Yet again, the most edgy film festival invades the city with some of the most creative, creepy, horrific, and all around unusual cinema available. Over 150 full length features and 300 short films will be here from July 13 to August 2. In fact, some films have already sold out: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Bad Genius.
Premieres and hotly anticipated films include Agnieszka Holland’s ecological thriller Spoor; ultra-violent Takashi Miike’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable; the best film of SXSW, Camera Lucida’s Most Beautiful Island; and Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess. Closing film is the world première of Robert Morin’s Le Problème d’Infiltration, about a cosmetic surgeon and his descent to hell.
Perhaps the most edgy of the Fantasia genre films are part of the Camera Lucida spotlight. In Chinese film Free and Easy, a dishonest, salesman, a Buddhist monk, and a talentless kung-fu instructor all cross paths. A paperless immigrant to New York struggles for stability in Most Beautiful Island. Alienation is at the heart of The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue.
Of course, the heart of Fantasia is the Cheval Noir competition, where 16 films from around the world compete. Among them are Bad Genius from Thailand, Bitch from the US, Friendly Beast from Brasil, Mon Mon Mon Monsters! from Taiwan, A Taxi Driver from South Korea, and more.
For those who prefer action films, check out the Action spotlight. While Terminator 2, Judgement DAy in 3D is a beloved retro pick, others are fresh for 2017. Among them, David Leitch (yes, of John Wick fame) will be showing Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theorn and John Goodman. Other good offerings include Plan B by Ufuk Genc and Micheal Popescu and Darkland by Fenat Ahmad. The Axis spotlight includes animated films like Lee Hardcastle’s Claymation Horror, and Cocolors by Toshihisa Yokoshima.
For those who prefer short films, some of the showcases include films by women, animation, a sci-fi showcase, experimental films, and films from Asia.
One special event worth checking out is the free multi-media presentation Paperbacks from Hell about horror novels, taking place on July 24 at Concordia University (York Auditorium, 1515 St. Catherine, free admission). Another is Rue Morgue magazine’s former editor in chief Dave Alexander’s presentation entitled Untold Horror Live: Genre Rebels in Development Hell, about film collaborations that failed and stories that never got off the editing floor. This one takes place on July 23 at 3:30, also at Concordia University (York auditorium, 1515 St. Catherine, free admission).
Parents might want to take their children to the free films intended for those aged 3 to 10 at Mon Premiere Fantasia at the Musée Mccord. Entry is free. There are also five films being shown in public spaces. Two of interest are Kedi at the Village au Pied du Courant on July 9, about the cats and people of Istanbul, and Colossalm which stars Anne Hathaway as a woman who has a connection with a monster terrorizing Seoul (July 26, 9 p.m.).
Fantasia takes place from July 13 to August 2. Tickets and information can be found HERE.