Weeeee’re baaaack. The fourteenth year of Fantasia, and our seventh year covering it for you twisted lot who for whatever reason STILL haven’t come to Montreal for what Quentin Tarantino calls the most important and prestigious genre film festival on the continent. Sure he was pimping Basterds at the time, but I’m sure he really meant it!
Speaking of bastards, this year we’re adding a new member to the Fantasia coverage team: Pierre LaRouche, who I’m sure is a great writer and all that, but the real reason we brought him on board is because of his ability to perfectly mimic Crispin Glover’s dance from F13 part IV. If you see him at the festival, make sure to ask him to do it, he has to, it’s part of his contract. Of course, old stalwart Paul McCannibal is still around, hating pretty much everything he watches and generally being miserable. Will he like anything he sees this year? Stay tuned!
We were forced to bring Pierre on board because this year’s festival really is the most gargantuan one yet. I know this to be true because when the Fantasia catalog comes out, I traditionally beat Paul around the head and neck using it as a barrier, police interrogation style. There are so many movies, spoken word, off-site events, plays, and other happenings this year that this is the first time Paul’s tender skin wasn’t bruised! Bravo to Mitch Davis (pictured right), and the rest of the programming team, the sheer amount of content is a true accomplishment!
The expanded scope has allowed the Fantasia team to continue with their unique documentary and short programs, while having even more “spotlight” programs and special events than ever before. This year’s festival is focusing on “Between Death and the Devil” a program focusing on the disintegration of faith, demonic possession, and exorcism, “Camera Lucida” a series designed to showcase innovation in genre cinema, and a retrospective of the films of Ken Russell. But the program everyone is talking about is “Subversive Serbia”, a block of films emerging from a republic that conjures thoughts of ethnic cleansing, genocide, and war criminals. It’ll be interesting to see how movies like A Serbian Film, an experience that many in the know are declaring one of the hardest movies ever made (both in terms of content and watchability), affect those perceptions. We’ll let you know, if we don’t run flailing from the theatre (an apparently not uncommon occurrence).
Mitch also tells us that the must see films of the festival are Black Death (Christopher Smith’s medieval plague meets necromancy flick), Centurion (Neil Marshall’s supernatural-free sword and sandal epic), We Are What We Are (Mexican cannibal fiesta), and Feast of the Assumption (BTK serial murderer documentary focusing on family aftermath) amongst a slew of other non-horror, but insanely interesting sounding films like Lemmy (yep, that Lemmy!), Life and Death of a Porno Gang (Serbian traveling porno-cabaret shenanigans), and Fatso (Norwegian sex comedy, without the Americanized hangups).
And we haven’t even gotten to the special events! This year there are two really noteworthy happenings. The first is a staging of the Edgar Allan Poe play Nevermore, created by the team behind Re-Animator, writer Dennis Paoli, director Stuart Gordon, and actor Jeffrey Combs! All three will be in town for a special 25th anniversary screening of Re-Animator and will be presenting their play at Montreal’s Rialto Theatre. How cool is that? The second big event will be a screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, restored with 25 minutes of recently unearthed footage, and a 13- piece live orchestra accompaniment, all at Montreal’s hoity-toity Place des Arts. Shit, do I have to wear a suit to this thing?
Tonight we’re going to see Phobia 2 the sequel to 2008’s popular Thai anthology film 4bia, and the Herschell Gordon Lewis documentary Godfather of Gore with the man, the marketer himself in attendance. Finally, if we can tear ourselves away from the allure of a midnight beer, we’ll hit up Rubber, the story of a serial killer tire in love. Ya, as in a rubber car tire. That kills people.
And is in love. I told you this film festival rules…
Dig on some images from the first night below!
“The opening party is on fire!”
“A look inside.”
“Kevin, Nicole, Anna from the Boston Underground Film Festival, and Brenda from the Calgary Underground Film Festival.”
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