Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Foul Sex, Civil War and More: 10 Highlights From This Year's Fantasia Film Festival

By Michael-Oliver Harding | Indiewire August 9, 2013 at 3:08PM

Montreal’s sprawling Fantasia Festival wrapped up a stellar 17th edition this week. With over 120 madcap features and a slew of special events, the festival once described by Quentin Tarantino as "the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent" didn’t disappoint fans of macabre live theatre, martial arts musicals, and other unruly selections. Highlights included a lifetime achievement award presented to subversive Polish master Andrzej Zulawski ("Possession") and an artist talk with "X-Men: Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer, who's currently shooting his anticipated mutant sequel in Montreal. Indiewire waded through an impressive crop of apocalyptic, slapsticky or boundary-busting premiere titles to elect our 10 festival favorites.
1
Troma's "Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. One."
Troma's "Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. One."

Montreal’s sprawling Fantasia Festival wrapped up a stellar 17th edition this week. With over 120 madcap features and a slew of special events, the festival once described by Quentin Tarantino as "the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent" didn’t disappoint fans of macabre live theatre, martial arts musicals, and other unruly selections. Highlights included a lifetime achievement award presented to subversive Polish master Andrzej Zulawski ("Possession") and an artist talk with "X-Men: Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer, who's currently shooting his anticipated mutant sequel in Montreal. Indiewire waded through an impressive crop of apocalyptic, slapsticky or boundary-busting premiere titles to elect our 10 festival favorites.

Doomsdays

Obnoxious hipster "Dirty Fred" (Justin Rice) and his abrasive, eco-conscious buddy Bruho ("Kids" and "Bully" alum Leo Fitzpatrick) cherish their vagabond grind: they break into strangers’ affluent abodes, steal food and alcohol until the owners return and then repeat their outlaw cycle ad infinitum. Shot in drawn-out takes, this intelligent, irreverent and truly idiosyncratic debut by former film critic Eddie Mullins features two singular slackers in an age of doomed globalization, convinced that our petroleum-dependent world is about to self-destruct. How Mullins’ oft-irascible characters manage to grow on you is a testament to this black comedy’s nuanced script and assured performances.

Les 4 Soldats

Fantasia’s most anticipated Canadian premiere follows four orphaned youths and fellow soldiers who develop tight-knit bonds in a province beleaguered by an unidentified civil war. Morin, one of Quebec’s most brazen cinematic iconoclasts, adapts a book by Hubert Mingarelli into an eloquent and slow-burning meditation on friendship in dire times. Narrator Dominique, alpha male Matéo, child-at-heart Big Max and dreadlocked loner Kevin, all orphaned as a result of the war, build a makeshift family and relish in the most mundane, routine activities. For Morin, whose long takes wisely refrain from ever depicting an "enemy," war is but the pretext to explore our primal need for human connection.

OXV: The Manual

Pegged as "the world’s first scientific philosophical romance," this wildly original, cerebral sci-fi treat is set in a parallel universe wherein humans emit precise frequencies that determine the courses of their lives (namely, career aspirations and opportunities for romance). Those with high frequencies, like child prodigy Marie-Curie, can expect good fortune and low empathy, while Isaac-Newton’s low frequency condemns him to a lifetime of calamities. Although they "repel like two high-powered magnets," Isaac moves heaven and earth to get closer to Marie, his lifelong crush, by chemically tweaking their frequencies – an experiment with dire consequences. Brilliant storytelling that questions the notion of free will while championing human imagination.

L’Autre Monde (The Otherworld)

The highlight of the festival’s Documentaries From The Edge section, "L’Autre Monde" finds cult director Richard Stanley ("Hardware") training his lens on a slew of supernatural phenomena occurring in an area in the south of France dubbed "The Zone." Given that thousands of tourists flock annually to the occult-minded villages around Montségur, Stanley explores this intangible realm of vortexes, orbs and ghostly apparitions with a hodgepodge of sorcerers, physicists and lunatics. His documentary's compelling anthropological insights remind us that our culture is sometimes ill-equipped to understand mysticism – and that, alien vessel claims notwithstanding, there is probably more than meets the eye.

The Weight

Korea’s profoundly grim – and riveting – recipient of the 2012 Venice Queer Lion took its long overdue North American bow at Fantasia. Plunging into an abyss of human misery, "The Weight" tells the story of Yung, a hunchbacked mortician, who literally wears the weight of Seoul's downtrodden on his shoulders. A man of few words, who diligently polishes corpses and helps his oppressed brother pay for a sex change operation, Yung lives in a morally bankrupt city where depravity is the common currency, and necrophilia is just the tip of the iceberg. Kyu-hwan's subversive and at times surreal portrayal of social pariahs and their open-wound vulnerability is truly heartbreaking.

Love Eternal

This haunting, darkly humorous and visually stunning adaptation of a Japanese novel tells the story of Ian (Robert de Hoog), a withdrawn man permanently scarred by his many brushes with death. After stumbling upon his father’s lifeless body and discovering a young girl hanging from a tree, Ian spends years anguishing in his bedroom. He eventually finds solace in helping women take their own lives…and bringing their corpses back home for some company. Muldowney hits all the right marks – gloomy, deadpan and endearing – with this complex tale of a man who finds reason to live (and love) after flirting with death one too many times.

Number 10 Blues/Goodbye Saigon

An intriguing piece of B-movie history, shot near the end of the Vietnam War, and recently unearthed and edited by Japan’s National Film Centre, this artifact of Asian exploitation cinema explores racial tensions against the backdrop of war-torn Vietnam. The movie depicts an affluent, Japanese businessman who goes into hiding after accidentally killing a Vietnamese. He tries to stay alive by embarking on a perilous journey across the country with his stunning songstress sweetheart.Osada’s long-shelved directorial debut (which premiered in Rotterdam earlier this year) brings to light a vibrant, insider’s perspective on the Vietnam War – nearly 40 years after it was filmed.

24 Exposures

The mumblecore maven’s playful erotic thriller centers on a self-indulgent fetish photographer (Adam Wingard), whose elaborate staging of scantily clad women as bruised and bloodied corpses begins to mirror (and seal?) his models’ real-life fates. A minor work in Swanberg’s DIY filmography, but refreshingly, one that never takes itself very seriously, "24 Exposures" is a pulpy exploration of libidinous relationship demons. Frequent Swanberg collaborator Simon Barrett plays a dejected cop tasked with investigating the murders, in a self-aware turn that only enhances the "meta" value of the narrative – further muddying the waters as to whether Swanberg is showing us real or fetishized crime scenes.

Curse of Chucky

Having penned all previous films in the "Child’s Play" franchise (and directing "Seed of Chucky"), Don Mancini takes the reins for this sixth installment of the killer doll’s gruesome antics, which shrewdly reintroduces the late eighties/early nineties horror icon to a whole new generation. Playing down the laughs in order to crank up the reign of terror, this installment finds the raunchy doll shipped off to a spooky house, where wheelchair-bound Nica (played by Fiona Dourif, real-life daughter to the homicidal doll’s voice actor, Brad Dourif) becomes the unlikely heroine in a rapidly unfolding, knife-assisted bloodbath. A fitting way to celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary.

Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. One

Troma Entertainment's latest achievement in sci-fi schlock, a sequel/remake of 1986's "Class of Nuke ’Em High," will mostly appeal to the generation weaned on its trademark exploitation cinema – foul sex, fart gags and discount gore. This latest pop culture-laden satire features the same 1980s aesthetic, slapsticky mutants and frequently naked, college-aged babes and bros trying to avoid cranial explosions caused by slime-stuffed, cafeteria tacos (cue the overblown sound and visual effects). Some of the humour falls flat, and Tarantino’s suggestion to break up the movie into two parts is questionable at best, but it’s still hard to slam Troma-grade schlock.



This article is related to: Festivals, Reviews, Fantasia International Film Festival, Curse Of Chucky, 24 Exposures, Horror, Return to Class of Nuke Em High Volume One






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More