford a limited edition, there’s a regular release (which looks like it will be the same, but without the specially commissioned “dayglo” designer cover) scheduled for 2018. Vinegar Syndrome website.

Porco Rosso (1992): See description in DVD above. Buy Porco Rosso [Blu-ray].

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017): See description in DVD above. Buy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets [Blu-ray].

SPECIAL SCREENINGS (Nov. 26, 27 & 29):

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004): Read the Certified Weird entry! GKids celebrates their acquisition of the catalog with national screenings of this anime steampunk fairy tale. Dubbed on the 26th and 29th, subtitled on the 27th. Search for a screening near you.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

What we’re thankful for next week: Alfred Eaker is thankful for the mirrored climax of The Lady from Shanghai; Giles Edwards is thankful he’s not a character in ‘s rape-centered morality play The Baby of Mâcon; G. Smalley is thankful for the nearly incomprehensible plot (and title) of the subirban teen satire The Chumscrubber; and Pete Trbovich is thankful for a second chance to listen to The Abominable Dr. Phibes‘ Clockwork Orchestra.

Normally, we’d be thankful for all the strange searches that we see in our weekly quest to find the Weirdest Search Terms of the Week, but we have to admit we’re a bit offended by registering a hit for “disgusting movie list the holy mountain” (neither the List nor Mountain are “disgusting,” fella). We are thankful, we suppose, to still be registering hits for our old friend “friends boring strangers” after all these years (and we’re not the only ones…) Although this week was light in terms of genuinely bizarre searches, we’re still thankful that we can name “www.lola boy an girl iwank.com” as our Weirdest Search Term of the Week. (That domain is still unregistered, by the way).

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: Baby of Macon (next week!); The Chumscrubber (next week!); One Eyed Monster; Save the Green Planet; Crimewave (d. Sam Raimi); The Annunciation (1984); Funeral Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/17/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

NEW ON DVD:

The Last Laugh (1924): An aging doorman is crushed when he’s demoted. A masterpiece of from the master, , out from Kino with supplements including a new score by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. Buy The Last Laugh.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Funeral Parade of Roses (1969): A psychedelic portrait of drag queens in Tokyo’s gay underground in the late 1960s. Long officially unavailable in the U.S., this legendary experimental film (that’s been sitting in our reader-suggested queue) is now out on Blu-ray from Japanese resurrectionists Cinelicious Pics (who brought us the even rarer Belladonna of Sadness last year). Buy Funeral Parade of Roses [Blu-ray].

The Last Laugh (1924): See description in DVD above. Buy The Last Laugh [Blu-ray].

SPECIAL SCREENINGS (Nov. 18 & 19):

The Exterminating Angel: Not the Certified Weird classic, but rather Thomas Adès’ new opera based on the film. It’s being simulcast from the Metropolitan Opera to theaters around the country live on the 18th, with a recorded encore the following night. These live opera broadcasts get surprisingly broad distribution, so if you’re interested it’s worth checking Fathom Entertainment’s site to see if a theater near you is hosting a screening.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week begins with Alfred Eaker bringing the downbeat, underssen BBC biopic Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon to your attention. Pete Trbovich then dives into the reader-suggested review queue for a look at a lighter, dumber offering: Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies. Finally, G. Smalley finishes off the week coverage of Kiki’s Delivery Service (for completists) and our first look at ‘ highly-anticipated The Killing of a Sacred Deer (now in select theaters). That should keep you occupied, as we prepare the holidays and the year-end critics’ crunch…

Now it’s time for our weekly survey of weird search terms that brought visitors to the site, a feature we quite logically call “Weirdest Search Terms of the Week.” First up is the request for “the movie where its narrated by a cat who is a person who lives with awoman with afringe”—sorry, no clue on that one. Next we noted “drawing palace bestiality” (yuck, probably) and “russian teens low bird” (???). For our official choice for Weirdest Search Term of the Week, we’ll go with the Shakespearean voyeurism of “watcheth the mother from the under table.” It’s sort of sounds like an episode of “if 17th century Puritans had Google…”

Here’s how the ridiculously-long-and-still-growing reader-suggested review queue now stands: Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (next week!); One Eyed Monster; Save the Green Planet; Crimewave (d. Sam Raimi); The Annunciation (1984); Funeral Parade of Roses; Bad Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/10/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS – AFI Fest  (Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 9-16):

The American Film Institute’s official film festival is the last stop on the yearly festival circuit, so you’re unlikely to see many films debuting there (they do get some films technically making their first appearance in the U.S., but the Toronto Film Festival steals most of their first-release thunder). Some weird-ish festival hits are taking a final bow there: and ‘s UFO cult mindbender The Endless, and ‘s poliziotteschi tribute Let the Corpses Tan, and s soon-to-be merman hit The Shape of Water. In revivals, this year AFI celebrates  with a slate of twelve films (including the Certified Weird 3 Women). You can also catch a rare screening of the raw and controversial 1967 mental hospital exposé  Titicut Follies. Here are a few lesser arthouse-style titles of potential weird interest that we failed to highlight when they played the crowded TIFF slate:

  • Foxtrot – An Israeli father grieves for his dead soldier son in a film structured as an absurdist triptych. Screens Nov. 14 & 15.
  • On Body and Soul – Two slaughterhouse workers find that they share a common dream (literally—they each have the exact same dream night after night). Nov. 12 & 15.
  • Winter Brothers – Two brothers struggle with alternate perceptions of reality in a lonely Danish mining town.  Also Nov. 12 & 15.

AFI Fest homepage.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Mandy (201?): stars as “a broken and haunted man [who] hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life” in what producers promise will be a “surrealist, heavy-metal-soaked story of battle axes and demon bikers.” That sounds cool, but the kicker is that it’s being directed by promising stylist , who hasn’t been seen sighted his 2010 Certified Weird debut Beyond the Black Rainbow. Deadline broke the story.

NEW ON DVD:

The Untamed (2016): Erotic Mexican horror about an unhappy marriage and some sort of creature in the woods. It made a minor splash, but we hope it’s not too tame. Buy The Untamed.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:`

The Untamed (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy The Untamed [Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

NEPOTISM CORNER:

PA Days: A ‘Guy with a Website’ Is Put to Work on the Film Set of ‘Pay Day’” –  Our own Gregory J. Smalley volunteered as a production assistant (and was pressed into duty as an extra) on the set of the upcoming (not weird) microbudget hostage drama Payday (2018), then wrote about the experience—which turned into a meditation on the relationship between critic and filmmaker. Please read it at PopMatters.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 11/3/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS – Ithaka Fantastik Festival (Ithaka, NY 11/3-11/12):

For a film festival that’s held in the middle of nowhere—apologies to Cornell grads if that sounds like a slight—Ithaka Fantastik has assembled a fine slate of arty genre films. Most of them are second-runs (or, if you prefer, “best ofs”) from Fantasia or Fantastic Fest: we recognized The Endless, Vidar the Vampire (screening here as Vampyr Vidar), Let the Corpses Tan, November, Top Knot Detective, Lowlife, and Sequence Break. We did note one brand new title of interest:

  • Snowflake – Hired assassins in Berlin fight over a magical screenplay that allows them to rewrite the story as they go. Screens Nov. 10.

There will also be a screening of the restored Suspiria and, more impressively, a concert version of ‘s 1930 Surrealist experiment Blood of a Poet, with a new live score performed by Anna Coogan.

Ithaka Fantastik Festival home page.

NEW ON DVD:

Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016): It sounds like a starting point for a  movie: 500 silent films are discovered in a vault under a hockey rink in a town near the Arctic Circle. This is more of a straight documentary than the cinematic poems is best known for, but it still promises to uncover amazing oeneric images from the past. Buy Dawson City: Frozen Time

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016): See description in DVD above. Buy Dawson City: Frozen Time [Blu-ray].

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

YOU CITE US! YOU REALLY CITE US!:

Science Fiction Double Feature: The Science Fiction Film as Cult Text” – Students using this text to study science fiction films may note our Zardoz review is cited in support of the proposition that “some found the film’s subversive narrative an effective commentary on the culture of the time and a somewhat visionary, if ‘weird,’ sci-fi film that broke away from conventional morality…” Cool, but not as cool as the following citation in

Graph Embedding for Pattern Analysis” – Here, the List is used to identify “‘horizontal anomalies’ based on the list of weirdest movies…” The resulting HOAD score outperforms the baseline algorithm, just as we might have predicted, if we had the slightest idea what the authors were talking about. Still, we’re proud of our small role in refining new algorithms for pattern analysis. That’s why we started this project, after all.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

We’re gonna make it kind of spooky next week as Halloween dawns, starting with Alfred Eaker‘s take on the Puritan horror of The Witch (plus maybe a bonus film). G. Smalley chips in with reviews of Dario Argento‘s psychic insect horror Phenomena (1985), then breaks the tension with ‘s 2007 quirkfest The Darjeeling Limited. Alex Kittle brings us back on point with a look at the Criterion Collection’s release of the mermaid horror-musical The Lure. Be sure to take all your meds before reading these pages next week, things will get weird.

Things were weird last week, too—heck, things are weird here every week. To prove it, we bring you a weekly survey of Weirdest Search Terms that brought visitors to the site. This week we noticed “barazil sax dabal move donlowd.” The guy probably meant to search for “Brazil sex devil movies,” which is only a little less weird than the nonsense he actually ended up typing. More coherent, but no less weird, was the search for “alien movie spits mother head.” For our official Weirdest Search Term of the Week we selected “wife anotherman sex not husband canvas sex videos.” We like the fact that the searcher decided “wife anotherman sex” might not be clear enough so he added “not husband” for clarification, then gave it an additional wrapping of weirdness by further specifying he wanted “canvas sex” (?) videos.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: Darjeeling Limited (next week!); One Eyed Monster; Save the Green Planet; Crimewave (d. Sam Raimi); The Annunciation (1984); Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/27/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Mansfield 66/67 (2017): Read our review. Catch this campy experimental documentary about the relationship between blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield and Satanist huckster Anton LaVey this week in LA, with limited screenings across the country to follow. Mansfield 66/67 official site.

VIDEO-ON-DEMAND EXCLUSIVES:

Blood Dynasty (2017): A lesbian vampire haunts a woman in a motel. The third in a series of minimalist “Irina” films (we haven’t seen the other two) heavily influenced by the erotic vampire films of   and . Rent Blood Dynasty.

FILM FESTIVALS – Video Nasty Film Festival (Seattle, WA, Oct. 29):

Disclaimer: served as a judge for this event. That said, he can give you a solid firsthand recommendation: although all of the selected shorts are watchable (with varying levels of “nastyness”), C.J. Gardella’s “Elegy” is the most promising gem here, a ian 20-minute surreal horror featuring a drowned corpse that should weird you out just in time for Halloween. Video Nasty festival at Film Freeway.

NEW ON DVD:

Castle in the Sky (1986): Read our review. GKIDS continues its Studio Ghibli re-release schedule with this flying machine fantasy from crossover anime master . Buy Castle in the Sky.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Castle in the Sky (1986): See description in DVD above. Buy Castle in the Sky [Blu-ray].

DVR ALERT!:

Turner Classic Movies: TCM’s October lineup includes several Certified Weird features, screened commercial-free. This week, the silent Satanic semi-doc Häxan (1922) gets its slot at the witching hour, midnight Eastern Standard Time (Oct 29 into Oct 30). For lots of other horror offerings of less Certified weird interest, check your local listings or see the entire schedule at Thought Catalog.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

Next week, Alfred Eaker will bring you something Halloween-y and as yet undetermined. In other mildly-appropriate to the season news, Giles Edwards looks at the experimental documentary Mansfield 66/67 (about blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield’s flirtation with Anton La Vey’s Church of Satan). Then it’s on to two arthouse classics, as G. Smalley tackles Wim Wenders’ angels-on-Earth experiment Wings of Desire (from the reader-suggested queue) and busy Giles returns to enshrine readers’ choice winner Last Year at Marienbad.

Google was uncharacteristically subdued and normal this week, making it hard for us to pick a Weirdest Search Term of the Week. Nonetheless, we’ll share with you the very slightly bizarre searches we did encounter. First up is “1990s man eats people in his room” (sorry, but we did warn you these queries weren’t going to be that weird). We do wonder whether the searcher was able to come up with ten titles for “top ten italian vintage mature womens sex with mens in animal farm house movies” (he should be happy with one result, we think). In a very slim week for the weird, it’s the noun-salad “womans feet sticking out,morgue, sheet,blob, sand, images” that takes the award for Weirdest Search Term of the Week. Acceptable, but the Googlers out there really need to step up their “crazy” game.

Here’s how the ridiculously-long reader-suggested review queue now stands: Wings of Desire (next week!); Last Year in Marienbad (next week!); One Eyed Monster; Save the Green Planet; Crimewave (d. Sam Continue reading WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 10/20/2017

Our weekly look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available at the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017): ‘ latest reunites him with The Lobsters , playing a cardiologist who befriends a 16-year old boy. Much anticipated, and finally here (well, at least it’s in selected U.S. cities). The Killing of a Sacred Deer official site.

Never Here (2017): An artist whose work violates others’ privacy finds herself pretending to be a witness to a murder while slowly losing her mind. Reviews were mixed but generally positive, and the poster describes it as “ian,” but the main press coverage has revolved around the fact that it’s the last film appearance for the late Sam Shepard. No official site found.

IN DEVELOPMENT:

Chained for Life (est. 2018): The title is a reference to (although not a remake of) a 1952 exploitation film starring conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton (who also appeared in Freaks). We found this one in a casting call listing looking for female twins, a giant, a dwarf, an amputee, and an actor with Down syndrome. The listing explains it’s about “freaks” cast in a movie who “swipe the film’s camera equipment after-hours and make their own film.” Sounds like an exploitation-era throwback, but we note it’s the upcoming sophomore feature of Aaron Schimberg, whose praised but little-seen debut Go Down Death earned comparisons to the work of . Chained for Life casting call (closed) at Backstage.

NEW ON DVD:

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004): Read the Certified Weird entry! GKIDS acquired the license to all of ‘s films from Disney and is re-releasing this steampunk/fantasy along with a number of others this week. Buy Howl’s Moving Castle [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989): A teenage witch starts her own delivery-by-broomstick service. Part of GKIDS’ wave of Miyaki reissues (see also Howl’s Moving Castle). Buy Kiki’s Delivery Service [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

My Neighbor Totoro (1988): Read our review. Miyazki’s first crossover hit in America is about an (imaginary?) magical childhood friend. Buy My Neighbor Totoro [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Ponyo (2008): Read our capsule review. Japan’s environmentalist take on “The Little Mermaid,” full of Miyazaki’s childlike magical realism. Buy Ponyo [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Princess Mononoke (1997): A warrior tries to intercede in a war between a mining colony and followers of a forest god. Typical Miyazki fantasy mixed with environmental themes. Buy Princess Mononoke [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Spirited Away (2001): Read the Certified Weird entry! Miyaki’s most popular and acclaimed movie, about a little girl lost in the spirit world, may also be his weirdest. Buy Spirited Away [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992): Read our review. This Criterion Collection edition of the prequel to “” repeats a lot of material available on other releases (particularly the “Entire Mystery” box set), but does have exclusive new interviews with actress  and composer Angelo Badalamenti. Buy Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

“Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection”: A set of 15 of ‘s greatest hits, including, of course, the Certified Weird Vertigo (1958), along with two discs with select episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Obviously a big-ticket item, but at a list price of $85, it actually comes out to a bargain at $5 per disc. Buy “Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection”.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004): See description in DVD above. All the GKIDS Miyazaki releases are available in dual format combo packs only. Buy Howl’s Moving Castle [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989): See description in DVD above. Buy Kiki’s Delivery Service [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

My Neighbor Totoro (1988): See description in DVD above. Buy My Neighbor Totoro [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Ponyo (2008): See description in DVD above. Buy Ponyo [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Princess Mononoke (1997): See description in DVD above. Buy Princess Mononoke [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Spirited Away (2001): See description in DVD above. Buy Spirited Away [DVD/Blu-ray combo].

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992): See description in DVD above. Buy Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me [Blu-ray].

The Voice of the Moon (1990): An escaped mental patient (Roberto Benigni)  ‘s final movie never received North American distribution and has remained a largely unseen curiosity in his filmography; Arrow Academy tries to reverse that perception with this 2-disc special Blu-ray. Buy The Voice of the Moon [Blu-ray].

DVR ALERT!:

Turner Classic Movies: TCM’s October lineup includes several Certified Weird features, screened commercial-free. If you still have cable or satellite and a big pot of coffee, you can check out a double feature of Eyes Without a Face and Kwaidan overnight on Monday (heading into Tuesday) starting at 2:00 AM EST. Wednesday brings us Carnival of Souls at 8:00 PM. Check your local listings or see the entire schedule at Thought Catalog.

CERTIFIED WEIRD (AND OTHER) REPERTORY SCREENINGS:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). We won’t list all the screenings of this audience-participation classic separately. You can use this page to find a screening near you.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.