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Film

Fantasia One Week In, Thereabouts

Posted by Christine / July 25, 2011

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(Attention: spoilers, kind of, sort of, maybe)

It is a very special year indeed for our beloved Fantasia Film Festival as it will be celebrating its 15th birthday!

According to Fantasia Film Festival Co-Director Mitch Davis, "In its 15 years of existence, Fantastia was, among the many firsts, the first festival in Canada to screen a film from Darren Aronofsky, the first in North America to screen a film by Takashi Miike and the first in the world to screen a film by Satoshi Kon."

The festival runs from July 14th to August 7th, and it is well worth your while to come out and rejoice, amongst like-minded cinephiles, over a dozen years of chills, thrills and laughs (oh, this ranges from genuine comedy-induced chortles to cringe-induced oh-my-frack-that-cannot-be-unseen nervous laughter).

"As we always say, Fantasia is a place where risks are rewarded," said Mitch. "Nothing is more gratifying than finding a small, unknown film from a first time director, bringing it to Fantasia and seeing it find an enormous, appreciative, and entirely new audience who get it and adore it."

Following its controversial world premiere at Sundance, one of the films receiving the most buzz is Red State , which regrettably screened once, on the opening day, July 14th. The good news is this movie will likely be quite accessible in the near future.

Directed by comedic icon Kevin Smith, whose repertoire includes: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Dogma, Chasing Amy, Mallrats and Clerks, this offering veers from the others in that it is
a horror film.

Norwegian film TROLLHUNTER, which was shown July 17th and July 19th, was a pleasant surprise indeed.

Student filmmakers Thomas, Kalle and Johanna seek to chronicle their hunt for a local poacher who is illegally killing bears in a regulated territory. What they discover is a mysterious figure named Hans, who roams the countryside hunting an entirely different breed of creature. Enter a three-headed troll ripping through a forest, a rotund troll smashing a bridge to pieces, and an enormous troll, the size of the bastard moon, screeching at the top of its lungs.

This is a film with a witty sense of humour about itself, without being too highbrow. With that said, it also delivers what the audience wants -trolls, and lots of them. The portrayal of these mythical creatures ranges from an artful, implied presence at the earlier parts of the film to the well-designed, computerized trolls moving in plain sight at the later portions. Perfect momentum.

Die, a local offering that was shown July 18th, was introduced by director Dominic Laurence James. It was a unique experience to watch an ambitious film with big-screen Hollywood appeal that was, according to the director, "filmed down the street" from the Concordia building it screened in.

Drawing associations to movies like Saw and Seven, this film too showcases the fatal, illogical philosophical ideals and psychological assertions of a sadist. In this instance, six people are 'saved' from committing suicide, only to have their fates determined by the roll of a die.

Friends, stay tuned for the next Fantasia update!

Image from the official TROLLHUNTER web page

Discussion

6 Comments

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