PiFan 2012 Preview Part I: Puchon Choice (Main Competition)
BELENGGU (Indonesia, 2012)
After The Raid (2011) it's not going to be too hard to convince people to watch Indonesian films any more but Belenggu seems like it's not going to need that extra push. Judging by the trailer alone it is an atmospheric and beautifully staged film about a man haunted by images of murder. I don't know much else about it but I am thoroughly intrigued!
BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK (Japan 2012)
Released only a few weeks ago in Japan, this continuation of the popular Blood series comes from Shiotani Naoyoshi who previously worked in the animation departments of Spirited Away (2001) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004). The film looks gorgeous, full of dark, sweeping images and is coupled with a really fun narrative: girl in school uniform brandishes sword during a war for the control of Tokyo. Need anything else? I'm game!
CITADEL (Ireland, 2012)
The debut film from Irish director Ciaran Foy, following a number of shorts, follows an agoraphobic father who is terrorized by a group of feral children who are trying to take his baby. Though in some respects it looks like a zombie film, Citadel promises to be a much more introspective affair. The film was generally well-received when it screened earlier this year at SXSW.
EXCISION (USA, 2011)
Richard Bates Jr.'s incendiary coming of age horror film has had a long festival run during which it has shocked and enthralled a widespread audience. Excision follows a teenage girl with dark and erotic dreams who has a desire to become a self-taught surgeon. The film has been praised for its striking compositions and its fierce attack on the state of parenting and growing up in America.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL (Spain, 2011)
A man wakes up with a hangover and a beautiful woman by his side, at the same time a spaceship begins to hover over the city. Extraterrestrial, the sophomore feature from Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes, 2007), surprised many as rather than being a sci-fi film, it is more of a romantic comedy. Though the film has earned a good reputation so if you keep that in mind it may be worth the trip.
HELL (Germany, Switzerland; 2011)
Tim Fehlbaum's debut feature is set in a dystopian future which has been dried out by the overpowering sun. Hell, produced by the über lord of cinema destruction Roland Emmerich, is an atmospheric and dark look at what people might do in a desperate situation. It has attracted a number of positive notices since it bowed at the Munich Film Fest last June.
KING KELLY (USA, 2012)
Following its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year King Kelly received a lot of high praise for its aggressive look at Generation Y and the internet age. The film follows an internet star during one day of her life and is almost entirely shot on iPhones but is by all accounts a thought-provoking work. It's also the shortest film in the main competition, clocking in at just over an hour.
LIVID (France, 2011)
French horror cineastes Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, the team behind Insidious (2007) have returned with a sophomore feature that burrows further down the rabbit hole of the horror genre. Following its world premiere at Toronto last year, Livid has been riding a wave of good reviews. Its French trailer asks a simple question: Robbing a vampire's house, is it a good idea?
MOTORWAY (Hong Kong, China; 2012)
This Johnny To-produced actioner looks like what Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) was hoping to be, that is to say a sleek and cool vehicular thriller. Though it suffered a turbulent production Motorway was received as a slick action film but you would do well not to expect too much of it from a plot and character standpoint.
Review (Kwenton Bellette)
Review (James Marsh)
SPACE BROTHERS (Japan, 2012)
This Japanese comedy-drama tells the story of two brothers who promised they would both fly into space together. One becomes an astronaut, the other is unemployed but now it is time to keep that promise. Space Brothers, which has a theme song by Coldplay and is based on an anime, looks a little sappy around the edges but might have just enough charm to warrant a look.
THE SQUAD (Argentina, Columbia, Spain; 2011)
As Civil War Rages on in Columbia, an elite squad stumbles upon a woman chained in a deserted military base and now come face to face with an unexpected enemy. This military horror is a rare offering from Columbia but received mixed, though mostly positive reviews after it screened at last year's Fantastic Fest.
WRONG (USA, 2012)
This quirky comedy, from French director Quentin Dupieux, follows Dolph Springer who has just lost his dog and is on a journey to retrieve him. Wrong, which debuted at Sundance this year, has been getting great buzz for its irreverence and absurdity and with genre film favorites like William Fichtner in tow, it's hard not to get excited.