Friday, June 29, 2007

2nd Wave of Fantastic Fest Titles Announced

Check out the official Fantastic Fest website for a list of the next round of confirmed shorts and features. We are bouncing with excitement about how the 2007 line-up is shaping up and simply cannot wait to ignite your eyeballs with this volatile Molotov cocktail of films. Plus, off the record, we have confirmations of several truly amazing titles and events that we will not be able to announce until right before the festival. Expect more strange, wonderful and occasionally horrific cinematic treats in the months to come.

Please take a few minutes to scan through the new roster of features and shorts and tell your friends that may not already know: Fantastic Fest is the ONLY place a true movie geek is going to want to be from September 20-27. If you are considering it, you should commit now. First, because there are only a limited number of badges available and we will almost certainly sell out before the festival. Also, as our current badge holders can attest, we have been offering up a vast array of special events that are available exclusively to Fantastic Fest attendees...the Transformers opening night with Robosaurus live, the Eli Roth premiere of Hostel and the Patton Oswalt sneak of Ratatouille to name just a few. We'll have more of these as the summer marches on and to be eligible for tickets, you must be a confirmed Fantastic Fest badge holder.

Below is a brief summary of some of the newly confirmed titles:

Blood, Boobs and Beast: John Paul Kinhart's fascinating documentary on the criminally unsung hero of the video generation, Baltimore gore auteur Don Dohler.

Crazy Thunder Road:
An incredibly rare screening of this legendary sought-after violent punk biker masterpiece from revered filmmaker/brainmelter Sogo Ishii!

Five Across the Eyes: On their way home from a high school football game, five girls accidentally hit a parked car and decide to flee from the scene. As the driver of the damaged SUV begins one terrifying assault after another, the five girls will lose their innocence and possibly their lives in this brutal and shocking thrill ride.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Winner: 2007 Japanese Academy Award: Best Animated Film. Jaw-droppingly beautiful animation accentuates this funny, charming story of a vivacious high-school tomboy who inadvertently masters the art of time travel.

La Hora Fria:This fascinating new twist on the sci-fi genre is also loaded with plenty of horror thrills. La Hora Fria has been getting rave reviews on the European Melies Fantasy Film Festival circuit.

La Belle Bete (The Beautiful Beast):
A love triangle between a mother, son and daughter, LA BELLE BETE (THE BEAUTIFUL BEAST) is a dark drama on the themes of jealousy, vanity, emotional incest and, finally, murder.

Offscreen: Winner: Young Cinema Award: 2006 Venice Film Festival. Nicolas Bro reigns supreme in the role of Nicolas Bro – a man intent on making a film about himself. His friend Christoffer Boe lends him a camera and tells him to record everything, a remark which Bro takes a little too literally. If all you know about Danish cinema is Lars Von Trier, prepare yourself for a whole new breed of Danes.

Postal: Uwe Boll live in person! A completely unhinged assault of a movie, touching on terrorism, anger management issues, religious cults, Nazi-conspiracies and full-frontal Dave Foley nudity. Guaranteed to offend.

Spiral: 2006 Fantastic Fest fave Adam Green returns with his new film, a taut, Hitchcockian thriller about a dysfuctional office worker living out a possibly homicidal fantasy alter ego.

Summer Scars: From Last Horror Movie director Julian Richards. When six fourteen year old kids truant school to play in the woods they are befriended by a drifter (Howarth) whose behaviour becomes increasingly abusive. Held hostage in their den they are forced to embrace the dark side of human nature if they are going to survive the ordeal.

Uncle's Paradise:
Terrified of falling asleep, Takashi desperately gulps caffeine drinks and seduces every woman in sight. To heal him, his nephew Haruo must go on a trip to the underworld, guided by giant squid... Imaoka balances the subtle portrayal of human relationships with a crackling firework of feverish Japanese absurdity.

Wolfhound: The scale of the project for Wolfhound is unprecedented in post-Soviet cinema. No previous movie in the fantasy genre has been made in Russia, and certainly nothing based on national culture and history. Wolfhound marks not only the first 'Slavic fantasy' in Russian film production, but also the introduction of a new kind of positive hero.

Zibahkhana (Hell's Ground): A collaboration between Pakistani director Omar Ali Khan and British producer Pete Tombs (author of the "Mondo Macabro" book on international horror cinema), Zibahkhana is the first modern horror film to be shot in Pakistan. In the spirit of the EC horror comics of old, the film tells the story of five teens who get lost on their way to a rock concert, are menaced by flesh eating mutations and then fall into the clutches of a family of backwoods killers.

The next wave of titles will be announce on July 15. Check back again soon!

Dead Channels Goes Postal

On Thursday August 9, 2007, Uwe Boll will attend Dead Channels: the San Francisco Festival of Fantastic Film to present the US premiere of the unrated director's cut of Postal.

The latest film from the notorious director (and internet-critic boxing sensation) defies his critic's expectations - it's a terrific movie. We are delighted to be able to present this special presentation at the Festival. The Q&A following the premiere promises to be lively.

Postal delivers exactly what it promises: it's a laugh-out-loud, blacker-than-pitch anarchic satire that lines up our sacred cows and slaughters them. A long-lived cult following is virtually guaranteed for this hypnotically entertaining cinematic Molotov cocktail.

Boll's soon-to-be controversial 13th feature is an outrageously politically incorrect roller-coaster ride, with scenarios ripped screaming from the headlines - and something to offend everyone.

Uncle Dave (Foley from The Kids in the Hall and Newsradio) leads a Doomsday Cult whose fund-raising efforts run afoul of Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban - currently headquartered behind a convenience store. Both factions target a shipment of International Superstar Verne Troyer's Krotchy dolls. Elsewhere, Postal Dude is having a really bad day. He catches his morbidly obese wife rocking the trailer with their hillbilly landlord and all Hell breaks loose.

The veteran ensemble cast (including a brilliant cameo by the director as himself) sinks their collective teeth into the tastelessly hilarious script and go for broke. Boll expertly maintains the frantic pacing necessary to handle the vast array of jaw-dropping material onscreen. The non-stop action and creative set-pieces also serve to showcase his directorial skills, technical control and stylistic flair. And Postal is much smarter than it first appears - which never hurts.

- Bruce Fletcher - Dead Channels: the San Francisco Festival of Fantastic Film

2007 Fantasia Fest Lineup announced

Montreal, June 26th, 2007 – Abandon all hope for cinematic conventionality, ye who enter here. Fantasia is back to throttle Montreal with three weeks of celluloid deliria. As programmers, the most rewarding aspect of what we do is watching the films we hunt down and fall in love with come to life in front of an audience. That shared supersonic spark of communal discovery, shock, enlightenment, horror, joy, outrage, arousal, whatever it may be, that collective rush of experiencing something so special and intense with a roomful of strangers, is what makes festivals like ours (or any!) so exciting.

We are ridiculously proud of this year’s lineup, and we can’t wait to get high off the energy when the lights go down. The flickering floodgates are about to explode with multitudes of extraordinary new talents - keep your eyes on Won Shin-yeon, Jim Mickle, Chookiat Sakweerakul, Chris Gorak and Ken Takahashi, to name a few - alongside fresh works from the likes of Wisit Sasanatieng, Larry Fessenden, Shinya Tsukamoto, Ken Russell, Johnnie To, Ryoo Seung-wan, Lloyd Kaufman, Francois Miron, Kim Ki-Duk, Anders Thomas Jensen, Bill Plympton, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Glenn Standring, Herman Yau, Maurice Deveraux and Oxide Pang, among many others. Not to mention, two from Sion Sono, two from Shusuke Kaneko, two from Minoru Kawasaki… and three from Takashi Miike!

And then there are the spotlights. Distressingly relevant to our times is one we call HELL IS A CITY: THE CINEMA OF URBAN APOCALYPSE – a series of 5 very different films whose narratives depict the moment that society falls apart… and the horrors that ensue.

On the retro side, RUSSIAN FANTASTIKA: FROM THE TSARS TO THE STARS is a series of newly restored 35mm prints of extremely rare and often visionary Soviet works made between 1936 – 1988. Had they not been produced behind “the iron curtain”, these films would appear in every cinema history book published in the Western world (currently, only one in the lineup – Tarkovsky’s masterful STALKER - is).

We’re also opening a 3rd screen, allowing us to bring in over 40 more features (!) than we have in previous years. We’ve used some of that space to expand previously minor elements of our programming, say for instance, unusual documentaries: We’ve usually screened one or two docs per year, but never went beyond that, turning down a number of films that positively floored us simply because we lacked the space to take them on. No more. In fact, we have created a new section in the fest, DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE, and this year’s lineup ranges the gamut of subjects from punk rock in authoritarian China to Montreal’s own international fetish icon, Bianca Beauchamp.

Most personal to many of us, we’ll be giving a much-deserved lifetime achievement award to the master of 1970’s experimental erotic Eurohorror Jean Rollin.

Did I mention there will also be over 20 short film blocks?!

Finally, I am very happy to announce a new addition to our programming team: journalist Simon Laperierre, whose unique tastes in cinema have already proven rewarding to our lineup.

On behalf of the entire Fantasia team, I thank you for your faith in what we choose to screen, and your courage for diving headfirst into the cinematic unknown.

The next three weeks are going to obliterate your senses.

Yours in darkened halls,

Mitch Davis
Director Of International Programming