Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fantasia 2007

Fantasia, North America's Premier Genre Film Festival, has announced today its 2007 programming. The 11th edition of the festival will be held July 5-23 in three theatres (Hall, J.A. DeSeve and D.B. Clarke) of Montreal's Concordia University. It will offer 120 features films, 10 documentaries and 22 programs of short features (totalling 250 local and international shorts). There will also be more than fifty guests. The Program Book will be on sale friday June 29th at the cost of $5. Tickets will be available for $7.50 or $65 for a booklet of 10 tickets.

The programming will include over sixty feature films from Asia (plus twenty-two short films): 27 from Japan (including 3 anime), 17 from Korea (including one animation), 10 from Hong Kong and 8 from other Asian countries (Thailand, China, Taiwan).

Again this year the festival offers only three Japanese animation features: Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society, Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash In The Land Of Snow, and Tekkon Kinkreet (dir. Michael Arias, animated by Studio 4' C).

Luckily we are more fortunate with the Japanese live-action line-up. Are particularly noteworthy: Always: Sunset On Third Street (Takashi Yamazaki), Big Bang Love: Juvenile A (Takashi Miike), Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name (both by Shusuke Kaneko, who will be present), Exte: Hair Extensions and Hazard (both by Sion Sono, who's among the guests), Memories Of Matsuko (Tetsuya Nakashima, who also directed Kamikaze Girls), Nightmare Detective (Shinya Tsukamoto), Retribution (Kiyoshi Kurosawa), The Rug Cop (Minoru Kawasaki), Ultraman Mebius & Ultra Brothers (Kazuya Konaka), The World Sinks Except Japan (Minoru Kawasaki), and Zebraman (Takashi Miike).

The Japanese programming also includes: 893239, Arch Angels (Issei Oda), Sun Scarred (Takashi Miike), Ten Nights Of Dreams, Woman Transformation, and Wool 100%.

The Korean programming includes: 200 Pounds Beauty, Aachi & Ssipak, A Bloody Aria, The City Of Violence, Dasepo Naughty Girls, A Dirty Carnival, The Fox Family, The King And The Clown, Like a Virgin, Midnight Ballad For a Ghost Theatre, Once In A Summer, The Restless, Roommates, The Show Must Go On (Han Jae-Rim, guest), Time, War Of Flowers, and Yobi The Five-Tailed Fox (animation).

The Hong Kong programming includes: The 14 Amazons, After This Our Exile, A Battle Of Wits, Dead Air, Dairy, Dog Bite Dog, Exiled (Johnnie To), Isabella, A Mob Story, and One Armed Boxer.

Also noteworthy is the program of Korean Shorts, the Tribute to Akio Jissoji Arthouse Ultraman 2, and the documentaries (particularly Animania, Taiwan Black Movies, and the Yves Montmayeur series: Electric Yakusa: Go To Hell, Ghibli Et Le Mystère Miyazaki, Hong Kong Film Noir, Les Enragés Du Cinéma Coréen).

On a personal note, I would also recommend Stalker (a 1979 Russian movie by Andrei Tarkovsky).

Check either in PA or here for reviews.

Have a nice festival!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Japanese Film Wins Cannes Grand Prix

If the Cannes Film Festival's Palme D'Or went to a Romanian movie, the Grand Prix was won by Naomi Kawase's Mogari no Mori. That's another movie that we will try to put our hands on and review...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mail Snafu

I knew the U.S. Postal Service can sometimes be bad and that a recent survey revealed that Americans were rather weak in geography -- but I didn't know to what extend. A parcel that I recently mailed to a customer in Israel came back -- with a stamped note saying “wrong address” in Spanish -- from Costa Rica !!! That's what we called really lost! But at least it came back...