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Fantasia 2011: Everything You NEED to Know and MORE!



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The website for the 2011 Fantasia International Film Festival is going live today, and along with that news the festival’s promoters dropped over a half dozen press releases on us outlining the films that will be shown this year, the guests who will be attending, and more.

Below you’ll find the most pertinent information for our readers. For the full enchilada please visit the official Fantasia International Film Festival website.

Fantasia 2011


    Fantasia’s 15th edition will shriek to a close with the Canadian premiere of the Guillermo del Toro scripted & produced DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, a thrilling and frightening remake of the classic 1973 tv movie that traumatized a generation. DARK is the feature debut of director Troy Nixey, a Canadian filmmaker and graphic artist whose stunning short film THE LATCHKEY’S LAMENT made major waves on the international festival circuit several years ago. It stars Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison and some of the creepiest little beasts that cinema has seen in ages.

    In 2007, with our screening of HOME SICK, Fantasia was the first festival in the world to screen a film from a then-19 year old filmmaker named Adam Wingard. Since that time, he’s become a staple on the A-list fest circuit, from Tiff to AFI Fest, Stockholm and Rome, and with good reason. A true original, his dreamy, soulful approach to the genre can almost be described as Lynch by way of Van Sant. This year, we’re doing a spotlight on his work, with screenings of POP SKULL, A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE and the world premiere of his eccentric latest, WHAT FUN WE WERE HAVING: 4 STORIES ABOUT DATE RAPE, starring AJ Bowen, Hannah Hughes and mumblecore icon Joe Swanberg. Each feature will be preceded by a Wingard short, and all screenings will be hosted by the filmmaker, with regular writing partner Simon Barrett joining him for the latter two titles.

    Several years ago, Fantasia did a spotlight on subjectively-shot horror films that we called PLAYBACK IN BLACK. Among other highlights, it featured the first North American screening of [REC]. In the ensuing years, the POV aesthetic has evolved into a commonly accepted storytelling approach, with filmmakers using the style to tackle every kind of genre. To mark this evolution, we’re mounting this special ancestral spotlight, packed with unconventional first-person surprises that reinvent conventions in inspired ways.

    Sweden’s 100 YEARS OF EVIL (North American Premiere), co-directed by Erik Eger and Magnus Oliv, is a mad dose of alternative history that follows an increasingly paranoid documentarian as he discovers that Adolf Hitler not only survived the war, but fled to America and ultimately invented fast food and soap operas, among other things!

    The UK brings us David Bryant’s nerve-shredding VICTIMS (World premiere), a real-time, single-take thriller depicting a man abducted by vigilantes on his wedding day. They believe he once committed a terrible crime in his childhood and is now living under an assumed identity. The plan is to force an oncamera confession, then execute him and post the video online as a warning to predators. But do they have the right man? Also from the UK, we have Michael Axelgaard’s creepy-beyond-words HOLLOW (World premiere), which purports to be evidence seized by the police, the home videos that a group of thrirtysomethings shot of their trip to the countryside of the Suffolk area of England – a region steeped in numerous legends of black magic in its past, and home to a mysterious tree whose branches have been host to numerous suicides over the decades.

    Tearing out of Costa Rica, we’ve got Miguel Gómez’s EL SANATORIO (Canadian premiere), horror/comedy moc-doc about filmmakers regretting their decision to document a legendary haunted asylum. The movie won an audience award at the Morbido Film Festival.

    Last but not least, there is Norway’s already-infamous and riotously entertaining TROLL HUNTER, directed by André Øvredal, making its long-awaited Canadian premiere after flooring audiences at Fantasticfest, Sundance and the Seattle International Film Festival.

    Expanding on Fantasia’s salute to our national genre film heritage (see our tribute to John Dunning & Andre Link), esteemed Canadian filmmaker Ted Kotcheff (FIRST BLOOD, UNCOMMON VALOUR, THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ) will visit the festival to screen a fully restored 35mm print of the confrontational – and controversial – 1971 Australian thriller WAKE IN FRIGHT (aka OUTBACK), widely regarded as one of the greatest Aussie films ever made. The award-winning, once-thought-lost film stars Gary Bond and Donald Pleasance and also features the legendary Jack Thompson in his first screen appearance – as fate would have it, Fantasia will also be showcasing Thompson’s most recent screen appearance when we play DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK one week later!

    Argentina represents with Nicolás Goldbart’s PHASE 7 (Canadian premiere), an unusual black comedy/horror film taking place among ragtag tenants in a quarantined apartment building. Ayar Blasco’s animated freak-out EL SOL (North American premiere) plays like a cross between SOUTH PARK, Monty Python and Alejandro Jodorowsky, smashing all storytelling conventions while dripping with a special brand of acidic satire. Adrián García Bogliano’s COLD SWEAT (Canadian premiere) is an outlandish and extreme horror comedy about a pair of senior citizen former political revolutionaries wreaking havoc against hapless teens in an enormous old house they’ve rigged to be a chamber of horrors. It left audiences speechless at SXSW.

    From Australia, we have Andrew Traucki’s THE REEF (Canadian premiere) is a tense-beyond-belief shark thriller that wrung audiences out at Sitges, Pi-Fan and Brussels. A teenage girl’s life is torn to pieces in Ben C. Lucas’s emotionally gutting and aesthetically dazzling WASTED ON THE YOUNG (Quebec premiere), a film which could be likened to an unusual cross between ELEPHANT and GOSSIP GIRL.

    From Belgium, Dominic Cooper stars in Lee Tamahori’s THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE (Canadian premiere); a chilling vision of the House of Saddam Hussein comes to life through the eyes of the man who was forced to become the double of the dictator’s sadistic son. It was a major standout at the Berlin and Hong Kong international film festivals. Michaël R. Roskam’s BULLHEAD (North American premiere) is a tough, hardhitting drama set in the world of illegal agricultural hormone trading that was a megaton standout at the Berlin Film Festival several months ago. Its odyssey is a dark but rewarding one, and it is one of 2011’s must-see productions. From the collective producers of MAN BITES DOG, CALVAIRE and A TOWN CALLED PANIC comes Olias Barco’s KILL ME PLEASE (Quebec premiere), a blacker-than-black comedy about the lighter side of euthanasia that won a jury prize at the Rome Film Festival.

    Canada brings it home with Xavier Gens’ THE DIVIDE (Canadian premiere), which sees the gifted helmer behind FRONTIER(S) and HITMAN tackling an even darker side of human nature in this tale of a group of American citizens forced into captivity with one another following a devastating nuclear attack on the country in the near future. It stars Michael Biehn, Laura German and Rosanna Arguette and it is very likely the most brutalizing film you will see this year. Dominic Laurence James’s visually-stunning DIE (North American premiere) stars Emily Hampshire, Elias Koteas and Stephen McHattie in a character driven horror thriller involving forced games of chance, shot in a stylized Montreal that looks as if it were right out of a Chris Nolan film. Larry Kent’s EXLEY (World premiere) is a loose, rough, sexual and violent neo-realist film about a skid row hustler trying to scam dollars to visit his dying mother. 100% improvised, this is a welcome return from Canada’s first-ever underground filmmaker, director of such films as HIGH and THE HAMSTER CAGE, now in his ‘70s, yet clearly having lost none of his edge. Reggie Bannister, Andrew Roth and Caroline Williams star in Mike Klassen’s theological horror drama ABOLITION (World premiere), about a man burdened with a single task that will ultimately decide the worlds’ fate. Evan Kelly’s brilliant THE CORRIDOR (Quebec premiere) plays like a character-driven TWILIGHT ZONE episode by way of Larry Fessenden, a science-fiction nightmare that shrewdly explores the horrors of group dynamics and machismo taken to distorted extremes. Call it an hallucinatory THE BIG CHILL with mass murder. Panos Cosmatos’s hypnotic fever dream BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (Quebec premiere) blew more than a few lids at Tribeca and could be likened to CRIMES OF THE FUTURE-era Cronenberg.

    Previously announced titles include the 7-filmmaker, 4-country anthology film THE THEATRE BIZARRE (World premiere), Jesse T. Cook’s MONSTER BRAWL (World premiere) and Shunji Iwai’s English language
    debut, VAMPIRE (Canadian premiere).

    The Czech Republic / Slovakia bestows upon us the latest masterpiece from the one and only Jan Švankmajer, SURVIVING LIFE (THEORY & PRACTICE), screening here for its Quebec premiere, pitting Freud against Jung with derisive force.

    Denmark exports one of the funniest films we’ve seen in years – Mikkel Nørgaard’s CLOWN (North American Premiere). Imagine a KINGDOM-era Lars Von Trier-directed CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM film with amplified raunch and irony. Painfully hilarious and absolutely brilliant!

    Germany bring us Baran bo Odar’s chilling THE SILENCE (Quebec premiere), a film about the killings of children whose chronology travels back and forth in time to dissect a police investigation, the struggle of a family that has lost a child and the events that led to a murder, to create an elegant mix of crime story, film noir and drama. Previously announced titles include Andy Fetscher’s URBAN EXPLORER (North American premiere).

    Finland brings us Dome Karukoski’s hugely entertaining LAPLAND ODYSSEY (Quebec premiere), a ribald roadtrip comedy featuring the world’s smartest idiots (or is the other way around?). A raunchy riot of laughs loaded with twists and turns. Jalmari Helander’s RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE (Quebec premiere) is a “different” kind of Christmas film, a charming dark comedy / fantasy that’s been winning hearts and minds worldwide across the festival circuit.

    Italy carves the clock back with Raffaele Picchio’s MORITURIS (International premiere) which sees centuries-old Roman gladiators rising from the grave to bash the hell out of a pack of unfortunates. Features show-stopping splatter FX by Sergio Stivaletti (OPERA, DEMONS, DELLAMORTE DALLAMORE…)!

    Spain brings gold with the atmospheric EuroWestern BLACKTHORN (Canadian premiere), which stars Sam Shephard as an aged Butch Cassidy, directed by THESIS/OPEN YOUR EYES screenwriter Matteo Gill. Miguel Angel Vivas’s utterly terrifying KIDNAPPED (Canadian premiere) is a harrowing home invasion thriller captured in just a dozen prolonged shots, throwing the viewer face-first into the panic and hysteria of a horrific ordeal. It won for Best Horror Feature at Fantastic fest.

    Sweden: Stellan Skarsgård electrifies in Marius Holst’s KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND (Canadian premiere), a powerful drama set in a remote correctional facility for young male delinquents in the early 20th century. It was a standout at the Goteborg and Seattle international film festivals this year.

    From the UK, we have the Canadian premiere of the psychosexual anthology film that shocked SXSW, LITTLE DEATHS, featuring segments directed by Simon Rumley (RED, WHITE & BLUE), Andrew
    Parkinson (DEAD CREATURES) and Sean Hogan (LIE STILL). Jonathan English’s IRONCLAD (Canadian premiere) is a gritty, savage medieval action epic with a cast that includes Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy and the great Brian Cox. Robert Morgan’s BOBBY YEAH (World premiere) is an astonishing and surrealistic 4-years-in the-making 24-minute stop-motion short that we adore so greatly we’re announcing it here among the feature films.

    Previously announced titles include Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER TREE (World premiere), Carl Tibbetts’s RETREAT (World Premiere), Julian Gilbey’s A LONELY PLACE TO DIE (Canadian premiere), John Landis’s BURKE & HARE (Canadian premiere) and Joe Cornish’s ATTACK THE BLOCK (Quebec premiere).

    The USA brings us ample loads of ingenuity and excitement: Mike Cahill’s compelling science-fiction drama ANOTHER EARTH (International premiere) concerns the discovery of a duplicate version of our planet in the solar system. It deservedly won a grand jury prize when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Jed Stahm’s paralyzing KNIFEPOINT (World premiere) is a ferocious home invasion nightmare about a remorseless pack of killers laying siege to the inhabitants of an upscale condo complex. Its levels of intensity may very well be too much for some. Existing some place between BLUE VALENTINE, METAL SKIN and ELEPHANT, there is Evan Glodell’s scorching romantic blowout BELLFLOWER (Quebec premiere). Trent Haaga’s off-the-hook CHOP (Canadian premiere) sees the DEADGIRL screenwriter jumping into the director’s chair to deliver an outrageous comedy/horror film about a poor sap stalked by a mysterious figure out to punish him for an uncertain (to everyone!) crime. It was an audience favourite at the Boston Underground Film Festival. Music video genius and TORGUE director Joseph Kahn’s charming mile-a-minute teen slasher/comedy/time travel blitzkrieg DETENTION (International premiere) lands someplace between John Carpenter and John Hughes on tons of speed and stars Shanley Caswell and Dane Cook. Scott Leberecht’s haunting MIDNIGHT SON (Canadian premiere) is a beautifully scripted and staged existential take on vampirism that drained considerable blood when it launched at Cinequest a few months back. Taking a distinctly more physical and Grand Guignol approach to vampirism is Jim Mickle’s throttling STAKE LAND (Quebec premiere), which sees the brilliant MULBERRY STREET director amped up with a full-on spectacle film that will please anyone with or without a pulse. Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN (Quebec premiere) reteams the award-winning outlaw filmmaker with his MAY star Angela Bettis in this startling Jack Ketchum-scripted exploration of misogyny and patriarchal corruption that shocked Sundance to its core. Brandon & Jason Trost’s mad, mad, mad THE FP is a hugely eccentric bizarro comedy set in a very American futureworld straight outta da Eighties where gangs of teen delinquents face off in Dance Dance Revolution death matches! It needs to be seen to be believed, and we’ll be throwing a special arcade party after the screening where the audience can challenge cast members to dance-offs! Jack Perez’s John Landis-produced SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (Canadian premiere) is a disarmingly touching comedy/horror film about an alienated man on a vengeful killing spree bonding with a nerdy teen daughter he never knew he had. Its phenomenal cast is headlined by Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick, Karen Black, Lucy Davis and Leo Fitzpatrick. Hands down the strangest and most individualistic film of the year, and also one of the funniest and most introspective, Todd Rohal’s THE CATACHISM CATACLISM (International premiere) stars Steve Little and Robert Longstreet, brought divinity to auds at Sundance and SXSW and will make your year when you see it here. Making a wonderfully comic counterpoint to the SUPERHEROES doc screening this year is James Gunn’s phenomenal SUPER (Quebec premiere), the Tiff and Brussels smash starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon, finally making its way to a Montreal screen.

    Previously announced titles include Chris Sivertson’s BRAWLER (World premiere), William Eubank’s LOVE (International premiere), Kevin Smith’s RED STATE (Canadian premiere), Mike Flanagan’s ABSENTIA (Canadian premiere), and Sean Branney’s THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS (Canadian premiere).

    Other previously announced international titles include Israel’s RABIES (Canadian premiere), directed by Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales, New Zealand’s THE DEVIL’S ROCK (North American premiere),
    directed by Paul Campion, and, from the Netherlands, Dick Mass’s SAINT (Canadian premiere).

    Fantasia 2011


    The 15th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival is proposing a vista into Asian cinema with an eclectic selection of films ranging from dramas to eccentric comedies, be they independent or major productions, which will satisfy the curiosity and the adventurous spirit of our avid public. Ranging from movies containing certain historical, sociological, cultural and even political elements, to films celebrating that pleasure of cinema, which is meant to be experienced together in a festive atmosphere, our East Asian medley constructs a present-day portrait of the national cinemas that Fantasia has cherished for so many years and which it will proudly celebrate as part of its 15th anniversary.

    Japan remains at the forefront of Fantasia’s selection with 21 films bearing tribute to the bursting creativity and audacity of this unique national cinema. Indeed, the movie MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY (Canadian premiere), from director Yoshimasa Ishibashi, constitutes a perfect illustration of how far such imagination can go, with its sumptuous aesthetics and its playful narrative codes, as it immerses us into three separate universes in which actor Takayuki Yamada has a romp interpreting three completely incompatible personalities. The Japan-Germany coproduction UNDERWATER LOVE (Canadian premiere), by Shinji Imaoka, is also something of an unidentified filmic object with its blend of traditional Japanese folktales, musicals and erotic cinema, propelled by the photography of the renowned Christopher Doyle and the music of Stereo Total. Similarly, two other legends of the pinku eiga (Japanese erotic cinema) have churned out new feature films but are abandoning the pink film for non-conformist drama. First, Hisayasu Sato has released LOVE & LOATHING & LULU & AYANO (Canadian premiere), a powerful drama that paints a stark and troubling image of the pornography industry in Japan by focusing on the evolution of two actresses linked by a deep friendship. On the other hand, Takahisa Zeze brings us the saga HEAVEN’S STORY (Canadian premiere), a majestic film lasting 278 minutes which revisits the age-old theme of vengeance, and has won the FIPRESCI and NETPAC awards at the latest Berlinale. Resentment and punishment are also on tap with the drama BIRTHRIGHT (Canadian premiere), the first feature film by the promising Noaki Hashimoto, which details a young woman’s merciless vengeance exerted through an intermediary person.

    This 15th edition also benefits from the return of many of our cherished filmmakers, whose filmography has marked the history of the festival. Takashi Miike is returning with two films demonstrating the full breadth of his diverse body of work. In the director’s cut version of 13 ASSASINS (Quebecois premiere), Miike brings his unique touch to a classic tale of battle and collective vengeance, finely sculpted in the tradition of SEVEN SAMURAI and the classic of Japanese literature “The 47 Ronin”. Le maestro of chaos will again prevail with the family film NINJA KIDS!!! (Canadian premiere), a live-action adaptation of a famous manga, which is brimming with wild humour and features a visual style inspired by the graphic novel. Fantasia’s 15th anniversary also marks the return of Sion Sono with the horror-thriller COLD FISH (Quebecois premiere), a dark film filled with even blacker humour where a reserved man is forced to assist an insane serial killer, and all this is taking place in the tropical fish industry! Noboru Iguchi, another regular at the festival, presents the hilarious homage to the Japanese television series of yore KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR (Quebecois premiere) as well as the horror film TOMIE: UNLIMITED (International premiere), an all-new reinterpretation of the nightmarish universe of manga-writer Junji Ito, creator of “Uzumaki” and, obviously, “Tomie”. Also known amongst the Fantasia public for such films as CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL and MEATBALL MACHINE, the director Yudai Yamaguchi is also proposing a double bill : the salacious comedy DEADBALL (world premiere) which revisits the apocalyptic baseball universe of his previous BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL, and the mad action film YAKUZA WEAPON (Canadian premiere), both starring the actor Tak Sakaguchi (VERSUS). The festival’s 15th edition would not be complete without the selection of a feature film by our friend Yoshihiro Nishimura who returns this year with HELLDRIVER (Quebecois premiere), a mutant-zombie film that is as entertaining as it is bloody. And since we are at the heart of the midnight projections, let us note the presence of the lusty horror comedy HORNY HOUSE OF HORROR (Canadian premiere) by Jun Tsugita, also the screenwriter of TOMIE: UNLIMITED.

    Two Japanese animation films are on the program this year. LEGEND OF THE MILLENIUM DRAGON (Canadian premiere) by Hirotsugu Kawasaki (SPRIGGAN) takes us into a distant past populated by demons and knights, while REDLINE (Canadian premiere) by Takeshi Koike, co-written by the director of THE TASTE OF TEA Katsuhito Ishii, constructs a futuristic universe where deadly car races rage. Live-action adaptations of world-famous manga or animated series are also on the menu at Fantasia. From the imagination of writer Hiroya Oku, GANTZ (Quebecois premiere) and GANTZ: PERFECT ANSWER (Canadian premiere) by Shinsuke Sato explore a parallel universe where ordinary people are suddenly forced to combat dangerous aliens in an enigmatic game led by a mysterious and powerful black sphere. The GANTZ diptych stars the young Japanese sensations Ken’Ichi Matsuyama (DEATH NOTE) and Kazunari Ninomiya (member of the J-pop group Arashi). Fantasia’s audience will finally have the chance to see on the big screen and as a midnight screening the politically incorrect classic BATTLE ROYALE, a landmark work within contemporary genre cinema through which the master Kinji Fukasaku, director of BATTLES WITHOUT HONOUR AND HUMANITY, met the legendary actor Takeshi Kitano (SONATINE). Two other world-famous Japanese actors, Koji Yakusho (BABEL, SHALL WE DANCE) and Koichi Sato (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO) are the stars of THE LAST RONIN (Quebecois premiere) by Shigemichi Sugita, a reinterpretation of the literary classic “The 47 Ronin” which reflects upon the code of honour of the samurai. Finally, the omnibus film QUIRKY GUYS AND GALS (North American premiere), featuring the four directors Yosuke Fujita (FINE, TOTALLY FINE), Tomoko Matsunashi, Mipo O, Gen Sekiguchi (SURVIVE STYLE 5+), presents a series of comic stories filled with intriguing characters, which touch upon some very delicate social situations with a disconcerting lightness.

    Three multiple-award winning directors from South Korea will be present at Fantasia this year. Ryoo Seung-wan, director of THE CITY OF VIOLENCE, returns to the festival with his new film, THE UNJUST (Quebecois premiere), a gritty story of cops, crime and corruption, coloured with black humour. It stars the talented Ryoo Seung-beom (the director’s brother) and Hwang Jung-min, and features many cameos by major names in Korean cinema. The director will also lead a workshop on action cinema at Fantasia. The creator of the successful THE KING AND THE CLOWN, Lee Joon-ik, arrives with another variation on the historical epic, BATTLEFIELD HEROES (Canadian premiere), as well as being invited to be part of the jury for the main competition section at Fantasia. Lastly, Lee Hae-young, responsible for the witty and touching LIKE A VIRGIN, presents FOXY FESTIVAL (Canadian premiere), a smart comedy about sexual secrets and desires.

    This year, Fantasia’s Korean spotlight section welcomes five feature films by talented, promising first-time directors. BLEAK NIGHT (North American premiere) (Rotterdam competition, FIPRESCI), by promising next-generation director Yoon Sung-hyun, is a potent and troubling coming-of-age tale reflecting on contemporary adolescence in Korea. From Kim Min-suk, scriptwriter of THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD, comes his directing debut HAUNTERS (Canadian premiere), a stylish paranormal thriller with star Kang Dong-won that did serious box office in Korea. HELLO GHOST (Canadian premiere) by Kim Young-tak is an irreverent yet big-hearted comedy starring Cha Tae-Hyun (MY SASSY GIRL and SCANDAL MAKERS). Hollywood has picked up remake rights with plans for Chris Columbus (HARRY POTTER, HOME ALONE) to direct! Oh Young-doo’s INVASION OF ALIEN BIKINI (Canadian premiere), Grand Prix winner at Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2011, is a contemporary Korean genre hybrid blending science fiction, comedy and action, and a triumph of filmmaking on a shoestring. And finally, PETTY ROMANCE (Canadian premiere), by Kim Jeong-hoon, offers a quirky and highly enjoyable spin on the romantic comedy genre, its charms having taken it to the top box-office ranking the week of its release in South Korea.

    The Korean section also includes an impressive pair of short films. NIGHT FISHING (Canadian premiere), by Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY) and Park Chan-kyung, won a Jury Prize and the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and was entirely shot using an iPhone 4. Straight from the competition of the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival, GHOST (North-American premiere) by Dahci Ma presents the story of a starving man in an empty home whose wild imagination begins to wander.

    This year, Hong Kong and Chinese films fill the Fantasia screen with action, intrigue, melancholy and mirth. Fresh off the screens of Hong Kong comes DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART, a North American premiere. Director Johnny To rattles your funny bone with a unique, stylish romantic comedy that incorporates elements of wu xia, Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW and fistful of laughs. Director Tsui Hark, who rejuvenated the martial arts genre in the 1980s, is back with a vengeance with DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (Quebecois premiere). A truly entertaining and spectacular adventure loaded with intrigue — imagine SHERLOCK HOLMES colliding with kung fu in ancient China! King of Hong Kong exploitation cinema Herman Yau’s IP MAN: THE LEGEND IS BORN, also a North American premiere, explores the early days of Bruce Lee’s real master. It’s packed with truly breathtaking and highly kinetic martial arts sequences that will propel you into action nirvana. The pioneer of modern kung fu choreography, Yuen Woo-Ping (THE MATRIX, CROUCHING TIGGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) returns to the director’s chair after a 10-year hiatus with TRUE LEGEND, a dynamic epic that mixes traditional and new-school choreography. It’s the tale of Beggar Su, who used drunken kung fu to defeat his opponents.

    From China comes OCEAN HEAVEN (Canadian premiere), Best Picture winner at the Shanghai Media Awards. Kung fu icon Jet Li (HERO) tackles a new challenge, leaving the fists of fury aside in favour of serious dramatic acting as he portrays a dying father who must train his autistic son for the real world. The lush photography of Wong Kar-Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle (HAPPY TOGETHER, UNDERWATER LOVE, the latter also playing this year) comes to support the whole.

    Finally, Thailand puts the cherry on the top with BANGKOK KNOCKOUT (Canadian premiere), an action film packed with spectacular and slightly suicidal stunts, courtesy of the martial arts film genius Panna Rittikrai who had previously discovered the Thai movie stars Tony Jaa (ONG BAK) and Jija Yanin (CHOCOLATE).

    Fantasia 2011


    For its second consecutive edition, Camera Lucida will continue to explore genre cinema in its utmost extreme, surprising and iconoclastic form. Prepare to lose your bearings during this unusual journey. As promised, the intimate, science-fiction saga LOVE from American director William Eubank and producer Tom DeLong of Blink 182, will make its international premiere by opening the ball. Following this event, cinephiles will be treated to the Canadian premiere of the astounding Japanese film BIRTHRIGHT by Naoki Hashimoto, a poignant recipe of vengeance combined with an impeccable mise en scene – a milestone in the trajectory of a promising filmmaker. Also from Japan, but falling into a whole different category altogether, is the film UNDERWATER LOVE (Canadian premiere) from Shinji Imaoka. This film promises to have the crowd dancing front and center during this musical-comedy hybrid, rooted in classic fairy tale and pinku eiga style, whose director of photography is none other than the renowned Christopher Doyle. France is equally honoured this year with two illuminating works. In her third feature length film, actress Isild Le Besco will literally drag viewers to hell with BAS-FONDS (Canadian premiere), a chaotic piece that brushes against our sense of what is unbearable and demonstrates no restraint in its exploration of our animalistic nature. Fantasia is equally proud to welcome experimental filmmaker FJ Ossang to the North American premiere of DHARMA GUNS (LA SUCCESSION STARKOV), a Molotov cocktail of science-fiction and film noir that attacks the senses to generate psychedelic transcendence. Acclaimed, YOU ARE HERE (Quebecois premiere), from Canadian Daniel Cockburn, is a captivating, conceptual labyrinth which avoids all classification. Infused with bits of terrifying folklore, comes the moving, psychological drama MARIANNE (world premiere) from Danish director Filip Tegstedt, which is one of the most joyful discoveries of genre cinema this year. Presenting its North-American premiere is HELLACIOUS ACRES: THE CASE OF JOHN GLASS from Quebecois filmmaker Pat Tremblay who parodies sci-fi with a cynical eye, not unlike Jim Jarmusch, with a post-apocalyptic touch seen through a surrealistic lens. It will be at the world premiere of the highly cerebral EXIT, however, from Australian director Marek Polgar that Camera Lucida 2011 will end honourably, through its splendid and absurd take
    on urban alienation.


    As part of its 15th edition, the Fantasia International Film Festival, in collaboration with the ‘Quartier des spectacles’, ‘La Societe des arts technologiques’ (SAT), and McAuslan Brewery, will present the return of FANTASIA UNDER THE STARS. This outside event will take place at La place de la Paix, located in the heart of the ‘Quartier des spectacles’, on Boulevard St. Laurent, between Ste. Catherine Street and Boulevard Réné-Lévesque – next to the SAT (1201, Boulevard St. Laurent). These nights of original programming will be open to the public.

    Thursday, July 7, 9:00pm
    Temps Mort (Eric Piccoli, Quebec, 2010, 115 min.)
    In French
    On September 13th, 2013, Joel (Julien Deschamps Jolin) learns that his father, who has suffered a heart attack, has been hospitalized in Rouyn-Noranda. A major cataclysm occurs simultaneously. A massive smoke cloud hovers over the city centre. Electricity is cut, and snow begins to fall suddenly on Montreal. Joel and his friend Max (Marc Fournier), head up north, but don’t make it to their destination…255 days later, there is nothing left, everything is frozen and everyone is dead and nothing is like it was. Joel and Chloe (Elisabeth Locas), another survivor, continue their journey south, in search of heat and other survivors. If it were truly the end, to what extent would you go to survive? What would you do if the world came to a dead stop?

    Originally produced as a web series, this feature film is a first for TEMPS MORT. Through the film, fans can rediscover the series in a new light. This screening will offer fans and newcomers alike the chance to admire a home-grown science-fiction, post-apocalyptic film on the big screen…under the stars. The screening will begin around 9pm, but park festivities begin at 7pm with DJ Taxi Nouveau, thanks to Mixsessions SAT.

    Saturday, July 9,
    DJ XL5’S BOLLYWOOD ZAPPIN’ PARTY (DJ XL5, Quebec, 2010, 75 min.)
    In Hindi and Tamil with English subtitles
    After a sold out show at the Imperial Theatre and Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts, this will be the last chance to see this screening in Montreal in 2011. Singing, dancing, romance, violence, action, combat, explosions, devious plans, slaps and burly moustaches will all be a part of the show. This Zappin’ Party will introduce the festival to a filmic genre that deserves recognition. If it’s true that Bollywood films consist of at least three or four dance sequences, these films borrow from a diversity of genres such as action, comedy, romance, horror and suspense. In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of this particular cinema is its joyful mix of genres as well as the frequent shifts in tone – these films can go from a musical number to a Tony Scott action flick in a matter of seconds.

    This program not only includes excerpts from Bollywood films, but also a rich selection of Kollywood films. The Zappin’ Party is not only a love letter to the beauty and brilliance of the genre, but also to its likeable clumsiness and kitsch. The program includes announcements, dance numbers and excerpts from more than 40 films. Prepare for a glimpse of the genre’s conventions. The screening will begin around 9pm, but park festivities begin at 7pm with Jan Pienkowski , Dj MAUS, and Vj jocool, thanks to Mixsessions SAT.

    Sunday, July 10
    Trailer Tribute to Carnior

    Here are some films you’ll never have seen! It’s a little known fact that most film previews give us the whole story and show us the best scenes. So why endure a rotten film for 90 minutes? The screening of TRAILER gets right to the heart of it. We will present approximately 30 trailers for feature films that don’t even exist. Ninjas with sub machine guns, Mexican bandits, giant crabs, bloodied get-ups and lesbian vampires offer up all kinds of flavours that can be discovered in the larger-than-life. TRAILER.

    “TRAILER is a program exploding with false film trailers of every genre imaginable. The concept for TRAILER began to take shape in my mind after having worked on several film festivals. As a programmer of “Vitesse Lumière,” I began noticing more and more fake trailers from films from all over. I won’t hide the fact that after having seen Grindhouse, I had a revelation that this could be a viable project. So, on the menu for this screening comes a diversity of imagistic material, in quick, brilliant succession. The 90 minute screening contains nearly 30 fake trailers, divided into 3 categories: action films, horror films, and a mix of all genres. Hold on to your hats, or risk decapitation!”- Carnior.

    Before TRAILER begins, there will be a short tribute to Carnior, to highlight some of his finest short films. If TRAILER pays homage to a programmer as passionate as Carnior, as a festival we would like to pay tribute to this accomplished actor and prolific director, who is similarly the founding president of “Vitesse Lumière,” another fantastic Quebec film festival. The screening will begin around 9pm, but park festivities begin at 7pm with DJ TIND and VJ Pink Rubber Lady, thanks to Mixsessions SAT.

    Fantasia 2011


    Guests are listed in order of screening date.

    Yoshimasa Ishibashi (Japan) – Director / Writer – MILOCRORZE – A LOVE STORY – Canadian Premiere July 15th

    Yudai Yamaguchi (Japan) – Director / Writer – DEADBALL – World Premiere July 15th / Co-Director /Co-Writer – YAKUZA WEAPON – Canadian Premiere July 16th

    Tak Sakaguchi (Japan) – Actor – DEADBALL – World Premiere July 15th / Co-Director / Co-Writer – YAKUZA WEAPON – Canadian Premiere July 16th

    Arata Yamanaka (Japan) – Actor – YAKUZA WEAPON – Canadian Premiere July 16th

    Yoshinori Chiba (Japan) – Producer – DEADBALL – World Premiere July 15th / YAKUZA WEAPON –Canadian Premiere July 16th

    Jerome Sable (Canada) – Director / Co-Writer / Co-Producer / Co-Composer – THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM – Quebec Premiere July 15th

    Eli Batalion (Canada) – Co-Writer / Co-Producer / Co-Composer – THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM – Quebec Premiere July 15th

    Ryoo Seung-wan (South Korea) – Director – THE UNJUST – Quebec Premiere July 16th

    Kang Hae-jung (South Korea) – Co-Producer – THE UNJUST – Quebec Premiere July 16th

    Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Jeremy Kasten, Tom Savini and Richard Stanley (Canada, UK, USA) – Directors – THE THEATRE BIZARRE – World Premiere July 16th

    Nicco Ardin, John Cregan, Evan Husney, Carl Daft, Jacqui Knapp, Fabrice Lambot, Rob Lucas, Michael Ruggiero, Victoria Sanchez and Daryl J. Tucker (Canada, France, USA) – Producers – THE THEATRE BIZARRE – World Premiere July 16th

    Lindsay Goranson, Billy Graham, Imogen Haworth, Tiio Horn, Udo Kier, Lena Kleine, Lynn Lowry, Victoria Maurette, Cynthia Wu Maheux and Mélodie Simard (Canada, France, Germany, USA) – Actors – THE THEATRE BIZARRE – World Premiere July 16th

    Emil Gustafsson Ryderup (Sweden) – Director / Writer / Editor – FRIEND OF FLIES – International Premiere July 16th

    Kazuteru Oshiriki (Japan) – Producer – LEGEND OF THE MILLENIUM DRAGON – Canadian Premiere July 17th

    Julian Gilbey (UK) – Director / Writer / Editor – A LONELY PLACE TO DIE – Canadian Premiere July 17th

    Jovanka Vuckovic (Canada) – Writer and Director – WOMEN IN HORROR and ARCHITECTS OF THE THEATRE BIZARRE Panels – July 17th

    Jason Eisener (Canada) – Director, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN – New Flesh Jury Member

    Greg Newman (USA) – SVP, MPI Media Group / Dark Sky Films – New Flesh Jury Member

    Carl Tibbetts (UK) – Director / Writer – RETREAT – World Premiere July 18th

    William Eubank (USA) – Director / Writer / Cinematographer / Production Designer – LOVE – International Premiere July 18th

    Gunner Wright (USA) – Actor – LOVE – International Premiere July 18th

    Mark Eaton (USA) – Executive Producer – LOVE – International Premiere July 18th

    Robin Hardy (UK) – Director / Writer – THE WICKER TREE – World Premiere July 19th

    James Mapes (UK) – Actor – THE WICKER TREE – World Premiere July 19th

    Peter Snell (UK) – Producer – THE WICKER TREE – World Premiere July 19th

    André Link (Canada) – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT RECIPIENT – Producer / SHIVERS – July 20th

    Daniel Cockburn (Canada) – Director / Writer – YOU ARE HERE – Quebec Premiere July 20th

    Brenda Goldstein (Canada) – Director / Writer – YOU ARE HERE – Quebec Premiere July 20th

    Hisayasu Sato (Japan) – Director – LOVE & LOATHING & LULU & AYANO – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Xavier Gens (France) – Director – THE DIVIDE – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Michael Eklund (Canada), Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc (USA) – Actors – THE DIVIDE – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Evan Kelly (Canada) – Director – THE CORRIDOR – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Josh MacDonald (Canada) – Writer – THE CORRIDOR – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Craig Cameron (Canada) – Co-Producer – THE CORRIDOR – Canadian Premiere July 21st

    Joseph Kahn (USA) – Director – DETENTION – International Premiere July 22nd

    Miguel Alejandro Gomez (Costa Rica) – Director / Writer / Producer / Editor – EL SANATORIO – Canadian Premiere July 22nd

    Dennis Gomez (Costa Rica) – Producer – EL SANATORIO – Canadian Premiere July 22nd

    Jesse Thomas Cook (Canada) – Director / Writer / Producer – MONSTER BRAWL – World Premiere July 23rd

    John Geddes and Matt Wiele (Canada) – Producers – MONSTER BRAWL – World Premiere July 23rd

    Matthew DeRosa, Art Hindle, Robert Maillet, Rico Montana, Chris Rutte and R.J. “City” Skinner (Canada) – Actors – MONSTER BRAWL – World Premiere July 23rd

    Ted Kotcheff (Canada) – WAKE IN FRIGHT – July 24th

    Pat Tremblay (Canada) – Director – HELLACIOUS ACRES: THE CASE OF JOHN GLASS – North American Premiere July 24th

    Nicolas Stanzick (France) – Writer, Dans les griffes de la Hammer – HAMMER MYTHOLOGY Lecture – July 24th

    Adam Wingard (USA) – Director – POP SKULL – July 24th / A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE – Canadian Premiere July 26th / WHAT FUN WE WERE HAVING – World Premiere July 27th

    Simon Barrett (USA) – Writer / Co-Producer – A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE – Canadian Premiere July 26th / WHAT FUN WE WERE HAVING – World Premiere July 27th

    John Landis (USA) – LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT / Director – BURKE AND HARE – Canadian Premiere July 27th

    Lee Hae-young (South Korea) – Director / Writer – FOXY FESTIVAL – Canadian Premiere July 28th

    Mike Flanagan (USA) – Director / Writer / Producer / Editor – ABSENTIA – Canadian Premiere July 28th

    Morgan Peter Brown, Justin Gordon and Jason Poh (USA) – Producers – ABSENTIA – Canadian Premiere July 28th

    Frédérick Maheux (Canada) – Director – ART/CRIME – World Premiere July 28th

    Rémy Couture (Canada) – Participant – ART/CRIME – World Premiere July 28th

    Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Israel) – Co-Directors / Co-Writers – RABIES – Canadian Premiere July 29th

    Jean-François Rauger (France) – Director of Programming, Cinémathèque Française – LA NUIT EXCENTRIQUE – July 29th

    Danielle Ouimet (Canada) – Actress – LES LÈVRES ROUGES – July 29th

    Noburo Iguchi (Japan) – Writer / Director – KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR – Quebec Premiere July 30th / Director – TOMIE: UNLIMITED – International Premiere July 31st

    Yasuhiko Fukuda (Japan) – Composer – KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR – Quebec Premiere July 30th

    F.J. Ossang (France) – Director – DHARMA GUN – North American Premiere July 30th

    Raffaele Picchio (Italy) – Director – MORITURIS – International Premiere July 30th

    Brandon Trost (USA) – Co-Director / Co-Writer – THE FP – International Premiere July 30th

    Jason Trost (aka JTRO) (USA) – Co-Director / Co-Writer / Actor – THE FP – International Premiere July 30th

    Steven Schneider (USA) – Producer – THE FP – International Premiere July 30th / Cheval Noir Jury Member

    Lee Joon-ik (South Korea) – Director – BATTLEFIELD HEROES – Canadian Premiere July 31st / Cheval Noir Jury Member

    Michael Axelgaard (UK) – Director – HOLLOW – World Premiere July 31st

    Matthew Holt (UK) – Writer / Producer – HOLLOW – World Premiere July 31st

    Robert Charlebois (Canada) – Actor – UN GÉNIE, DEUX ASSOCIÉS, UNE CLOCHE – July 31st

    Larry Kent (Canada) – Director – EXLEY – World Premiere August 1st

    Gilles Esposito (France) – Writer, Mad Movies – Cheval Noir Jury Member

    Tom Vick (USA) – Programmer, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution / Writer, Asian Cinema – Cheval Noir Jury Member

    Filip Tegstedt (Sweden) – Director / Writer / Producer – MARIANNE – World Premiere August 2nd

    Lucky McKee (USA) – Director / Writer – THE WOMAN – Canadian Premiere August 2nd

    Andrew Van den Houten (USA) – Producer – THE WOMAN – Canadian Premiere August 2nd

    Paul Campion (New Zealand) – Director / Writer / Executive Producer – THE DEVIL’S ROCK – North American Premiere August 3rd

    Karlos Drinkwater and Matt Sunderland (New Zealand) – Actors – THE DEVIL’S ROCK – North American Premiere August 3rd

    Chris Sivertson (USA) – Director – BRAWLER – World Premiere August 3rd

    Nathan Grubbs and Marc Senter (USA) – Actors / Co-Producers – BRAWLER – World Premiere August 3rd

    Marek Polgar (Australia) – Director – EXIT – World Premiere August 4th

    Martyn Pedler (Australia) – Writer – EXIT – World Premiere August 4th

    Guillermo del Toro (Mexique) – Co-Writer / Co-Producer – DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK – Canadian Premiere August 4th

    Jean Leloup (Canada) – Director / Writer / Co-Producer / Co-Composer – KARAOKE DREAMS / World Premiere August 5th

    Voltaire (USA) – Stop-motion filmmaker / Singer – VOLTAIRE: PUPPET MASTER OF THE MACABRE – August 5th

    Albert Pyun (USA) – Director – CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990) and TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE – August 6th

    For even more information about the event, please visit the official Fantasia International Film Festival website.

    Fantasia 2011

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    SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1



    SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

    SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
    There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

    Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

    Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

    SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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    Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene



    One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

    Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

    Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

    Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

    Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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    Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival



    The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

    The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

    Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

    An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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