The 2009 Japanese film Grotesque raises the bar ridiculously high for captivity / torture tales, but to focus on that aspect solely would ignore the fact that it's also a finely crafted and well-acted film, and in amidst the absolutely unflinching dismemberment and psychological sadism, there is also allegorical purpose, and a story gets told. What if every moment of a budding romance, every test you would ever submit to, were suddenly and brutally dictated by a sexual sadist, with surgical exactitude, no anesthesia on hand, and more than a few pieces missing from his soul? Wanna know? See this film. San Francisco's Roxie Cinema and the 2010 Another Hole in the Head Festival give you one more chance, this Thursday, 7/22 @ 5 p.m. Then you can come home, stare blankly at the wall, and wait for my radio show to begin—don't even think about eating. My recommendation on Grotesque is to NOT WATCH THE TRAILER online (like at that link for instance) as it gives way too much away.
For non-Bay Area dwellers or visitors, both of these films are coming soon on Region 1 DVD.
Another "film to see" at this year's festival was Srđjan Spasojević's A Serbian Film (screened earlier this month on 7/8 & 7/10), acutely controversial for its content (I've yet to see it, but watch the trailer at that link for a jarring thrill—the lack of subtitles won't matter.) A Serbian Film is up a whopping 605% this week on the IMDb, if that's any timely indicator of its quality and/or appeal.