Ah, nihilism, that bleak perspective that celebrates the pointlessness of life and denies the very existence of truth and reason — a delicious psychic void wherein festers a limitless well of perversity, hopelessness and destructive impulse. Nihilism is a fascinating exercise in degradation, one really better classified as a disorder than a philosophy, and what better way to explore and celebrate such a vile vacuum then with the 13th edition of the Nihilist International Film Festival? Festival director Elisha Shapiro describes this weird annual phenomenon as “13 years of hilariously offensive short films — I really thought we would have caused the Rapture by now. Guess there's no downside to mocking all that's holy.” The program, 120 minutes of just-for-the-hell-of-it, rip-roaring, gut-wrenching, taboo-busting celluloid strangeness, never fails to flabbergast. While specifics are characteristically being withheld, this year's entries range “from troubling to hilarious, profound to completely silly. Pretty much something for everyone. Except children and clergy.” Previous titles such as Finger Me to Death, Thy Kill Be Done and Inanimate Pornography are tantalizingly illustrative of what one can expect. Proceed with caution. Oh, and, if you arrive at 7:45 toting your idiot box, you may participate in annual cathode ray benediction ceremony “the Blessing of the Televisions.” Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park; Fri. Dec. 7, 8 p.m. $5 suggested donation. (213) 484-8846, nihilists.net.

Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m., 2012

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