Fantasia Festival – If fantasy, science-fiction, or horror are your preferred movie genres, the Fantasia Film Festival, which started this past July 12 and will run until August 2, is the place to be. Most of the shows take place at the downtown campus of Concordia University, with a few other events at the Imperial Theatre, the McCord Museum and the Cinémathèque Québécoise.
I mention here some of the films I had the occasion to see in the first few days of the festival.
DANS LA BRUME (IN THE MIST): This France-Canada co-production directed by Daniel Roby was the opening film, and it was a good beginning for the event. With a theme that touches the somehow unpredictable events caused by nature—in this case, an earthquake that in turn unleashes the release of mysterious toxic fumes from within the earth— the result is chaos and death to Parisians. Mathieu (Romain Duris) and his wife Anna (Olga Kurylenko) are at the centre of this natural tragedy. The fact that their daughter suffers from a genetic disorder that forces her to live in a hermetic box that filters the air makes the survival of the family even more complicated. The story is simple and benefits from the appeal of the disaster genre. The film has an unpredictable ending that somehow deflates the preceding dramatic build-up, but it still presents an interesting plot. Those who missed the screening at Fantasia will have a new chance when the movie is released in theatres.
TRUE FICTION: The issue of political corruption, in this case in South Korea but it may be anywhere, is the subject of this film directed by Kim Jin-mook. When aspiring politician Kyung-suk (Oh Man-Seok) after some obscure movement of money in the company of the local senator who is also his father-in-law, arrives at a regional headquarter of his party to be presented by his as the future city mayor, all seems to be going his way. He must now finish some delicate and confidential task on behalf of the senator. Kyung is now driving his car, he has also taken his lover with him, and when he arrives at his destination, he finds that the task would get more complicated than expected. A significant difficulty would be the presence of the housekeeper, Soon-tae (Ji Hyun-woo) who is an unpublished writer willing to have a good topic for his novel.
Things will get more complicated mostly because of Kyung’s incompetence, and the unexpected presence of other characters. Kyung’s wife would also get involved after she learns that her husband is with his mistress, violence would ensue, after that, Kyung’s aspirations seem to be fulfilled. Except for a detail that nobody considered.
TREMBLE ALL YOU WANT: It is difficult to classify this movie into any particular genre, it’s somehow a romantic comedy, or perhaps more accurately, an anti-romantic one, if such kind exists. This Japanese film is directed by Akiko Ohku and features Mayu Matsuoka as Yoshika, a 24-year-old woman working at the accounting section of a large company. She is alone, doesn’t have a boyfriend, and her only hobby is to learn about extinct animals. However, when she was in high-school, she was in love with Ichi, but after graduation, she never saw him again. Another guy, Ni, an awkward and unattractive young man is in love with her, but she still likes Ichi. She must choose between the idealized and handsome man from her past and the clumsy would-be boyfriend at the office.
For film descriptions, ticket prices, and schedule visit fantasiafestival.com
Feature image: In “Tremble All You Want” sweet Yoshiko (Mayu Matsuoka) must choose between an idealized handsome man from the past and a clumsy and physically unattractive would-be boyfriend of the present