Festivals: Fantasia

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Fantasia 2019 Review: Nakashima's IT COMES, A Wild Multi-Thread Horror Ride

There are few filmmakers in Japan whose work is quite as immediately recognizable as Nakashima Tetsuya. Even as he has evolved over the last fifteen years from the candy-colored pop explosion of Kamikaze Girls to his gritty 2015 thriller, World...

Fantasia 2019 Review: KILLERMAN Feels Like a 1990s Thriller

The opening moments of Killerman are a masterclass in moving money on the streets.   In a sequence that runs 8 minutes or so, a mid-level money launderer first swaps a banker's box full of cash for a solid block of...

Fantasia 2019 Review: In 1BR, Apartment Hunting Can Be Murder

There is nothing fun about finding a place to live, especially in a new city where you have no friends or relatives to help you. Sarah (Nicole Bloom) has just arrived in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a costume...

Friday One Sheet: JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY

This striking poster is for Ethiopian avant garde science fiction satire (or farce) Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway, which is the follow-up feature to equally strange, but more subdued Tarkovsky-Jodorowski inspired Crumbs (2015). Taken from a still from...

Fantasia 2019 Review: SWALLOW, Gorgeously Composed, A Film About Pica and Personal Empowerment

We are introduced to young house-wife, Hunter, in a pastel Christian Dior outfit. Surveying the picturesque Hudson River in Upstate New York, from the raised terrace of her expensive home, she is the kept woman of a wealthy family and...

Fantasia Review 2019: ODE TO NOTHING Tells a Curious Ghost Story of Death and Minimalism

In deep focus photography and an olive-pewter colour palette that is nearly monochrome comes a crafted and curious film out of the Philippines.   We first meet Sonya winding up the innards of a cassette tape so she can keep...

Interview: Tilman Singer on LUZ, His Wildly Experimental Demonic Possession Film

In 2018, at the Berlin Film festival and then later at Fantasia, a wildly sophisticated student film by the name of Luz, flabbergasted moviegoers and blew some minds. The story of a demon attempting to possess 'the girl that got...

Fantasia 2019: Kim Joo-hwan's THE DIVINE FURY (사자) to Wrap up Festival

Film Festivals are in a constant state of flux. It is almost against the very nature of festival for things to go smoothly, their administrative equivelant of, 'It's quiet. Too quiet'.    So we always have to be at the...

Fantasia 2019 Review: Kimo Staboel's DREADOUT, Yet Another Solid Solo Debut From The Former Mo Brothers

In an amazing coincidence that I presume will become more and more common as time goes along, Fantasia 2019 boasts not just one, but two films that utilize people entering buildings wherein deadly tragedies have occurred as a method of...

BLOOD ON HER NAME: New Poster Drops Ahead of World Premiere at Fantasia

Mathew Pope's Southern Gothic Neo-Noir Blood on Her Name premiered last night at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Ahead of its premiere this fresh poster, designed by Casey Moore of High Council, was debuted.      The dead body lies at...

Fantasia 2019 Review: BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE AND GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON Examines A Hollywood B-Movie Mystery

Al Adamson wasn't what you'd call a superstar filmmaker. Toiling in the world of super low budget B- and C-grade drive-in fare from the early '60s through the early '80s, Adamson was responsible for inflicting more than thirty films upon...

Fantasia 2019 Review: MYSTERY OF THE NIGHT, A Woman's Scorn Awakens A Dark Spirit In The Phillipine Forest

Played out against a backdrop of political strife and religious domination, director Adolfo Alix, Jr.'s Mystery of the Night is a gripping tale of love and loss in the early 20th century Spanish-occupied Phillippines. An island nation under the thumb...

Fantasia 2019 Review: DREAMLAND Plays Free Jazz With Genre Conventions

In Dreamland, the ubiquitous Stephen McHattie plays a weary, nameless, assassin, who does the dirty work for a mid level gangster named Hercules. Disgusted to find out that his boss is getting into the human trafficking of young children involving...

Fantasia 2019 Review: CHIWAWA Warms Up An Old Formula With Mediocre Results

A tale as old as time, director Ninomiya Ken attempts to revitalize the story of a woman driven into the arms of madness in the search for acceptance in Chiwawa, his follow up to the festival hit, The Limit of...

Fantasia 2019 Review: COME TO DADDY Delights in Putting Elijah Wood Through The Ringer

I am drawn to father-son stories like a moth to flame. The difficult communication barriers, awkward processing of emotion. The silence and the rage. In the movies, these stories often culminate in the father expressing a deep pride or love...

Fantasia 2019 Review: CRITTERS ATTACK!, Among The Most Fun Franchise Rejuvenations In Years

The Crites are back at Fantasia 2019 with the world premiere of the fifth feature in the Critters franchise, Critters Attack!, from the writer/director of the 2016 festival hit The Cleanse (AKA The Master Cleanse), Bobby Miller. One of the...

Fantasia 2019 Review: JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY Will Smash Your Brain To Pieces

Truly original artistic voices are few and far between. When it comes to contemporary genre cinema, a few innovators come to mind when one thinks about the 21st century. Filmmakers like Khavn from the Phillippines, Q from India, Sono Sion...

Fantasia 2019 Review: THE DEEPER YOU DIG Is A Fascinating Micro-Budget Psychological Horror With A Great Origin Story

A mother, Ivy (Toby Poser) and her daughter Echo (Zelda Adams) live alone out in the country. They seem to share an unusually close relationship, despite the fact that Echo is of the age where a young girl would be...

Fantasia 2019 Review: THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE Is A Comedic Swiss Watch

Casey is a quiet, nebbish, accountant who lives by himself. He has no friends except his impossibly cute Dachshund. He is introduced sitting quietly and nervously in a cafe, attempting to learn French. The line he is practicing is "I...

Fantasia 2019 Review: SADAKO Goes Back to the RING Well, Brings Up Fresh Ideas

For thew opening night of Fantasia 2019, the festival goes back to the well - and its roots - with the North American premiere of Nakata Hideo's Sadako. A return to the iconic Ring (Ringu) series Nakata kicked off back...