Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival is back on 13 July and it’s bringing another superb line-up for its 21st year. There are 150 films and 300 shorts, so you should absolutely visit the website for an in-depth rundown, but we’ve picked out a few highlights.
While there are plenty of exciting non-genre titles (Atomic Blonde, Good Time, Patti Cake$), the horror and sci-fi selection is looking pretty bloody great.
There’s Agnieszka Holland’s award-winning Spoor, which is described as “one part fantastical murder mystery, one part eco-thriller,” in which a teacher and animal rights activist finds herself in the midst of a series of puzzling murders. Robert Morin’s experimental Le Probleme D’Infiltration follows a doctor specialising in burn victims as he tumbles into an existential crisis in what is described as “a unique, angst-ridden portrait composed of a series of distinctive, surrealistic long takes.”
In Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard’s Radius, an amnesiac with an unstoppable killing power can’t get more than 50 feet away from someone suffering a similar memory loss without killing a whole lot of people, while there are also new works from genre masters Sion Sono (Shinjuku Swan II) and Takashi Miike (The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio). Mowhawk, a chase thriller set in colonial America from We Are Still Here‘s Ted Geoghegan, will be making its world premiere.
There’s emotional time travel with Patrick Demers’ Origami, Estonian folklore with Rainer Sarnet’s November and a magical realist crime thriller from the Phillippenes in Jet Leyco’s Town In A Lake. Peter Vack’s notoriously shocking Assholes is sure to make an impact, Navin Ramaswaran’s serial killer drama Poor Agnes sounds like a fascinating spin on the classic formula, and Toni Comas’ Indiana promises an intimate small-town look story of spirit doctors. Simon Rumley’s Fashionista continues its festival run after wow-ing at FrightFest Glasgow, there’s the live-action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul, and Wolfcop is back in…Another Wolfcop.
There are also some brilliant retrospectives, from the 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s Suspiria to the 2K restoration of underappreciated cult classic Death Line, celebrating its 45 anniversary. There’s also the North American premiere of Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 3D.
One thing that anyone attending Fantasia this year absolutely shouldn’t miss is the book launch event for Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema Of Jean Rollin, which will feature a talk by the book’s editor Samm Deighan, contributor Virginie Selavy and publisher Kier-La Janisse, followed by a rare 35mm of Le Viol Du Vampire. Other events include the excellent Grady Hendrix talking about his new book Paperbacks From Hell, and Spectrumfest, a short film block from young filmmakers on the Autism spectrum.
The Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 13 – August 2. For more information visit fantasiafestival.com