Get ready for more fantastic, festival excitement as our own Fred Topel covers all the latest, future hit movies playing at everyone's favorite genre hotspot, Fantastic Fest 2011!
Carre Blanc – I flat out didn’t get this movie, but that’s okay, I don’t think I was supposed to. It’s more impressionistic than narrative, though there is a climax for those paying attention. A French film set in a totalitarian future, the film plays as a collection of moving images, sometimes talking. The future visuals are simple: corridors, phone banks, empty rooms, oppressive buildings, a closeup of someone’s collarbone breathing. The subtitles translate faint background dialogue that I wouldn’t have been able to hear even if I did speak the language. They give characters weird physical tests that actually teach them good lessons, cooperation versus violence. It’s not a cohesive narrative but it’s not intended to be.
Boys on the Run – I don’t know if it was just the sex or a really good script, but I was totally into Boys on the Run. It’s a sincere romantic comedy about a porn obsessed corporate underling trying to date a coworker. It’s genuinely funny with bestiality, bondage and just plain awkward behavior. It’s really a bummer when the main character gets caught with a condom on and it costs him the relationship, and his pleas for reconciliation come in way more inappropriate settings than the usual Hollywood running to the airport/stopping the wedding schtick. The film progresses from sex to violence seamlessly. Japanese cinema is not my forte but this was more engaging than the usual I’ve seen.
Hong Kong Movies On Fire # 3: Eternal Evil of Angel – The most important shows of Fantastic Fest for me have been the secret Hong Kong movie screenings. I love Hong Kong movies so much, that even watching a bad one makes me happy to experience it. Sunday night was Dreadnaught, a decent Yuen Wu-Ping film with one amazing dragon dance sequence in it. Monday was A Day Without Policeman which despite being Category III and amoral was just boring. Eternal Evil of Angel was the kind of crazy Hong Kong movie I wanted to see. A man turns into a dickhead with a prosthetic penis head that pees. A woman fellates an invisible ghost. Crazy ghost molestation and breast play that looks more realistic than Hollow Man, without CGI. However, Eternal Evil of Angel is not available on DVD so this doesn’t help you.
Rabies – You don’t want to know too much going into the movie but this Israeli film just captures the essence of psychological thriller. It’s got familiar character types: The douchebag, the preppy dude, the tough chick, the flighty blonde. The filmmakers create danger in the people, the environment and the situation. They allow the stress of an extreme situation to really get to the characters. It just escalates, goes there and manages to generate emotion for the attackers.