Supported by enthusiastic genre fans throughout the land, the Night Visions International Film Festival will celebrate its November 2018 edition by bringing a sizzling selection of highly-touted films to Helsinki, Finland.
Gasper Noe's Climax, Yann Gonzalez's Knife + Heart, and Quentin Dupieux's Keep an Eye Out lead the program, buttressed by Leigh Whannell's Upgrade, Emma Tammi's The Wind and Jimmy Henderson's The Prey, not to forget The Unthinkable, which I quite enjoyed last month at Fantastic Fest.
Some 41 features and nine shorts will screen at the festival, held in the heart of beautiful downtown Helsinki from November 21-25, with themed events to be hosted nearby. It's a well-run festival, as I can testify from past experience, with the emphasis on the films themselves.
Check out the full announcement below for a list of all the titles. All verbiage provided by the festival. More information is available at the official site.
Right on time for Halloween, Scandinavia's biggest festival of fantasy, horror, scifi and action cinema Night Visions unveiled today the full lineup of its autumn 2018 edition. The event, last week listed as one of the "30 Bloody Best Genre Festivals in the World" by MovieMaker Magazine, is taking place in Helsinki, Finland from November 21 to November 25. Over the five festival days, it is showcasing a selection of 41 features and 9 shorts from all across the globe. Nearly 70 screenings will take place on three screens of the Kinopalatsi multiplex in the very heart of downtown Helsinki, on top of which there will be festival themed events at the live music club On the Rocks and the Helsinki Museum of Arts during the festival.
Highlights of the feature film selection are arriving to Night Visions screens again from all of the worlds most prestigious festivals. From this year's Cannes selection, the most eagerly-awaited titles include Gaspar Noe's controversial Directors' Fortnight main award winner Climax and Yann Gonzalez's Knife + Heart, a stylized take of the Italian giallo aesthetics starring Vanessa Paradis. The third strong French entry in the selection is Quentin "Rubber" Dupieux's latest comedy of surreal Keep an Eye Out, with the Belgian comedy genius Benoit Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog) in the lead.
From the SXSW world premieres selection, the Helsinki audiences are getting a fair dose of the best of the best of new science fiction. The Finnish premiere of Leigh Whannell's immensely entertaining biotech actioner Upgrade is accompanied by Joel Potrykus' fascinatingly original lo-fi scifi Relaxer and the ambitious space adventure Prospect by Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl.
Out of the more recent genre fare, Emma Tammi's atmospheric western horror The Wind made a splash in the Midnight Madness section of this September's Toronto International Film Festival (as the only feature in the selection directed by a woman), whereas Jimmy Henderson's edgy Cambodian actioner The Prey was among the most exciting world premieres of South Korea's Busan International Film Festival this October.
The best of the best of the most recent genre highlights from the Nordic region are also having their Finnish premieres hosted now by Night Visions. The Crazy Pictures collective's scifi dystopy The Unthinkable, this summer's surprise hit during its theatrical run on its home turf Sweden, finally lands in Finland. Rasmus Kloster Bro's seriously claustrophobic first feature Cutterhead and Soren Juul Petersen's Rob Zombie influenced directorial debut Finale arrive to Helsinki from Denmark. The colder-than-cold drug smuggling thriller Vultures by director-screenwriter Borkur Sigthorsson and producer Baltasar Kormakur (both of the Nordic Noir series sensation Trapped) emerges from Iceland.
The documentary selection of the festival does not necessarily relate directly to genre subjects, but captures the essence of the Night Visions spirit nevertheless. Kuba Mikurda's Love Express: The Disappearance of Walerian Borowczyk is an utterly captivating look at the life and career of the iconic cult film director. BOOM! by Jordan Albertsen chronicles the rise, the fall and the unexpected comeback of the garage rockers The Sonics. Julia Nash's Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records provides the audience with a ride through the underground of the 80s new wave and industrial music scene.
The retro selection of this November's festival focuses on two genre film legends who would both be worthy of a festival of their own. The Poland-born action maestro Sam Firstenberg (b. 1950) is a craftsman without whom our perception of the golden era of Cannon Films would be completely different. His career is celebrated now in Helsinki through screenings of three of his 80s classics, American Ninja (1985), American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987) and Avenging Force (1986).
Sergio Stivaletti (b. 1957) is one of the icons of Italian horror film industry, Europe's most acclaimed special effects artist and a long time collaborator of the likes of Dario Argento, Michele Soavi and Lamberto Bava. Stivaletti arrives to Helsinki to present the Scandinavian premiere of his latest directorial effort Rabbia Furiosa, a crime thriller based on the same true story as Matteo "Gomorra" Garrone's Cannes award winner Dogman. Night Visions audiences are also treated with a special 35mm screening of Stivaletti's directorial debut The Wax Mask (1997) and Dario Argento's classic of modern horror Opera (1987), on which Stivaletti worked as the wizard of animatronics.