The amazing FanTasia Festival is going on now in Montreal, Canada and we’ve been covering it a bit here at B-D. Although the coverage is nothing like last years, we’ve at least got a few reviews to showcase some new films. If you’re up near the fest, you might want to go this week because the line up is just spectacular (starting with the amazing The Roost tomorrow night), read on for what you’ll see…
Montreal, July 19th, 2005 – Again this week, the Fantasia International Genre Film Festival will be host to many special guests and movie premieres. Among special guests this week, Fantasia’s public will have a chance to meet the following:
On July 20th at 9:50 PM, the American writer and director Ti West will introduce the Canadian premiere of his gritty horror aria The Roost, a huge hit at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.
On July 21st at 9:35 PM, Belgian screenwriter and director Harry Cleven will host the North American premiere of his existential horror film Trouble, winner of the Grand Jury Prize of the Fantastic Film Festival of Gerardmer.
On July 22nd at 9:45 PM, Lloyd Kaufman, beloved American independent filmmaker and father of Troma, will hold a master class on the ins and outs of indie filmmaking, entitled How to Make Your Own Damn Movie. This evening of edgy education will conclude with a screening of the film that started it all, The Toxic Avenger!
On July 23rd at 2:45 PM, the anime television series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig will be presented in a North American premiere. For this event, Fantasia welcomes Manga Entertainment label representative, vocal talent and anime enthusiast Keith Burgess to introduce this special GITS:SAC package!
The same afternoon, at 5:15 PM, the North American premiere of the Korean film Spin Kick, a teen martial-arts drama with comic touches and amazing taekwondo sequences, will be hosted by director Sang-Kuk Nam.
In the evening, at 11:55 PM, well see the World premiere of Shadow: Dead Riot, legendary Hong Kong cinematographer Derek Wan’s directorial debut. Producer Carl Morano and the screenwriter Michael Gingold will be on hand to unveil this insane ode to early ‘80s zombie and women’s prison films.
For the first time in Fantasia’s history, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to an international genre-cinema craftsman. The first laureate is Ray Harryhausen. On July 24th at noon, Mr. Harryhausen will hold forth on his career and present a few of his rare early works, followed by a screening of Jason and the Argonauts in a new 35mm print, and concluded by a Q&A period. Three hours with the stop-motion master, whose special effects inspired the likes of James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Celebrate Bruce Lee’s 65th birthday with his legendary co-star Nora Miao, as she hosts a special screening of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) on July 25th at 5:00 PM. One of the leading actresses and beauties of the ‘70s will grace Fantasia with a rare appearance. Miao holds the distinction of the only actress ever to appear in Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Shaw Bros films over her vibrant career.
Finally, on July 25th at 5:00 PM, Singapore director Tzang Merwyn Tong will present the Canadian premiere of A Wicked Tale, winner of the Gold Remi Award at the WorldFest of the Houston International Film Festival.
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The Fantasia festival is also honoured to present during the course of its last week the following genre films and premieres:
Belgium-France, dir: Harry Cleven
North American Premiere, hosted by director Harry Cleven!
July 21st at 9:55 PM
Separation can be a terrifying thing. What would you do if you were informed out of the blue that you had a long-lost identical twin? This is the creepy situation that successful photographer Matyas (La Pianiste’s Benoît Magimel), freshly settled into a new family life, finds himself in. The mere revelation brings back uncomfortable childhood memories and cracks begin to form in his seemingly perfect home life.
Survive Style 5+
Japan, dir: Gen Sekiguchi
July 22nd at 7:30 PM and July 23rd at 9:20 PM
Survive Style 5+ is a hilarious thermonuclear blast of concepts and chaos with a killer rock soundtrack, wickedly witty dialogue, the most colour-drenched art direction this side of a melting Crayola factory and enough going on to fill several unhinged features.
Hong Kong / Japan / South Korea, dirs: Fruit Chan, Park Chan-Wook, Takashi Miike
July 22nd at 11:55 PM and July 23rd at 9:20 PM
Three… Extremes is a transgressive trilogy by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy), Takashi Miike (Gozu) and Fruit Chan (Made in Hong Kong) of medium-length short films from South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, each an assaulting exploration of egoism, with shared imagery revolving around destruction/rejuvenation of the flesh and a shattered entertainer at its core.
USA, dir: David Payne
July 25th at 7:40 PM
Writer/director Dave Payne has carved a wildly thrilling film out of a series of strategically familiar genre elements, and you are in for one hell of a treat. Reeker is an edgy black twin to commercial horror cinema, cleverly directed, punctuated with highly original bursts of gore and sparkling with equal doses of affection for its characters and the audience.
Night Watch (Closing Film)
Russia, dir: Timur Bekmambetov
July 25th at 9:45 PM
Adapted from the popular novel by Sergei Lukyanenko, Night Watch is far and away the biggest domestic box-office success in post-Soviet Russia, having left even Spider-Man 2 in the dust on home turf, and was Russia’s 2004 contender for the Oscar. It boasts action, special effects and production values to match what Hollywood has to offer, a wicked streak of Russian black humour throughout, and moreover a cast of faces familiar across Russia, pop stars and Soviet-era icons alike.
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The festival will also screen two very special and unique spoken word and multimedia shows:
Lloyd Kaufman’s How to Make Your Own Damn Movie
July 22nd at 9:45 PM
The unstoppable father of Troma will hold an eccentric master class on contemporary independent low budget filmmaking, followed by a rare screening of the original The Toxic Avenger.
An Afternoon with Ray Harryhausen
July 24th at noon
Fps Magazine is proud to present this three-hour block with the legendary SFX pioneer who will speak in depth about his career, screen rare clips, host an extended Q&A session and present a newly restored 35mm print of Jason and the Argonauts!