Night Visions 2019: PARASITE, FIRST LOVE, KNIVES OUT Lead Finnish Fest Lineup
The northern climes of Finland warm up considerably this time of year, at least if you're visiting Helsinki and attending the Night Visions International Film Festival.
The festival organizers have unviled the lineup for its November 2019 edition and it looks fabulous, as usual. Bong Joon-ho's Parasite will open the fest on Wednesday, November 20; the dark comedy-drama is an amazing film to watch on a big screen, and it should set the atmosphere nicely for the festival.
I've also seen Takashi Miike's eye-opening First Love, Rian Johnson's clever mystery Knives Out, Ant Timpson's surprisingly edgy Come to Daddy, and Seth Ickerman's terrific sci-fi flick Blood Machines, so I can testify that Finland is in for quite a treat later this month.
Night Visions runs from November 20-24. Here's the official release, courtesty of the festival (all verbiage theirs):
Scandinavia's number one genre film event Night Visions International Film Festival has announced the final selection of its fall edition. From November 20 to November 24, 2019, Night Visions will conquer three screens of the Kinopalatsi multiplex right in the the center of Helsinki. The festival is showcasing a total of 39 features and 5 short films in its 67 screenings. As usual, the feast will reach its climax during an all-nighter, with the closing film kicking off at 09.45 am on the morning of Sunday, November 24, 2019.
The most acclaimed highlights of the upcoming edition include the Cannes Palme d'Or winner Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, presented as the opening film of the festival, Rian Johnson's TIFF sensation Knives Out, and Vaclav Marhoul's World War II arthouse shocker The Painted Bird, starring Udo Kier, Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgård, among others.
Other anticipated genre discoveries of the official selection include the Japanese maestro Takashi Miike's latest gangster epic First Love, introduced to the world earlier this year in the Directors' Fortnight selection of the Cannes International Film Festival, Ant Timpson's Tribeca world premiere Come to Daddy starring Elijah Wood, Riley Stearns' Jesse Eisenberg starrer The Art of Self-Defense and Lucas Heyne's disturbing Sundance Midnight hit Mope.
Independent U.S. horror is also represented particularly well in the selection. Director David Marmor's feature debut 1BR is a striking thriller digging deep into the brainwashing methodology of religious sects. Joe Begos' third feature Bliss, beautifully shot on super-16, is a modern take on the vampire myth with a nod or two in the direction of Gaspar Noe's Climax and Enter the Void. Manhattan's independent genre filmmaking legend Larry Fessenden plays with another familiar theme in his latest directorial effort Depraved, a modern take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Chelsea Stardust's Satanic Panic delivers exactly what it says on the tin, gory comedy with an eye on detail of aesthetics remisicent of the golden genre classics of the 80s. Topping the selection is Fingers, Juan Ortiz's part-horror, part-comedy, creating very much a universe of its own slightly in the vein of Jim Hosking's mind-bending obscurity The Greasy Strangler.
This November's equally strong sci-fi offering comes from France and North America. Blood Machines is the French director duo Seth Ickerman's highly anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed music video Turbo Killer, again featuring a very strong soundtrack by the synthwave sensation Carpenter Brut. Synchronic, this September's TIFF world premiere starring Jamie "Fifty Shades" Dornan and Anthony "Marvel" Mackie, is a mesmerizing science fiction drama by Night Visions' favourite directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Spring, The Endless). Benson and Moorhead are also arriving to Helsinki in person to celebrate the Scandinavian premiere of their fourth feature.
The documentary selection of the festival is divided into two categories. The selection of this year's best music documentaries includes Where Does a Body End?, Marco Porsia's in-depth look at the phenomenal New York group Swans, director Adam Dubin's take on the San Francisco thrash metal scene in Murder in the Front Row and Rodney Ascher (Room 237) and David Lawrence's The El Duce Tapes, a candid and thought-provoking take on the late The Mentors frontman Eldon "El Duce" Hoke. The selection of filmmaking related documentaries features looks in the lives and careers of the genre masterminds Al Adamson (Blood & Flesh), Ruggero Deodato (Deodato Holocaust) and Lucio Fulci (Fulci for Fake).
The retro selection of this November's festival is built around two very distinctive filmmaker guests, Jack Sholder (b. 1945) and Sergio Martino (b.1938). Both legendary directors will be presenting an abundant selection of their directorial efforts, some of them now seen on the big screen in Finland for the first time ever.
The short film selection of the festival features discoveries from Canada (Please Speak Continously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You by Brandon Cronenberg), Finland (Bath by Fyr Romu and SleepyBear by Artturi Rosten), the Netherlands (The Occupant by Hugo Keijzer) and Serbia (The Little One by Danilo Beckovic). The latter two have a particularly strong connection to Night Visions' home front, with The Occupant having been partially shot in Finland and The Little One starring Onni Tommila, the Finnish emerging superstar familiar from director Jalmari Helander's global genre hits Rare Exports and Big Game.
Full festival lineup and screening schedule visit the official festial site.
Tickets for all screenings of the Night Visions International Film Festival are on sale NOW at the festival's exhibitor partner's website.