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By Jeremy Knox | July 6, 2007

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As usual Fantasia was a blast. I came in a few minutes early and mingled with some familiar faces. There was Dahlia, my reference guide to everything Asian, whom I feel blessed to know because without her I’d be sometimes lost. I also saw Mitch Davis and King-wei Chu, two of the festival guys; and of course the pretty and talented Victoria Sanchez.

They opened around 7pm with “”Tekkon Kinkreet” a Japanese anime directed by Micheal Arias and written by Anthony Weintraub based on the manga by Taiyo Matsumoto. Don’t let it fool you though; except for a smattering of English names, the film isn’t “”Americanized” in the least bit. It’s 100% Japanese. In fact, Shinji Kimura, who worked on “”My Neighbour Toroto”, did the art direction.

After three years of coming here I’ve noticed that the fest always opens with a film that sharply defines the vast gap between Eastern and Western cinema. True Asian films have a kind of purity that Western films do not. I’m not saying they’re better exactly, only that they don’t erect a wall between themselves and the audience. They’re very naked when they come to you, there’s no pretense or posturing. Tekkon is like that. Sometimes it meanders, sometimes it abruptly changes direction, it’s not trying to constantly entertain but rather it simply exists and demands nothing more than you watch. It’s hard to explain WHY this film works since, like it or not, we have had our brains addled with the constant stimuli and simplistic stories of Star Wars and Die Hard; but it does work and it works well. Me and Dahlia spent almost half an hour discussing the themes and ideas of the film after it was over, it’s just that sort of movie. I should have a review up soon.

I didn’t stay for the second film of the night or the after party because I was just dead f*****g tired. I was called into my other job on an emergency the night before and only got a few hours sleep before the fest. Driving an hour home at 3am with a few beers in me would NOT have been a good idea. I was so wasted when I got home at 11pm that I actually stumbled back down the stairs as I was fumbling for my house keys because I couldn’t co-ordinate that whole bipedal balancing thing anymore. No worries however, there will be plenty of drinking and mingling and stories about that in the weeks to come after I get about a good 8 hours of quality coma.

Anyway, it’s just awesome to see how many people showed up. The line was so long that it went right around the block, and it’s one long a*s block.

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For Day 2 (the 6th of July) I’m gonna go see The Signal and Flight of The Living Dead. Be there or be square!

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  1. Mark Bell says:

    I haven’t been to Fantasia since ’99, but man is it a great festival in a freakishly clean and polite city. I remember road raging in my car because everyone was so polite, and would let people on bicycles just dart in and out of traffic and… that s**t was grounds to get run over in my book. People just merged without signals, all nice to each other, no honking and I had a mental breakdown. I thought the entire city was cutting me off…

  2. Felix says:

    “Plane Dead” or “Flight of the Living Dead” was a good zombie flick. I saw it last week.

    “She’s gumming me to death!”

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