Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fantasia 2013

The 17th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival will be held in Montreal from July 18 to August 7, 2013. Screenings will take place at the Cinéma Impérial, Concordia's J.A. De Sève theatre, the Cinémathèque Québécoise and at the Place des Arts. This year the festival is offering a lineup of over 120 feature films and more than 250 shorts. It will open with Takashi Miike's Shield of straw and will close with Edgar Wright's The world's end. For more details check the festival's web page at

Here our main interest is the asian programming which is offering over fifty movies from eight countries (besides Japan (33): South Korea (10), Hong Kong (4), and Taiwan (3), as well as China (1), Vietnam (1), Thaïland (1) and India (2)) and explores a multitude of genres and trends under the sign of diversity, audacity and celebration.

The Japanese selection presents thirty-three movies (including eight anime and three shorts). The notable live-action titles are the manga-related Gatchaman (international premiere), Library Wars (Canadian premiere, directed by Shinsuke Sato also known for Gantz), Rurouni Kenshin and Thermae Romae. The notable anime includes Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo by Hideaki Anno and Makoto Shinkai's Garden of Words. The shorts includes works by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game) and Shuhei Morita (Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek).

You can also find information on Anime News Network and Coco Montreal.

See the complete list (with links to full description) after the jump:

  • 009 Re: Cyborg (Dir.: Kenji Kamiyama, North American premiere, 104 min.)
  • After School Midnighters (Dir.: Hitoshi Takekiyo, North American premiere, 94 min.). “A school’s morbid monsters of the night are no match for a trio of irrepressible little girls in this charming, distinctive and eye-poppingly weird work of 3D digital animation from Japan. Scientifically proven to spook and amuse! Official Selection: Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2013, Raindance Film Festival, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2012.”
  • Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey (Dir.: Toshiyuki Kubooka, Canadian premiere, 95 min.). “Guts, Griffiths and the Band of the Hawk hack and slash their way to the top of the bloody heap in this spectacular animated work of medieval mayhem that makes Game of Thrones seem like a pillow fight. Official Selection: Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2013.”
  • Berserk Golden Age Arc III: The Advent (Dir.: Toshiyuki Kubooka, North American, 110 min.). “Leaving the blood-soaked battlefields of medieval Midlands behind, the Band of the Hawk are drawn ever deeper into something far more dire and nightmarish as the manga adaptation draws to an apocalyptic close.”
  • The Burning Buddha Man (Dir.: Ujicha, North American premiere, 80 min.). “Gruesome abductions, a mysterious monk, monstrosities from a realm beyond our grasp... A truly independent oddity, using the forgotten “gekimation” (live-action paper cutout) technique. Weird, wondrous and way out there!”
  • Combustible (Dir.: Katsuhiro Otomo, Canadian Premiere, 12 min.).
  • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Dir.: Hideaki Anno, North American premiere, 96 min.). “Fourteen years have elapsed since the last film’s events — alliances have shifted and the stakes have raised in Hideaki Anno’s masterful feature-film revision of his challenging and amazing Evangelion anime series!”
  • The Garden of Words (Dir.: Makoto Shinkai, Canadian premiere, 46 min.). “A series of meetings in the park are the thread of this anime tale of something like love, both deep and forever distant... A turn to realism from Makoto Shinkai (Children who chase lost voices from deep below), to many eyes the heir to Miyazaki’s throne.”
  • Kick-Heart (Dir.: Masaaki Yuasa, Canadian Premiere, 13 min.).
  • Possessions (Dir.: Shuhei Morita, Canadian Premiere, 15 min.).
  • The Tragedy of Belladona (Dir.: Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973, 88 min.).

Japan (Live-Action)
  • The Apology King (Dir.: Nobuo Mizuta, World premiere, 128 min.). “In this vibrant comedy of manners from director Nobuo Mizuta, Sadao Abe (The Great Yokai War) stars as an eccentric motivational speaker running the Tokyo Apology Centre, which advise in the age-old Japanese practice of apologizing known as “dogeza”. Screenwriter Kankuro Kudo (Zebraman, Ping Pong) builds his story as a relentless escalation of cases to be tackled, and it is in their cumulative effect that The Apology King succeeds, defying expectations of scale and thrusting the viewer into a complex, absurd and hilarious supra-case in need of more fixing than a simple apology can provide.”
  • Bad Film (Dir.: Sion Sono, Canadian premiere, 161 min.). “A recently unearthed and completed early Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Suicide Club) work and pieced together from more than 150 hours of footage shot on Hi-8 video in 1995, starring the young director in a lead role, and hundreds of members of Tokyo GAGAGA, the performance art collective he founded in 1993. Bad Film is not only entirely inaccurate in its title but a shockingly assured early film. This is simply a must for any self-respecting Sonophile, as well as one of this year’s most exciting retro discoveries, for any fan of loud, abrasive and subversive Japanese cinema. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2013.”
  • Bushido Man (Dir.: Takanori Tsujimoto, North American premiere, 88 min.). “Seven master fighters, seven meals to meditate on, seven noble challenges and a whole lotta chop-socky fun in a low-budget, high-octane martial arts delight from the man behind Hard Revenge Milly! Official Selection: Yubari Fantastic Film Festival 2013. Hosted by Writer/Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Actor Mitsuki Koga, Actor/Action Director Kensuke Sonomura and actor Marc Walkow.”
  • The Complex (Dir.: Hideo Nakata, Canadian premiere, 106 min.). “Surprising and disturbing, The Complex marks the long-awaited return to the J-horror genre of Hideo Nakata (Ringu, Dark Water), and he still has the touch when it comes to oppressive atmosphere and disturbing sounds, but the master has matured in both style and thematic substance. Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2013, Udine Far East Film Festival 2013.”
  • Gatchaman (Dir.: Toya Sato, International premiere, 110 min.). “At last, after years of rumours and dashed hopes, it’s here: the live-action feature film based on Tatsuo Yoshida’s 1970s anime TV series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman... better known on these shores as Battle of the Planets! The brand new, big-screen Gatchaman is directed by Toya Sato (the Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji films) Written by Yusuke Watanabe (20th Century Boys, Gantz), boasts visual effects by Takashi Yamazaki (Space Battleship Yamato) and features a cast that includes Tori Matsuzaka (a Super Sentai Series veteran), Go Ayano (Crows Zero 2, Helter Skelter) and Japanese It Girl du jour Ayame Gouriki. Don’t walk, don’t run—fly to Fantasia to catch the Japanese pop-fantasy classic revisited, screening here for the first time anywhere outside Japan!”
  • The Great Passage (Dir.: Yuya Ishii, Canadian premiere, 133 min.). “The director of Sawako Decides (winner, Best Film, Fantasia 2010) and Mitsuko Delivers returns with another sensitive character study of an introverted young man throwing himself into editing an ambitious dictionary. Subtly epic in its manner and understatedly funny in its scripting. Official Selection: Hong Kong International Film Festival 2013, Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013.”
  • Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend (Dir.: Takashi Ishii, International premiere, 112 min.).
  • Helter Skelter (Dir.: Mika Ninagawa, Canadian premiere, 127 min.). “LiLiCo is on the cover of every magazine, the object of lust and idolatry for all that enter her orbit. But perfect beauty is nothing more than a lovely nightmare. An aggressively effective, deceptively candy-coloured portrait of sex and power, where superstar Erika Sawajiri delivers a spectacular performance. Official Selection: BFI London 2012, New York Asian Film Festival 2013.”
  • HK/Forbidden Super Hero (Dir.: Yuichi Fukuda, Canadian premiere, 105 min.). “Disguised by a pair of panties, the Masked Pervert is the world’s first sex-fiend superhero! Forget Captain America, check out this delirious pastiche loaded with lowbrow laughs. Pervert power for the win! Official Selection: Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2013, New York Asian Film Festival 2013.”
  • I'll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Dir.: Yuichi Fukuda, International premiere, 108 min.).
  • It's Me, It's Me (Dir.: Satoshi Miki, Canadian premiere, 119 min.).
  • Key of Life (Dir.: Kenji Uchida, Quebec premiere, 128 min.). “A failed actor usurps the identity of a hired killer who has been struck by amnesia. Great idea! This little gem of comedy carried by deadpan hilarious humour, sharp dialogue and stunning plot twists has charmed crowds everywhere it’s played. Winner: Best Screenplay Award, Shanghai International Film Festival 2012, Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival 2012, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2013.”
  • Lesson of the Evil (Dir.: Takashi Miike, Canadian premiere, 129 min.). “Takashi Miike, who also opens this year’s festival with the North American Premiere of the previously-announced Shield of Straw, makes a powerful return to exploitation cinema with what may well be the single most shocking film of his career. In this horrific thriller threaded with black humour, a model teacher loved by all is in fact a psychopath planning the mass slaughter of his students. Official Selection: Rome Film Festival 2012, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013.”
  • Library Wars (Dir.: Shinsuke Sato, Canadian premiere, 128 min.). Based on Hiro Arikawa's light novel and Kiiro Yumi's manga adaptation. [ See my previous blog entry on this title ]
  • Neo Ultra Q (Dir.: various, North American premiere, 48 min.).
  • Number 10 Blues/Goodbye Saigon (Japan/Vietnam co-production, Dir.: Norio Osada, North American premiere, 97 min.). “One of the most exciting retro discoveries in years, this stunning insider’s look at the Vietnam War by Kinji Fukasaku collaborator Norio Osada (best known as the screenwriter of Lady Snowblood) flows with the madcap energy unique to 1970s counter-culture/exploitation cinema. Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013.”
  • Rurouni Kenshin (Dir.: Keishi Otomo, Quebec premiere, 135 min.). Based on Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga. “In Meiji-era Japan, a former killer now wanders the countryside, his backward-bladed sword a symbol of his devotion to justice. It’s peace he seeks - but strife and treachery that find him! Fans of slick, slice-’em-up samurai cinema won’t want to miss this! Official Selection: Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2012.”
  • See You Tomorrow, Everyone (Dir.: Yoshihiro Nakamura, North American premiere, 120 min.). “Following a traumatic event, Satoru refuses to leave the urban island Furoku. A brilliant dissection of modern Japan, this insightful and exceptional film stars the formidable Gaku Hamada (Fish Story). From the inimitable director of Fish Story, Golden Slumber, A Boy and his Samurai. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2013.”
  • Shield of Straw (Dir.: Takashi Miike, North American premiere, 125 min.).
  • Thermae Romae (Dir.: Hideki Takeuchi, Quebec premiere, 108 min.). Based on Mari Yamazaki's manga (see my previous comments, in french). “A public-bathhouse builder in Rome of 128 A.D. tumbles through time to modern Japan, land of such marvels as toilet paper, Jacuzzis and of course electronic bidets! A wonderfully offbeat Japanese historical fantasy comedy with Hiroshi Abe (Survive Style 5+, Chocolate). Winner: Outstanding Performance by an Leading Actor, Japan Academy Awards 2013.” Screened at last years' Toronto Film Festival.
  • The Tiger Mask (Dir.: Ken Ochiai, North American premiere, 91 min.). Based on Naoki Tsuji's manga. “Revamping the orphan who becomes a wrestler to fight villains - an icon of anime, manga and live wrestling - Shochiku has initiated a new Japanese superhero franchise with The Tiger Mask. Be sure to get a ringside seat for its dynamic debut, screening here for the first time on the continent. Hosted by Co-Writer/Director Ken Ochiai.”
  • Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial (Dir.: Yuichi Abe, North American premiere, 100 min.). “Nebula M78, the Land of Light, homeworld of the Ultramen, is attacked by Belial’s robotic weapons... celebrate the 50th anniversary of Tsuburaya Productions with this all-action sci-fi extravaganza.”
  • Uzumasa Jacopetti (Dir.: Moriro Miyamoto, North American premiere, 83 min.).

South Korea

Hong Kong and Taiwan


[ Traduire ]

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