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Film

Fantasia Midstream: Gushing, Crushing & Blushing

Posted by Andrés / July 14, 2009

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In its second week, Fantasia turns serious. In the first few days we were treated to some rather harmless cult films from around the world: a British duo who had it in for lesbian vampires, colorful anime turned live-action, undead fascists and the happy cast & crew of Sweet Karma (above)... Somehow, the batch of films to the weekend are less frivolous in nature: more graphic, cerebral and dirty. I'm excited, and so should you be.

The big ticket Wednesday is The Clone Returns Home (pictured below), a Japanese science fiction film that leaves out giant mecha or scantily-clad warrior women. Rather, this tale about a spaceman who clones himself in order to leave a piece of his existence behind in case of death is more like an Asimov tale. Those who have read Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer's Mindscan may find similar themes throughout. Screening directly afterwards is Blue Film Woman, the first in Fantasia's run of pinku eiga films: softcore Japanese erotica from the 60s and 70s.

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Gushing Prayer continues the set, this time centered around a fifteen year-old prostitute. Awkward? Speaking of gushing: Blood River. The title may explain the denouement, but the set up is that a loving couple driving through the Nevada desert and who ignore a hitchhiker along the side of the road. Rather than a state-jumping beatnick, he turns out to be a homicidal cowboy whose Bible is law. Celebrating its Canadian premiere on Thursday is Jet Li's period actioner The Warlords, which could have easily been the title of countless other Chinese epic dramas.

On Friday you may need to cool down with Secret Hot Spring Resort: Starfish at Night, a Japanese film from 1970 about a husband and wife duo and their companion who try to introduce smut into an already steaming hot spring resort. Along with The Clone Returns Home the other film to watch out for this week is Korean The Chaser. Considered part of the new wave that has included hits like Oldboy, this one is about a pimp whose prostitutes begin disappearing thanks to a serial killer.

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Saturday is a harmless day. After a long walk shopping at the outdoor sidewalk sale on Ste-Catherine, you may want to catch Alien Trespass, a throwback to the cheeseball UFO science fiction of the Ed Wood era; or even Crush and Blush (pictured right), a South Korean anti-romantic comedy starring a girl who blushes a lot, and whose crushes are never reciprocated.

A holy day for many, Fantasia celebrates its Sunday with two documentaries sure to set fire to some pews: Playing Columbine talks about the video game based on the school shooting, and the supposed unfair rap the gaming world has been getting... for featuring games where you can shoot your classmates. Graphic Sexual Horror documents the participants of a hardcore bondage fantasy website that was shut down by the US government. If escapism is your thing, skip both and head for the 20th Century Boys double-header.

Fantasia is far from over. Don't forget to check out what Harold and Eve-Lyne have been saying in their recent coverage of the festival. Check back here next week for the rundown of the last days.

Many thanks to the Fantasia Film Festival and photographers Pierre Roussel & King-Wei Chu for above images.

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