Friday, July 02, 2010

Fantasia 2010

Tuesday, Fantasia announced the highlights of its programming and posted all the details on its website.

The 14th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, one of the largest events dedicated to genre cinema, will be held from July 8th to July 28th, at Concordia University's Hall Theatre and a few other venues in Montreal. This year, with more government subsidies, the festival has widened and diversified even more its impressive programming. It offers nearly 300 movies, including over 120 feature-length films and several hundreds shorts, as well as a variety of documentaries, panel discussions, stage plays, outdoor screenings and many guests will be there to introduce and discuss their work.

The festival will open with Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice and close with Eli Craig's horror film satire Tucker & Dale's vs. Evil. Other notable events of the festival are the screenings of Fritz Lang's restored Metropolis (1927, with 25 min. of previously lost footage; screened at the Place des Arts' Salle Wilfrid Pelletier), Jean Cocteau's Le Sang d'un Poête (1930, screened at the Rialto Theatre), and Ken Russell's The Devils (who has a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Québécoise and will also receive an award for his unique contribution to cinema). Animators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman will also receive a dual lifetime achievement award. Among the movies from the West that intrigues me, I must also mention Centurion, “a breathtaking rollercoaster” set in roman time, directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent).

Of course, the most interesting part of the festival for us is its Asian programming. It offers 55 Asian movies (including 24 from Japan, 14 from Korea, 9 from Hong Kong, 3 from Thailand, 2 from China as well as from Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia).

The Japanese movies include eight anime features (twice as much as last year): Evangelion 2.0: You Can(Not) Advance, First Squad: The Moment of Truth (a Japan/Russia co-production), Gintama: The Movie, King of Thorn, Mai Mai Miracle, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection, and Summer Wars (best animated feature at the 2010 Japanese Academy Awards). Other notable animations are The Land Before Time (USA, Don Bluth), Technotise: Edit & I (Serbia) and What is not Romance? (Korea).

The live-action Japanese movies includes (click on the link for details): Air Doll (Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda), Alien Vs Ninja, Battle in Outer Space (a 1960 classic dir. by Ishiro Honda), Boys on the Run, Brass Knuckle Boys, Crows Zero 2 (Dir. Takashi Miike), Fish Story, Golden Slumber, Higanjima, Kuroneko (a 1968 classic), Mutant Girls Squad, Raise the Castle!, Rinco's Restaurant, Sawako Decides, Symbol, and Van Von Hunter (a USA/Japan co-production written & directed by Tokyopop's Stu Levy and Steven Calcote). We must also note the quite funny Les homme d'une autre planète (a Thailand/Japan/Taiwan “co-production” “dubbed” in French!)

The Japanese and anime-related guests include: Yoshinori Chiba (Dir. of Alien Vs Ninja), Stu Levy (founder of Tokyopop and co-dir. of Van Von Hunter), Yuri Lowenthal (popular voice-actor (Bleach, Code Geass, Naruto) and actor in Van Von Hunter), Yoshihiro Nishimura (co-dir. of Mutant Girls Squad), Tara Platt (voice-actress (Buso Renkin, Naruto) and panelist), and Mai Tominaga (dir. of Rinco's Restaurant).

Finally, two of the panels might be of interest for the animation fans: “The Current and Future State of Traditional Animation Cinema: Death, Comeback and Resurrection” (Sunday July 18th 1:00 pm, at the EV-01.615 amphitheatre (1515 Ste-Catherine W), with Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Gerard Potterton and Luc Chamberland) and “Voice Over, Voice Actor” (Sunday July 18th 3:00 pm, at the EV-01.615 amphitheatre (1515 Ste-Catherine W), with Yuri Lowenthal & Tara Platt).

The schedule for all the movies mentioned above can be found here.

Enjoy the festival!

(updated 2010/07/06)

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