I only have maybe two or three other people who write for this site who are more suited to discuss horror cinema. Regardless, the genre I usually cover sometimes veers into the gruesome and horrific enough that my own viewing experience ultimately warrants some growth along the way, and so upon covering Fantasia, I couldn’t resist checking out The Sadness, the feature directorial debut of Taiwan-based Canadian filmmaker Rob Jabbaz who, as of this write-up, just won Best First Feature out of the festival.
Fantasia XXV Review: Kazuaki Seki’s JIGOKU-NO-HANAZONO: OFFICE ROYALE, Hell Hath No Fury Like A Salarywoman Scorned!
The last six years of buzz and fandom hit pretty damn hard as audiences galavanted over their favorite moments of the rather male-dominated HiGH&LOW franchise. Having conquered multiple mediums right through its streaming launch on Netflix last year, imaginably it left a certain curiosity as to what a more female-centric take on gangbuster action cinema would look like.
There’s ample reason why it is anyone in my time zone, or living within three hours within it, can tell you their perceptions about the state of live-action projects based on any Japanese IP to negative avail for the past decade. Granted, barring any such announcements made in the last four or five years, it still bears noting the phenomena of what we’ve seen on the feature film front, specifically with Japanese studios.
Fantasia XXV Canadian Premiere: RAGING FIRE, An Electrifying Closure To Director Benny Chan’s Legacy
Originally published 8.16.21: From a professional standpoint, the last seventeen months were quite hectic for me. Briefly, the translation business was not slowed down in the least by the pandemic, quite the contrary. Amongst other things, I am very grateful for the work – a regular income proved to be one less worry. Work not only kept me busy and paying the bills, it contributed to keeping me sane (long daily walks also helped). The pandemic ensured my disconnection from most people, including friends and acquaintances and the interests/hobbies we share. This year, Fantasia is also part of the general disconnect. As such, I had no idea the film festival’s 25th edition would feature the Canadian Premiere of Hong Kong Director Benny Chan’s (Chan Muk-sing, October 7, 1961 – August 23, 2020) very last film, Raging Fire. Usually, I keep track of these things as martial arts and films still fascinate me in the autumn of my life. My interest with film started at a very young age with my mother Yvette introducing me to black and white films featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, James Cagney, the Marx Brothers, Deanna Durbin, movies we would watch on television. In my early teens, my father Georges and I were patrons of the local cinemas and watched double bills featuring the celluloid exploits of Bruce Lee, Angela Mao Ying and Jimmy Wang Yu. In my later teens and early adult years, I was drawn to films such as The Other Side of Midnight, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Logan’s Run, and The Serpent’s Egg. !
Fantasia XXV Review: Travis Taute’s INDEMNITY, A Pulsating Political Action Thriller With A Healing Touch
Barring the Bourne comparison I made when I posted the most recent trailer for Indemnity, I can earnestly say that the new espionage thriller from writer and director Travis Taute offers something much more authentic in its execution. There’s poetry even – the kind that can only be tapped into with solid writing and acting to boot, which is certainly what Taute aims to deliver for a film that might have been handled a lot less desireably if it were anyone else at the helm, to say the least.
Fantasia XXV Review: Junta Yamaguchi’s BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES Is A Humble, Inventive One-Shot Delight
Shot safely in the confines of a building with a first floor café during the 2020 pandemic, Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes introduces Kato (Kazunori Tosa), a café owner struggling to spread the word and get his band off the ground. After leaving home for the day to his upstairs apartment, he spots himself on his television monitor, effectively communicating with his future-self two minutes from then with a monitor in the café.
The third wave just recently hit for the 25th Fantasia International Film Festival, which is hosting in-person and virtual screenings and events from August 5 through 25. Thus, peep the first wave and the second wave before hitting up the latest article and take in the full line-up as things rev up to help make for one awesome post-Covid semi-comeback.
FANTASIA XXV: KAKEGURUI 2, INDEMNITY, NOT QUITE DEAD YET, KING CAR, CAUTION, HAZARDOUS WIFE And Much More As The First Wave Makes Its Way Online!
With Québécois zomcom Brain Freeze already lined-up for this year’s 25th film festival at Fantasia, the first official wave of titles is finally here with the second readying to announce next month, followed by the full programme in July, and it looks as promising as fans could hope.