The Fantasia Film Festival is celebrating it’s 15h anniversary, and they are doing it in style. Launched in 1996 with little financial backing, the festival has grown into one of the world’s largest genre film fest, fresh off a record year of 100,000 spectators in 2010. Fantasia has without a doubt become one of Montreal’s premiere events with four weeks of insanity, no sleep, heavy partying and dozens of great movies to watch. As with every year, the wonderful programmers (and I do mean that, because they are such nice people) have crammed as many movies as they possibly could into a four week program. This year I’ve counted around 126 films screening at the event and we still have no clue what those TBAs are. While festival goers are busy checking off the big name movies (Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark, Red State, Attack The Block), they often miss out on the hidden gems. Ricky recently posted his list of the best films ever screened at the festival in the previous fourteen years, and most of the movies he chose remain obscurities. Many of those films took forever to get any sort of distribution (Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil) and some (Gun For Jennifer) will never see the light of day. Yet Montrealers have the opportunity to see these films and more importantly to see them in the perfect environment. So while Simon posted his list of “ten safe bets,” I’ve decided to list of a few films that could very well catch everyone by surprise and be future fest favourites. All day long I’ve heard some people say they were hesitant to check any of the films that will appear on this list for various reasons, but I think they all deserve a chance. So to be fair, I am calling this Fantasia’s “Wild Cards.” In other words, some of these films may turn out to be disappointing, but in my opinion they are all must-sees. So Montreal, take the risk and check out some of these bad boys, because if you don’t, you may have to wait a very long time for another chance.
Directed by William Eubank
We’ve already posted two gorgeous trailers on our site for the sci-fi film Love. The trailers remain fairly ambiguous but it’s clear the film explores the spacey effects of isolation that were handled so masterfully in Moon. It is also safe to say that the film seems heavily inspired by Duncan Jones’s 2009 indie gem. However there are a few things going against it. First, it is produced and features music by Blink-182 guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge’s tepid supergroup Angels & Airwaves. Second, the feature film is part of the band’s multi-album Love project. So this can cause a major problem for anyone who doesn’t like their music. It also worries me that this might just come across as promotional material. However the film has been winning over audiences and critics around the world in the festival circuit. We know it will look great given the trailers, but does it have a good story to tell? Fantasia goes so far in saying that director William Eubank, “conjures up pictorial perfection with an artistic direction matching that of Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain.” Aronofsky is one of my favourite directors working today, so right away they are building my expectations a little too high. And thus our first wild card. Love gets the Ace of Hearts.
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