Montreal, Monday May 3rd, 2010 – While we’re still several weeks away from announcing our full 2010 festival line-up, the 14th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is making an early announcement to highlight several special events planned for this summer’s fest, including a stage play, multiple lifetime achievement awards and a gala performance/screening premiere revolving around one of the most significant silent-film restorations in the history of moving images.
THE COMPLETE METROPOLIS – A GALA EVENT AT PLACE DES ARTS
Seldom has the rediscovery of a cache of lost footage ignited widespread curiosity as did the announcement, in July 2008, that an essentially complete copy of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS had been found. This prompted an incredible year-long restoration project, the results of which will be unveiled for the first time in Quebec this summer, at Fantasia. Featuring over 25 minutes of new material (1,257 shots, including entire new sequences), the complete METROPOLIS will be screened as a special gala event at the 3000-seat Wilfred Pelletier theatre in Place des Arts on July 28. For this special night, internationally renowned silent film composer Gabriel Thibaudeau is writing a new score for the feature, which he will perform with a 13-piece orchestra live at the screening. It will be a fantastically historical night in every sense of the word!
Notes on the music for Fantasia’s METROPOLIS event by Gabriel Thibaudeau:
“For the last 22 years I have been resident pianist and composer for the Cinematheque québécoise. METROPOLIS is one of the first films I played to. Writing a new score for this film represents, for me, a long cherished dream. The film’s modern feel and visual treatment lends itself well to experimentation and is a pure joy to create sound for!
How to express musically the class struggle and dialectic that are the foundations of this work? By utilizing not one, but two chamber orchestras! Quite simply, at stage left the orchestra represents the elitist spirit of the city through a string quintet and keyboard. At stage right a brass quintet with organ will form the second orchestra, symbol of the strength of the workers in the subterranean city. The percussion section in the center will form a link between the two worlds/ensembles.
For this two and a half hour performance, specially commissioned by the Fantasia Festival, the majority of movements will be precisely written and perfectly synchronized with the images on screen. However, certain passages will be more free, created live through “Soundpainting”, a technique of improvising from coded gestures used by the conductor.”
– Gabriel Thibaudeau
A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR KEN RUSSELL
Fantasia will present Britain’s celebrated enfant terrible, the director of such one-of-a-kind classics as ALTERED STATES, TOMMY, CRIMES OF PASSION, WOMEN IN LOVE, LISZTOMANIA, GOTHIC, SALOME’S LAST DANCE, MAHLER and LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM, with a lifetime achievement award in celebration of his astoundingly unique and bravely provocative visions. On the night of his ceremony, we will screen a rare 35mm print of his explosive and still-controversial 1971 masterpiece THE DEVILS. This notoriously powerful film, which remains unavailable on DVD anywhere in the world, stars Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, and featuring art direction by Derek Jarman. Russell will be in town for a week and our special “Devils’ Night” award presentation will kick off a massive retrospective of his filmography split across Cinematheque Quebecoise and Cinema Du Parc.
DUAL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FOR ANIMATION DUO DON BLUTH & GARY GOLDMAN
Along with the homage to filmmaker Ken Russell, the Fantasia Film Festival is proud to give a lifetime achievement award to Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, the creative duo behind such animated modern classics as THE SECRET OF NIMH, AN AMERICAN TAIL and ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN. Bluth and Goldman share a unique story in animation cinema. Beginning their groundbreaking work with Disney, they created their own independent studio in 1973, which lead to numerous collaborations with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, a detour in the video game world with the DRAGON’S LAIR series and a dozen imaginative feature films. To celebrate this event, the Fantasia Film Festival will screen the prehistoric tale THE LAND BEFORE TIME, the unforgettable classic that lives in the imagination of a generation of cinephiles. Our audience will also have a chance to meet the filmmakers during a special panel on animation.
THE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE OF STUART GORDON & JEFFREY COMBS’ CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED EDGAR ALLAN POE STAGE PLAY
Award-winning filmmaker Stuart Gordon, beloved for such films as RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND and STUCK will be returning to Fantasia (after gracing us with the Canadian premiere of EDMOND in 2006) with his staple star Jeffrey Combs to stage their acclaimed one-man play NEVERMORE: AN EVENING WITH EDGAR ALLAN POE, which features Combs in a breathtaking performance as the legendary author. It should be noted that Gordon was a celebrated theatre director for many years before turning to cinema. Among his many impressive credits, the future filmmaker founded Chicago’s Organic Theater in the ’70s and was the first to stage a play by David Mamet, who he continues to collaborate with every now and then. A spellbinding recreation of the public recitals that Poe regularly performed in the years before his death, based on reviews and reports of his actual appearances, NEVERMORE premiered in Los Angeles in July 2009 and was originally slated to run for four weeks. Critical raves and mass audience draws saw the run extended to nearly six months. Combs’ performance is so captivating and mercurial that many critics have championed him as “the definitive Poe,” a claim that we can fully agree with! 2010 also happens to be the 25th anniversary of RE-ANIMATOR, and in celebration of this, Fantasia will be screening an uncut 35mm print of the cult classic, hosted by Gordon and Combs.
MORE – MUCH MORE – TO COME
The above is but an early tease-taste of what Fantasia has lined up for Montrealers this summer, released to tide you over until we announce our full line-up of over 100 feature films in mid-June. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got any questions or requests. Enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The 14th annual Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 8 – July 28 2010.