The 2012 Fantasia Film Festival
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and ghouls, it's that time of year again! The Fantasia Film Festival is upon us, and with it all the gooey horror, vibrant romance and fast-paced martial arts one could hope for. This year's installment will run from July 19th to August 9th, and offers over 160 films to choose from.
Tickets go on sale today at 1:00 p.m. at Concordia's Hall Building, 1455 boul. de Maisonneuve W. Tickets sell extremely fast -the most popular screenings can sell-out within minutes. So, it's advisable to arrive early. The same can be said for the film showings themselves.
Arriving about an hour before a film's start time usually guarantees a desirable mid-theatre seat. One's line-wait survival kit ought to include: a blanket, a book, a cellphone and some snacks. The blanket makes sitting on the concrete sidewalk marginally more comfortable, the book and cellphone help distract from the looming hour-wait if you're alone and, if you're with friends, the snacks can be rationed-out when hunger strikes. Savvy.
If you haven't already done so, browse through Fantasia's official webpage, and jot down the films that interest you the most. With witty overviews and exciting trailers, the selection process has truly become one of my favorite parts of the festival experience. Without further ado, here are a few stand-outs off my list accompanied by an excerpt from Fantasia's website, which I've chosen as a teaser.
A film directed by the notorious and prolific Takashi Miike. It screens August 2nd, 10:15 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"In the near future, the crime rate has skyrocketed and the only way the legal system can keep up is the rapid-fire new "bench trials" in which defense and prosecution confront each other tournament-style, with three days max to close the matter." -Rupert Bottenberg.
Films like Kick Ass and The Watchmen have delivered a less than glamorous view of superheroes -with performances that can be raw, endearing and comedic. This film follows suit. It screens July 24th, 7:35 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"Our story takes place at a time when superheroes have lost all government funding and public support. Colour-coded do-gooders Fridge (who shoots ice out of his hands) and C-Thru (X-ray vision) are holed up at a deserted off-season Hampton Bays Inn." -Tony Timpone.
From the provocative imagination of Jennifer Lynch (yes, as in David Lynch's daughter) comes a horror film starring the talented Vincent D'Onofrio. It screens August 5th, 7:10 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"... the cab they picked belongs to Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio), a taxi driving serial killer who has long ago realized the grisly benefits of a job that delivers victims unto him on a silver platter." -Mitch Davis.
Sci-fi tekkies will love this tale of a mysterious message sent from the future. It screens August 1st, 7:05 p.m. at J.A. De Seve Theatre.
"Christened "the Internet", this virtual land is alive with secrets just waiting to be revealed. Computer engineer Easton Dunning has just come across one of them." -Simon Laperriere.
For Love's Sake
Can't get enough of Takashi Miike? Here's another offering by the versatile director. It screens July 19th at 6:30 p.m.
"When Ai (Emi Takei), a wealthy model student, runs into Makoto (Satoshi Tsumabuki, SMUGGLER), a poor and nasty young man, it prompts her to remember an incident that implicated both of them when they were kids, one that left the boy with a huge scar upon his face." -Nicolas Archambault.
Matthew McConaughey stars in this Southern Gothic as a mysterious contract killer. It screens July 31st, 10:05 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"Chris (Emile Hirsch) is on the verge of being murdered for drug debts that he will never be able to pay. Desperate, he takes the one course of action that makes sense to him." -Mitch Davis.
A promising South Korean romantic comedy. It screens August 6th, 5:15 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"Joo-wol suffers from a crushing case of writer's block. He hasn't published in years and his second novel, appropriately entitled "Femme Fatale", isn't taking off. It quickly becomes evident that love, which he's dabbled in a few times, might just be the cure to his inspiration problems." -Ariel Esteban Cayer.
Love in the Buff
The much-anticipated follow-up to Love in a Puff (as previously shown at Fantasia). It screens August 5th, 4:40 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"...the return of the vulgar Hong Kong lovebirds Jimmy and Cherrie, who have relocated to the thriving capital city with their wisecracking entourage. But Jimmy (Shawn Yu from SHAMO) has a Peter Pan complex that abruptly ends their Cinderella tale" -King-Wei Chu.
There's more than meets the eye in this spooky tale. It screens July 31st, 5:45 p.m. at the J.A. De Seve Theatre and August 8th, 9:20 p.m. at the J.A. De Seve Theatre.
"In a secluded cabin somewhere in the mountains of Japan, Ryoichi lives a self-sufficient existence. He spends most of his day carefully crafting improvised explosive devices, which he systematically mails to Japan's most influential CEOs and political figures. But in his eyes, he is neither a murderer nor a terrorist." -Ariel Esteban Cayer.
Origins of the Dark Knight
Graphic novel collectors, pulp readers, film noir aficionados and more will love this special presentation: a combined film screening and lecture. It occurs August 1st, 9:45 p.m. at the J.A. De Seve Theatre.
"From where did this mysterious caped crusader with a dual identity and a dark past arise? With the Batman legend having morphed over time from Detective Comics issue # 27 in 1939 into one of the biggest blockbuster movie events ever, it is easy to lose sight of its origins. " -Philippe Spurrell.
Reign of Assassins
In the mood for some martial arts? A beautifully shot, compelling storyline -this film delivers. It screens July 25th, 5:15 p.m. at the Hall Theatre and August 3rd, 1:00 p.m. at the J.A. De Seve Theatre.
"Legend has it that the mummified remains of the wise monk Bodhi can invest the one who possesses them with absolute, unchallengeable mastery of the martial arts. The monk's cadaver, however, has been torn in two, and both halves must be claimed to achieve such supernatural transcendence." -Rupert Bottenberg.
Starry Starry Night
You're in for a real visual treat with this surreal, gentle tale. It screens July 22nd, 9:40 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"Mei fondly remembers her childhood in the mountains with her grandparents, and the fulfillment she got from gazing up at the canopy of the cosmos on a clear night. Those days are gone now. Mei is entering high school, her parents' marriage is collapsing and the health of her beloved grandpa is declining precipitously." -Rupert Bottenberg.
This notorious horror film has made its way to Fantasia. Are you brave enough to watch? It screens July 28th, 9:10 p.m. at the Hall Theatre.
"The film collects six of the indie film universe's most celebrated figures and gives them free rein to tear loose with super entertaining, strategically lo-fi terror trips that will overdose you with double-pronged slams of fear and fun." -Mitch Davis.
Let the festivities begin!