The feature of all features is coming. The Fantasia International Film Festival‘s 23 Edition will take place from July 11 to August 1, 2019. We’re already clearing up schedules as over 130 selections will crash land in Montreal in time for the Summer. Nothing like enjoying the hot weather in a cold, dark theatre. Fantasia will grant the Lifetime Achievement Award to producer Edward R. Pressman during a 45th Anniversary screening of Brian De Palma’s PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Paul Williams, who plays Swan in the film, will join him onstage.
So upfront, we get quite a list in Fantasia’s first wave of films revealed. Here’s just a few that seem like they could become my first picks. I’m trying to stick to my gut and not be dazzled by the big names, but let’s see how long I last. Here’s just a few samples from the promising the complete first wave list of films.
THE GANGSTER, THE COP, THE DEVIL
It’s Don Lee, how could I not? But seriously, we got a gangster and a cop joining forces to bring down a serial killer. This one is an action movie filled “With chases of all kinds, brutal fights, incisive dialogue tinged with black humour, and pitch-perfect performances by a seasoned cast”. The film is directed and written by Lee Won-tae.
Lee Kwon directs “this nail-biting thriller deeply rooted in the female experience” with actress Kong Hyo-Jin “deftly portraying a woman accustomed to hostility and dismissal who must rise up to defend herself.” It may be a remake of Jaume Balageuro’s SLEEP TIGHT from Fantasia 2012, but it won the Thriller Prize at the 2019 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
Filmmakers Bret and Drew Pierce brings us the story of a teenager living next door to an unspeakable evil. It is described as “a dead serious new spin on witchcraft cinema, with a fresh set of rules, likeable and developed teen characters, a ton of surprising scares, and a cauldron of imaginatively gruesome special makeup effects.”
It’s the 90’s again, but not the one we know. In this alternate universe, the adults have vanished from the face of the earth. Described as “a triumphant love letter to teenage misfits everywhere”, it’s the anticipated first feature of Jovanka Vuckovic with a script by Katherine Collins.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WKND
Spanish writer/director Jon Mikel Caballero brings us “a moving and unique genre work in which a woman falls into a timeloop that forces her to repeatedly relive the day of a sudden break-up, with each repetition running shorter than the last”. Time travel? We are SO in! Winner for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2019 Fant Bilbao Film Festival.
Lee Joo-young stars in Yi Okseop’s “infinitely charming and unpredictable” MAGGIE which “unfolds as a series of quirky interconnected vignettes pushing the possibilities of screenwriting forward, and interrogating the mysteries of the universe, the nature of trust, and the (inevitable?) wearing-down of relationships.” We’re also promised sinkholes appearing everywhere and a chatty pet catfish. You better deliver all that and more.
JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY
Call me a sucker for falling for unnecessary long titles. Miguel Llanso directs this story about two CIA agents with the mission to destroy the Soviet Union. “A cornucopia of stylistic influences, virtuosic cinematic techniques, and set design (ranging from stop-motion animation to stylized live-action), Llanso’s latest blends inter-dimensional intrigue, spy-fi, kung-fu, and Philip K. Dick-esque mind-melting weirdness to achieve truly unclassifiable results.” Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
You can read the full article and see the complete first wave list at the official Fantasia International Film Festival site.
That will do for now.