It’s Fantasia time yet again. For those of you not familiar with this Montreal film festival, it’s basically three weeks of nonstop Asian, European and occasionally American genre films (Horror, Sci-fi, etc…) that runs between July 5th and July 23rd, 2007. One thing that I like about his particular festival is that most of the stuff they have playing tends to be at the forefront of coolness. More often than not, if you hear lots of buzz about an Asian movie that everyone thinks is the next “Old Boy” or “Ichi The Killer,” chances are that it played here six months before a single soul ever knew it existed. Happened with Takashi Miike films, happened with “The Ring,” and I can guarantee you that it’ll happen again. No boring a*s arthouse navel gazing student films as filler here.
And, as with the last few years, the old Jer-bear is here to walk you guys through it. Film Threat’s got a blog so I’ll be updating on my whereabouts more often and keeping you in the know. I’ll also try and take some pictures and s**t like I always mean to do… and never do, but this time I promise that I’ll promise to try.
Okey dokey! So let’s stop all this foreplay and get straight to the puss… I mean the movies. In no real order, here are the films that I’m most looking forward to seeing:
Hosted by Uwe Boll
From the Blitzkrieg to the Porsche 911, Germans have always made life more exciting (In the way that getting shot at is exciting) Uwe Boll is no exception. I guess he’s having the world premiere in Quebec because he feels that it’s safe to do so here. After all, the last time that French people came up against Germans it didn’t go too well for the French. Or as Kaiser Wilhelm used to say: “Give me a voman who truly loves beer, and I vill conquer zee vorld!!!”
However, I have a confession to make. It’s a horrible, horrible thing in the eyes of my peers but… I love Uwe Boll. I really, seriously do. Now, before you start burning me in effigy, let me explain why. You see, I love him in the same way that people love Bialystock and Bloom from “The Producers.” Boll gets away with s**t that makes most indie guys have epileptic fits of jealousy; getting 7 to 25 million dollar budgets to spend on crap for example. As a filmmaker, he’s terrible. As a human being though, he’s the greatest man who ever lived since Eric “Otter” Stratton, and maybe even Jesus. No wait, screw that… he’s better than Jesus, that barefoot p***y pacifist. Boll faces his critics and beats the s**t out of them. I admire that in a man.
Anyway, yeah… uh… he made this movie called “Postal,” it’s about something or other. Probably postal workers or some such, I dunno… I guess you should see it. I’m going to try to be there even though it’ll be a tough day for me because this isn’t just a movie; this will be a date which will live down in infamy for generations to come.
Hosted by Director Chookiat Sakweerakul
Thai films are really catching up to their Japanese, Chinese and Korean counterparts. Most of you probably haven’t seen Thai films other than the Tony Jaa stuff (if that) so let me tell you that they don’t need to have a guy doing back flips while giving himself a b*****b like in “Ong-bak” to be as inventive, crazed and vibrant as their neighbors’ work.
It’s hard to comment on a film before you’ve seen it since all you really have to go on is a premise and a trailer, but hot damn… look at the trailer. The premise is likewise attention grabbing. A recently unemployed man gets a phone call telling him that he’ll be awarded 2.7 million dollars if he does 13 tasks. First one: Kill a fly, Second one: Make a child cry… From what I can tell it gets worse from then on. This is something I totally want to see.
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
With movies like “Behind The Mask” and “The Roost,” the North American horror genre is slowly taking baby steps out of the rut it’s been in for the last few years. If this film lives up to what it promises, about a collective of Leopold & Loeb college student types who want to commit murder as art in the hopes of getting grant money, I might start believing that there’s actually hope yet.
Director: Robinson Devor
This is the big time controversial documentary that made such a hubbub at Sundance. It’s not hard to see why, since it’s essentially about horsefucking. However, “Crash” (the David Cronenberg film, not the going-to-be-forgotten-faster-than-dances-with-wolves Oscar winner.) deals with people sexually attracted to car crashes. Yet that last one was quite good despite the subject matter. It will be interesting to see if the makers of “Zoo” can pull of the same trick.
Director: Oxide Pang
Oxide Pang, sans brother Danny, has directed this little trip through the personal hell of a schizophrenic woman who can’t get over her last boyfriend, and then meets a new man with an uncanny resemblance to her ex.
Pang is the type of filmmaker with an amazing visual style, however he always tries to push it further than may be wise and the scenery occasionally outruns the story. The trailer looks badass, but I’ll be eager to see if there’s more here than eye candy.
Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
After a string a suicides, where the victims slashed themselves with a razor in their sleep, a veteran police officer recruits a psychic to track down their killer in the world of dreams.
It sounds like “Nightmare on Elm Street” meets “The Cell,” but I simply can’t believe that the director of “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” could make something so mundane. Besides, the trailer just doesn’t support the idea that this is just some lame a*s copy of those two films. From what I hear, this is a lot more screwed up than I can probably imagine.
Check out more of Jeremy’s Fantasia picks in Part Two of Film Threat’s 2007 Fantasia Film Festival Preview>>>