Bedevilled

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! Hope you have some time cleared on your schedule this week… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Bedevilled Hae-won leaves the big city on a forced vacation and heads to her childhood home on a remote island, but the years have not been kind to the place or her once best friend, Kim Bok-nam (Seo Yeong-hie). She’s little more than an abused workhorse for an ungrateful husband and community of seven, and understandable fears that her daughter may suffer the same fate lead her to beg Hae-won for help. The dangers of isolation, abuse and irresponsibility come home to roost in this darkly menacing and eventually bloody dramatic thriller from South Korea. Part social commentary, part violent and bloody as hell revenge thriller, this was one of my favorites from Fantastic Fest 2010. The extras are sparse, but I highly recommend the making-of doc after watching the movie if only to see Seo smiling along with the other actors in between takes. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Behind the scenes, trailer]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Rob Hunter drops by to help us countdown our favorites of 2010 while looking forward to the New Year’s Resolutions the filmmakers of the future should adhere to. Out with old, in with the old. Plus, we would have found time to review the releases of the week if there were any. We can’t wait for the executives to get back to work, either. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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As I expressed earlier in the week as our 2010 Year in Review began, I take it as a great honor that I am able to put together my list of the Best Films of the Year as part of my Editor’s Picks entry. And while I’m a massive fan of my own perspective and opinions, I’m an even bigger fan of the writing and ever-diverse tastes of the Film School Rejects reviewing staff. These are the folks who, through their sensational (and often divisive) review-writing, keep you coming back for more each and every day. They travel the world and brave the crowds at festivals, conventions, preview screenings and special events to bring you some of the industry’s sharpest, most honest film coverage. And I for one am honored to have them all on this team. Just as I did last year, I couldn’t wait to see which films each writer would put on their Top 5 lists as the best films of the year. And just as they did last year, they didn’t disappoint with their unique, ever-fascinating selections. So read on dear reader, as we present the crown jewel of our 2010 Year in Review: The Staff Picks.

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Welcome to my list of the best foreign films of the year! In case you’re wondering why certain films appear to be missing there are a few factors to take into account. First, films like Mother, A Prophet, The Good the Bad the Weird, and The Secret In Their Eyes are movies that made previous lists. Second, I haven’t seen everything that was released this year. And third, your favorite foreign release from 2010 may actually have been a piece of shit. I kid. But seriously, these are my picks for the ten best foreign language movies of the year in alphabetical order. As a bonus I’ve added in the five best English language foreign films for you as well. I know. You’re welcome. (Full reviews for all of the titles below can be found via our Reviews database, and my weekly excursions into foreign films can be found here.)

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South Korean writer-director Jang Cheol-so made a big impression on the Fantastic Fest audience with his debut film Bedevilled, so much so that it was awarded Best Film by the attendees. It’s a beautifully shot and well acted portrayal of a strangely dysfunctional matriarchal family on a South Korean island. Hard to pin down into a single genre, the film spends a big section of its run-time establishing the hell it is living in the rural village, population maybe 12.

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This evening, in a ceremony held at the world famous Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, TX and emceed by Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League (a very pink-haired Tim League, to be exact), the winners of the Fantastic Fest 2010 jury and audience awards were announced. According to the official press release, the juries were “comprised of some of the most esteemed filmmakers, critics, festival directors and show biz people in the industry. Their thoughtful deliberations provided the following acknowledgments of cinematic excellence in all things Fantastic.” One of these juries included yours truly, so esteemed might be a stretch. At least for me. Everyone else was quite esteemed. Alas, check out the award winners after the jump.

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With the exception of Gentlemen Broncos, we were spot on with our Must See Films of Fantastic Fest 2009 list last year. While we’d love to take the credit for it, the truth is that it’s Fantastic Fest that came through with a large slate of winners from the weird world of genre. Fantastic Fest is the movie festival for movie lovers, and as the FSR Death Squad assembles yet again, we’re gearing up to attack the event with a renewed fervor by shining the spotlight on the films we’re anticipating the most. We’re pleased to have Adam Charles, Robert Fure, Brian Salisbury, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius (led by the slightly inebriated and deep fried Neil Miller) comprise the Squad this go ’round. As for the Must See movies, this year, we’re enlisted four members of the Squad to choose 5 films each, and the result is a list full of blood, Hong Kong action, gritty Santa Claus stories, geriatric Kung Fu, Dystopian societies, ninjas from Norway, slasher follow-ups, mental trips, creepy clowns, and little girl vampires. A truly sprawling feast for the eyes and ears. Hopefully you’ll be sitting next to us, but if not, we aim to make you feel that way with our coverage. It’s time to get excited. Here are the 20 films that have got us running to the famous Alamo Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest 2010.

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Fans of Fantastic Fest (which should include all human beings and several species of extra-terrestrials) always look forward to the wanton violence and downright weird imagery on display during the festival. On the eve of Comic-Con, in a truly wise marketing move, the freaky folks at Fantastic Fest released their first fireball toward the castle of our minds. That fireball consists of 13 films that look like a collective 24 hours of awesome. Cannes favorite Rubber and martial arts follow-up Ip Man 2 are just the tip of the iceberg.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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