Fantasia Festival Picks for 2018

A tale from the '90s: Fumi Nikaido (left) and Ryo Yoshizawa navigate the pitfalls of youth in Isao Yukisada's 'River's Edge.' | ©2018 RIVER'S EDGE FILM PARTNERS/KYOKO OKAZAKI/TAKARAJIMASHA Fumi Nikaido (left) and Ryo Yoshizawa in Isao Yukisada's 'River's Edge.' | ©2018 RIVER'S EDGE FILM PARTNERS/KYOKO OKAZAKI/TAKARAJIMASHA

The lines snaking around Concordia University’s Hall building are a good sign that Fantasia, an annual mass invasion of genre films, is underway. With 125 of them in play, it can be hard to know where to seat your butt on a hot summer’s evening (or afternoon). Well, here are a few picks that I’m excited for.

Because Mexican Films are Really Freaky

Tigers Are Not Afraid (dir Isa López)

If Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King like it, it’s worth checking out. 10 year old Estrella wants her missing mother to return. Pet Cemetery style, her mother comes back. Dead. Estrella’s attempt to escape by joining a street gang of orphaned boys is fodder for this stunning allegorical film that takes a dark reality and combines it with magic realism.  July 30. Auditorium des Diplomes (1455 Maisonneuve O) 18:45 p.m.

Alternate Adolescence

River’s Edge (dir. Isao Yukisada)

Based on the cult manga Helter Skelter, River’s Edge is about two high school students who bond over bullying and a dead body. Adolescent suffering always seems to be so much more dark and compelling than that of adults. Setting it in the 90s only adds to the gothic ambiance of that life period. July 29, Salle J.A. DeSeve (1450 Maisonneuve O) 21:30; July 31, Salle J.A. DeSeve (1450 Maisonneuve O)17:05 p.m.


Written By Someone Who Knows

Cam (dir. Daniel Goldhaber)

While there isn’t much info about this film, the script was written by former camgirl Isa Mazzei and produced by the team behind Whiplash. I’m in. Alice/Lola (Madeline Brewer) discovers that the site where she works has replaced her with an exact duplicate. She loses control of her life and the men in it, and must find a way to get it back. Sounds like a Black Mirror episode (incidentally Madeline Brewer was in one). July 18, Salle J.A. DeSeve (1450 Maisonneuve O) 21:45 p.m. July 20, Salle J.A. DeSeve (1450 Maisonneuve O) 15:00 p.m.

See It For Takashi Miike

Laplace’s Witch (dir. Takashi Miike)

Takashi Miike’s name should produce goosebumps in the spleen of any fan of genre film. Principally I associate him with yazuka films of extreme violence. Not this one. Laplace’s Witch is an adaptation of Keigo Higashino’s novel about an investigation of two unusual murders. The “witch” in question is a young woman who has an uncanny ability to predict events. July 19, Auditorium des Diplomes (1455 Maisonneuve Ouest) 21:20 p.m.

See It For the Title

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Big Foot (dir Robert Kryzkowski)

World premiering at Fantasia, the title pretty much tells all. The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot is about Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott), a WWII veteran who assassinated Hitler in a covert mission, and is called back to duty by the FBI and the RCMP. Bigfoot has a plague and he’s hiding out in the Canadian wilderness. With a legit cast — Sam Elliott, Aiden Turner, and Ron Livingston — this will prove to be either be a rather fun action-thriller or a silly romp. Since it’s sold out, it might be hard to get in. July 20, Auditorium des Diplomes (1455 Maisonneuve Ouest) 21:30 p.m.

Low Budget Usually Means More Fun

One Cut of the Dead (dir Shinichiro Ueda)

Any film shot in one take on a low-budget is the kind of film I’d go see. This meta-film is about a film crew shooting a low-budget zombie movie in one take. The plot is convoluted, but it involves real zombies. Real ones. Yeah. July 29, Auditorium des Diplomes (1455 Maisonneuve Ouest) 19:20 p.m.

Fantasia’s lineup includes many world premieres and north american premieres, as well as genre films of all sorts until August 2, 2018. Information about tickets and showtimes can be found HERE. Most films are showing at Concordia University.




About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts