Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fantasia Starts TODAY

If I ever die while watching movies from Fantasia blame my connection Ted Geoghagen because it’s all his fault. Ted was the guy who reached out to me a couple of years ago and told me he had some movies playing at Fantasia he wanted to show me. Me, being you wild and insane told him to send them my way and beautiful love affair was born. I’ve been covering the kick ass Fantasia festival in Montreal ever since.

For those that don’t know Fantasia is a glorious genre film festival that runs from this Friday through August 4. It screens literally hundreds of films, both features and shorts and is home to some of the craziest most insane films ever made. Two years ago they ran something BURNING BUDDHA MAN and I haven’t been right in the head ever since. Last year they ran a double shot of Julian Richings films (EJECTA and PATCH TOWN) which resulted in me discovering one of the greatest actors working today. I’m both excited and terrified at what this year is going to bring.

As much as I love things like New York Asian, Tribeca, DOC NYC or NYFF, Fantasia is where my soul lives. It’s all types of films not just one type. Its films from everywhere about everything. It’s a festival that just brings great films to its audiences- and if it’s not a good film at least it’s something you haven’t seen before.

I love this festival a great deal and I can’t wait to see what treasures and new favorites it’s going to send my way.

For those of you who are curious here’s the list of films that are playing. That will give you an idea of the goodies that they are screening and it will also allow you to buy a bunch of tickets.

For those who are curious here’s links to the handful of films we’ve seen so far (including my cinematic crack dealer Ted Geoghagen's kick ass WE ARE STILL HERE)

100 Yen Love- One of the best films at Japan Cuts with a career making performance from Sakura Ando a must see.

(T)error- The story of a government agent whose job it is to set up Muslim Extremists-except the people he’s targeting may not be bad guys

Anima State- Awesome film from Hammad Khan that rocked my world when I saw it at the World Premiere a year and a half ago

Battle With Out Honor or Humanity- one of the greatest gangster films ever made- now lovingly restored

Boys Life- spot on short film about a boy and his rifle shooting up his neighbors

Bridgend- haunting based on a true story of a Welsh town where all the kids are killing themselves and no one knows why

Carpark- a man decides to get cute with the dog in the car parked next to his-bad idea for him, very funny for us.

Full Strike- So funny you'll go light headed from laughing tale of a woman trying to reclaim her former glory coaching a team of crooks at badminton.

Haruko Paranormal Laboratory- wonderfully off beat film

THE INVITATION is a stupid movie. I saw the film as part of BAMcinema Fest and as such I am forbidden from reviewing the film in a full length piece until it comes out in 2016 (though people who've seen my review say it should never be seen). All I'll say is if you don't know where it's going from the plot synopsis or the first 20 minutes you haven't seen enough horror films.

Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet- forget the central plot of a political prisoner poet being taken to ship that will take him home. This film is a must see for all of the sequences directed by people like Tomm Moore, Bill Plympton and Nina Paley. They are mini-masterpieces

La La La Rock Bottom- wonderful story of an amnesiac gangster with a knack for music. This played at NYAFF and I’m still working on a review

Lapin et Cerf (Deer and Rabbit)- messing with the realm between dimensions two friends end up kind of at odds. It all comes to life at one musicial cue

Manos Hands of Fate- One of the worst films ever made. Even MST3k and Riff Tracking it doesn’t help. Its just bad but someone likes it- and spent buck restoring it.- there is no accounting for taste

Miniscule:Valley of the Lost Ants- fantastic kids film that’s been shamefully neglected in the US. A must see-especially if they do it in 3D. This will be one of the best animated films you've never heard of

Monty Python The Meaning of Live – A great coda for Monty Python. One of the best films I’ve seen in 2015

Nowhere Girl- This split the audience at NYAFF with a few passionate supporters arguing against us haters. For me it’s the same film Oshii has made five times before

Oh My Dog- Fall down funny short about a dog talent show.

Port of Call- Okay thriller apparently plays better the second time.

Robbery- Completely unhinged comedy action thriller satire horror film is the calling card of Fire Lee. It’s insane and why I love the movies.

Royal Tailor- a kind of Amadeus meets court intrigue tale set in the early days of the Korean empire. If you’ve seen one Korean intrigue film you’ve seen this – though it was well loved at NYAFF-apparently as a result of one of the best Q&As they’ve ever done

Scherzo Diabolico-Completely loopy horror crime film split everyone at Tribeca. Some loved the sick attitude and the switch of tone in the final half hour- other people like me thought it just missed.

Socialphobia- Korean film about murder, bullies and social media was good, but kind of got lost at NYAFF

Strayer’s Chronicle- Japanese riff on the X-Men is based on a bet selling novel. I liked it (my Japan Cuts review runs in a couple of days) but wish I didn’t feel I had seen it before.

Sunrise is a weird almost wordless story of a cop trying to track down his daughter who disappeared- or something. I'm not sure. It looks good but beyond that you're on your own

We Are Still Here- Ted Geoghagen’s feature directing debut is a kick ass horror film. It’s said it’s a riff on Fulci’s HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY but I think it’s better- giving us real characters to care for. A must see.

For the full list of films and tickets go here.

Look for reviews to start sometime Friday and run through the festival.

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