This year’s edition of the Fantasia Film Festival begins today in Montreal, and while I won’t be up there until Saturday I’m already sufficiently excited. It’s one of our favorite fests as it offers up tons of great movies and equally wonderful people spread across three weeks. I’ve already seen some of the films playing this year, and I’m excited about several more, so I wanted to list off titles other festival-goers should definitely keep an eye out for.
First up, the movies I’ve already seen and loved…
My two favorites of the twenty-five titles I’ve already seen both sit comfortably among the best horror/comedies of the decade. Better Watch Out (previously known as Safe Neighborhood) is a brilliant spin on the babysitter-in-peril/home invasion sub-genres that delivers thrills and laughs all the way through to the end. Tragedy Girls is an equally genius stab at mixing smarts, laughs, and slasher thrills into an immensely entertaining film while also introducing your new favorite maniac pixie nightmare girls. Action fans will be well-served by the kinetic beauty of South Korea’s The Villainess which pairs fantastic choreography with wildly inventive and energetic camerawork to deliver one of the year’s best action films. They’re not buzzed about — yet — but genre fans looking for fresh takes on familiar themes should check out The Mansion and Replace. The former is a very funny Belgian slasher, and the latter is a far more serious blend of sci-fi, body horror, and cautionary tale.
There are even more movies I’m looking forward to seeing at the fest this year…
South Korea is well-represented with big action films like Confidential Assignment and A Day begging to be experienced on the big screen while others including The Sheriff In Town, A Taxi Driver with Song Kang-ho, and the animated The Senior Class have also caught my eye. Legendary workaholic Takashi Miike has two new films playing with Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio. Also from Japan are new films by Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police), Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story), Sion Sono (Tokyo Tribe), and others. The fest is hosting a handful of repertory screenings as well including a trio of Larry Cohen favorites, the new James Cameron-approved 3-D version of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and what promises to be a glorious and gorgeous new 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s Suspiria.
Keep reading for a look at all 148 feature films playing this year’s Fantasia Film Festival!
USA – Dir: Trent Haaga
Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord incinerate the screen in this crazy scumbag thrill-ride of white-trash crime and kink that manages to subversively play with gender and be a toxic anti-romantic bloodbath of a comedy in the same breathless blow. Winner: Audience Award (Midnighters), SXSW 2017.
USA – Dir. Alexandre Philippe
An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (1960) and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema. Featuring Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Karyn Kusama, Richard Stanley, and Peter Bogdanovich, among many others. 78/52 was born out of Fantasia’s Frontières Co-Production Market and World Premiered to major acclaim at Sundance earlier this year.
Canada – Dir. Arshad Khan
As a gay man, Montreal Filmmaker Arshad Khan examines his troubled relationship with his devout, Muslim father. Using family archives, pictures and Bollywood movies, Khan presents his struggle with his identity and compares it to his parent’s attempts to fit into Canada. Official Selection: L.A. Film Festival 2017. Director in Attendance.
ALMOST COMING, ALMOST DYING
Japan – Dir: Toshimasa Kobayashi
To reward himself for his new teaching gig in Sapporo, 29-year-old Manabu decides to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a little treat at a local sex club. On the verge of… climaxing, he’s struck by a brain hemorrhage and ends up buck naked at the hospital surrounded by his worried family who want to know how this happened. Based on the autobiographical manga from Manabu Nakagawa, ALMOST COMING, ALMOST DYING is a funny and endearing independent film from first time filmmaker Toshimasa Kobayashi. With its witty dialogues delivering family interactions worthy of WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY! and its creepy bat-wielding giant teddy bear (?!?), Kobayashi perfectly transposes the blend of everyday life situations and weird creativity that made Nakagawa’s manga so popular.
THE ANGEL AND THE WOMAN
Canada – Dir. Gilles Carle
Repertory screening. Love story between a woman who is brutally murdered and the angel who resurrects her.
Switzerland-Poland-Austria – Dir. Greg Sglinski
A hybrid of black comedy, marital melodrama and surrealist horror, chronicling a couple’s disintegration and potential reunion during a retreat in the Swiss Alps. Official Selection: Berlinale 2017, Istanbul International Film Festival 2017, BAFICI 2017.
Canada – Dir. Lowell Dean
The question of ANOTHER WOLFCOP making its way to Fantasia 2017 was never in doubt, and we’re proud to be hosting the Canadian Premiere of this most Canadian of movies. ANOTHER WOLFCOP takes everything that was fun about the first movie and amps it up big time, making this a rare sequel that outdoes the original. The laughs are bigger, the violence is bloodier, and the tone is more outrageous. Official Selection: Absurde Seance Film Festival 2017. Director and Cast in Attendance.
USA – Dir. Peter Vack
Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City. Described by one reviewer as “Salò and The Squid and the Whale”, ASSHOLES literally explodes with bodily fluids and extreme behaviour as the couple explore and magnify each other’s impulses. The feature directorial debut of actor Peter Vack (M.F.A., CBGB, LACE CRATOR), ASSHOLES stars the filmmaker’s own sister, their parents, even his therapist, and it takes absolutely no prisoners. Winner: Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award, SXSW 2017. Director in Attendance.
USA – Dir: David Leitch
Directed by David Leitch (JOHN WICK, the upcoming DEADPOOL 2), ATOMIC BLONDE, screening in our Action! section, is a blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality, and dazzling neon-drenched style with a cast that includes Charlize Theron, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, and Sofia Boutella. The film boasts one thrilling fight sequence in particular – set in a stairwell and with no cuts – that has already entered the annals of action film history. Official Selection: SXSW 2017.
Russia – Dir: Fedor Bondarchuk
Moscow is among the world’s mightiest metropolises, and so its first taste of being laid to waste by very large things from outer space required a cinematic vision of suitable scale. Fedor Bondarchuk directed 2013’s epic STALINGRAD, Russia’s first-ever IMAX 3D blockbuster and among its biggest box-office hits of all time, and having helmed 2009’s DARK PLANET and its sequel, he’s no stranger to science fiction. With ATTRACTION, however, Bondarchuk balances the big-time eye candy and gung-go thrills with a biting, empathic parable about outsiders and otherness, fear, trust – and love.
Uganda – Dir. IGG Nabwana
Fantasia’s 2015 screening of I.G.G. Nabwana’s WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? marked the first time a Wakaliwood film had ever been shown at a film festival. Nabwana’s follow-up, BAD BLACK, a whiplashing ride between social realism and pure DIY brain-melting entertainment, has been tearing up the fest circuit over the past 10 months, and we’re extremely excited to be bringing it to Canada. Wakaliwood filmmaking is an experience like no other. A return to the origin of cinema, like watching a film for the very first time. Winner: Audience Award (Best Film) + Jury Award (Best Action Director), Fantastic Fest 2016.
Thailand – Dir: Nattawut Poonpiriya
When Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) discovers that her academic skills can bring her thousands of baht if she helps her wealthy friends cheat at exams, she elaborates a complex scheme. What if OCEAN’S ELEVEN would somehow meet THE BREAKFAST CLUB? Well, it happened! A breathtaking coming-of-age thriller that is way smarter than anything you can expect! Official Selection: New York Asian Film Festival.
Hong Kong – Dir: Tony Liu
Repertory screening. Who will truly master the silkworm technique and bring balance to the martial world? The last surviving 35mm copy of the Shaw Brothers gem will blast you with its avalanche of unfettered lunacy. First Canadian screening in 30 years!
BETTER WATCH OUT
Australia – Dir. Chris Peckover
Dreaming of a red Christmas? Like the idea of a homicidal HOME ALONE? Enjoy both plots and knives that twist? Of course, you do, which is why you’re gonna love BETTER WATCH OUT (aka SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD), the latest from Chris Peckover (writer-director of UNDOCUMENTED). Official Selection: Fantastic Fest 2016. Director in Attendance.
USA – Dir: Marianna Palka
The provocative tale of a woman (Palka) who snaps under crushing life pressures and assumes the psyche of a vicious dog. A sharp, feminist satire that’s alternately uncomfortably funny and confrontational with a warrior soul, BITCH is a stunning achievement in every sense. Official Selection: Sundance 2017, Chicago Critics Film Festival 2017.
BLOOD HEIST / BLOOD RIDE
USA – Dir: Jenna Cavelle / Melanie Aitkenhead
Fantasia will be presenting the World Premieres of Jenna Cavelle’s BLOOD HEIST – about DIY filmmakers who simultaneously commit a star-crossed armed robbery and shoot a vérité film of it – and Melanie Aitkenhead’s BLOOD RIDE – which depicts the violence and avenging of a ferocious female biker gang lead by Pollyanna McIntosh – as a special rip-roaring indie double bill. Both femme-made, revivalist – nay, revisionist – exploitation films were spearheaded by producer/co-star James Franco and producers Vince Jolivette (SPRING BREAKERS) and Jay Davis. Get ready for blood… and more blood! World Premieres.
THE BLUE MAN
Canada – Dir. George Mihalka
Repertory screening. Too few movies are inspired by astral projections. A Montreal director of Hungarian origin who had already hit gold four years earlier with MY BLOODY VALENTINE, George Mihalka returned to horror with a fourth feature that is somewhat unusual, to say the least. THE BLUE MAN (aka ETERNAL EVIL) somewhat feels a like extended TWILIGHT ZONE or OUTER LIMITS episode scripted by Robert Geoffrion. While THE BLUE MAN was relegated to a limited release during the 1986 holiday season, it received two Genie nominations (Best Actor and Best Music) and won the Prix du public at the Avoriaz horror film festival in January 1987. Director George Mihalka will be present to introduce this rare film to the public.
Bulgaria – Dir. Todor Chapkanov
Martial arts fans have waited a long time for the return of their champion, and with BOYKA: UNDISPUTED, Scott Adkins takes his beloved character to new heights, pushing the limits of action cinema. Boyka is back – and his punches connect! Actor Scott Adkins in Attendance.
USA – Dir: Dave McCary
After celebrating its World Premiere at Sundance and its European launch at Cannes (Critic’s Week), Dave McCary’s extraordinary BRIGSBY BEAR will have its Canadian bow at Fantasia. Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James (Kyle Mooney). When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. Co-starring Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, and Greg Kinnear, BRIGSBY BEAR is an inventive and touching outsider comedy about the power of storytelling that easily ranks among the most charming films you’ll encounter this year.
BROKEN SWORD HERO
Thailand – Dir. Bin Bunluerit
Like Tony Jaa before him, Bua Khaw Bunchamek makes an unmissable, intense impact with his first appearance on the big screen. This jaw-dropping historical epic showcases all of the four-time Muy Thai champion’s talents in an action-packed and highly entertaining adventure set in 1700s Thailand.
USA – Dir: Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott
After slaying Sundance at its debut and knocking out Cannes (where it had its European Premiere in Director’s Fortnight), BUSHWICK will be making its first Canadian stand at Fantasia 2017! The couldn’t-be-more-timely sophomore feature from directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (Fantasia 2015’s COOTIES) sees Bushwick, New York erupt into a war zone as Southern nationalist militia forces attack the city. Starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow, BUSHWICK almost never stops moving, as Murnion and Milott employ long, fluid takes (shot on real Brooklyn locations) that follow its characters from one hoped-for sanctuary to the next, punctuated by bursts of startling, caught-on-the-fly violence.
Germany – Dir: Stefan Ruzowitzky
From the Oscar-winning director of THE COUNTERFEITERS and the ANATOMIE films comes the crushingly intense COLD HELL – a film that crackles with elements of Giallo, horror, thriller, and full-throttle action cinema, anchored with powerful doses of socio-political confrontation. A tough-as-nails Turkish taxi driver (Violetta Schurawlow) in Vienna witnesses a murder and finds herself stalked by a fundamentalist serial killer inspired by Islam. After a lifetime of being under siege, she’s not about to run from anyone. What follows is anything but the usual cat and mouse formula, as ideology and hate clash up against ferocious, end-of-the-rope anger.
USA / Canada / Spain – Dir: Nacho Vigalondo
For his fourth feature film, Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo continues to reinvent himself through is genre of choice, sci-fi. Following the highly creative TIMECRIMES, EXTRATERRESTRIAL, OPEN WINDOWS or even V/H/S: VIRAL, he comes up with COLOSSAL, a rich, unique and insanely effective piece of work. Nothing is predictable in this film that subtly navigates through the themes of addiction, responsibility and the social repercussions of our actions. The mix of genres is perfectly measured, moving from laughter to tears between scenes of suspense where everything seems possible.
South Korea – Dir. Kim Sung-hoon
For years, Fantasia has presented the latest in exciting Korean action, and each time they raise the bar another notch. This wild Cold War thriller is no exception, featuring spectacular fights, tight urban chases, puzzling intrigue, and a stunning action turn from k-drama star Hyun Bin!
CÜNEYT ARKIN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AND REPERTORY SCREENINGS
Turkey – Dir: varied
Repertory screenings. Fantasia audiences may best remember him from THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD (aka TURKISH STAR WARS), but to international audiences, Cüneyt Arkın is a legendary icon whose career spanned 50 glorious years and nearly 300 films. He’s done every conceivable genre from grand historical epics and martial arts to romantic comedies, westerns, and hard-boiled crime flicks. He’s played an Ottoman warrior, cop, heartbreaker, pirate, and even a Turkish Davy Crockett. Over his five decades in cinema, the incredible Arkın was his country’s Jackie Chan – acting, writing, directing, and performing his own stunts! Fantasia is thrilled to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr Arkın, and will celebrate his extraordinary career with special repertory screenings of THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, Çetin İnanç’s WILD BLOOD (aka the Turkish FIRST BLOOD!), and the ninjasploitation head-exploder DEATH WARRIOR.
Denmark – Dir: Jesper Rofelt
Danish madmen Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam became a comedy team for the ages in the unforgettable KLOWN series – the first film having won a Cheval Noir at Fantasia, where it had its North American Premiere. Now, they’re together again, as co-writers and stars, in Jesper Rofelt’s DAN DREAM, an ‘80s-set comedy about a group of eccentric men striving to make an electric car. Fantasia’s audience will be the very first to see the film outside of Denmark. Get excited!
Denmark – Dir. Fenar Ahmad
Dar Salim (EXODUS, GAME OF THRONES) plays a prosperous Copenhagen surgeon who, when pushed too far, decides to avenge his murdered brother and take down the gangs that have overrun his city. A blockbuster in its native Denmark, Fenar Ahmad’s DARKLAND is both a brilliant action thriller and a thoughtful commentary on the challenges of immigration.
South Korea – Dir: Cho Sun-ho
Director Cho Sun-ho amazes with his masterfully crafted first feature film A DAY (International Premiere), which tells the story of a famous doctor stuck in a time loop where he must try to save his daughter from a fatal car accident over and over again. Going far beyond the GROUNDHOG DAY concept in terms of emotional implication and unpredictable twists, this riveting thriller will keep you on the very edge of your seat! Cho Sun-ho is definitely a name to remember!
DEAD MAN TELLS HIS OWN TALE
Argentina – Dir: Fabián Forte
Misogynist alpha male Angel has it all – money, power, family, sex. His only problem is, he’s dead. Gender politics are unpacked in Fabián Forte’s subversive black comedy dosed with unexpected terror. Official Selection: Morbido 2016, Fantasporto 2017.
Canada – Dir: Peter Ricq
A rural Canadian mix of DEAD ALIVE, SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, and ’80s kids’ movies! Director Peter Ricq (creator of the animated series FREAKTOWN) keeps things fast, light, and full of fight. Official Selection: Neuchetal Fantastic Film Festival 2017, Lund 2017.
DEATH LINE (New 2K Restoration of the Original Director’s Cut)
UK – Dir. Gary Sherman
Repertory screening. A clear precursor to Tobe Hooper’s TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, DEATH LINE sports a solid performance by the great Donald Pleasence and a cameo by Christopher Lee. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, Sherman’s masterpiece hasn’t lost an ounce of its power. It’s a strange, gory, socially aware and often blackly funny tale of the fringe-dwelling “have-nots” rising up to feast on the “haves” and it’s ready for a new generation of thoughtful fright fans to discover. Our screening will be hosted by Director Gary Sherman and legendary exploitation filmmaker/Blue Underground CEO William Lustig, who shepherded the film’s restoration.
DEATH NOTE: LIGHT UP THE NEW WORLD
Japan – Dir. Shinsuke Sato
The pen is mightier than the sword. At least, when you have a Death Note at hand. The wry and philosophical Japanese horror-thriller series returns under the masterful direction of Shinsuke Sato (GANTZ, I AM A HERO)! Ten years after Light Yagami’s death, the book is back in an edition of six copies this time, courtesy of the Shinigami King himself. Bodies will pile up! Official Selection, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
Italy – Dir. Federica Di Giacomo
Every year, in Italy, in Europe and in the world, a higher and higher number of people affirm to feel possessed by Satan. The Catholic Church responds to this emergency training more and more exorcist priests. The contrasts between ancient traditions and modern habits, between the sacred and profane, meet in this astonishing and rather disturbing documentary. Winner: Award for Best Film (Horizons section), Venice International Film Festival 2016.
India – Dir. Jose Pellissery
Featuring the brothers Prithviraj and Indrajith Sukumaran, two noted Indian stars, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s DOUBLE BARREL is an action-comedy that veers wildly off the beaten track, with an ultra-inspired screenplay and visual presentation bursting with panache. One of the most delectable Indian films of recent vintage.
Norway – Dir. Kristoffer Borgli
Between fact and fiction, a no-holds-barred satire of L.A. advertising culture: the story of an energy drink campaign gone wrong, told by Amir Asgharnejad, the performance artist and comedian who lived it all. An outlandishly fun film with a sharp head on its shoulders. Official Selection: SXSW 2017, CPH:DOX 2017, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017.
USA – Dir: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead
Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group’s beliefs may be more sane than they once thought. SPRING and RESOLUTION announced Benson and Moorehead as unconventional genre forces to be reckoned with. THE ENDLESS – in which the gifted filmmaking duo also star – confirms their brilliance beyond any question. Official Selection: Tribeca 2017.
EXPO 67 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
Canada – Dir. Michel Barbeau, Guylaine Maroist, Eric Ruel
Hong Kong-China – Dir. Alan Mak and Anthony Pun
Undercover agents and gangsters collide in a roaring rush of intense twists and turns deep in the drug world of the Golden Triangle. From the creative team of the INFERNAL AFFAIRS trilogy. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2017, East Wind Film Festival 2017.
South Korea – Dir. Park Kwang-hyun
In the virtual world, Kwon Yu is a fearless leader, but IRL he’s an unemployed loser. When framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the gamer must rise to the task and prove his innocence. A high-budget, action-packed techno-thriller. Official Selection: Udine Far East Film Festival 2017, New York Asian Film Festival 2017.
USA-UK – Dir. Simon Rumley
At long last it’s the return of one of Fantasia‘s favourite sons, British provocateur Simon Rumley (THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, RED WHITE & BLUE), and it’s been worth the wait. Taking his inspiration from the work of another British master, Nicholas Roeg, Rumley spins a psychologically thrilling exercise in the loss of the mind and the soul in favour of the latest thing. He’s aided in no small part by star Amanda Fuller, re-uniting with Rumley and delivering one of the best performances you’ll see this year. A vivid and mind-altering experience in bravura filmmaking. Official Selection: Fantastic Fest 2016, Sydney International Film Festival 2017. Director in Attendance.
THE FINAL MASTER
China – Dir. Xu Haofeng
Director Xu Haofeng astonished Fantasia audiences with THE SWORD IDENTITY and last year’s JUDGE ARCHER. Xu is a truly unique martial arts auteur who returns to freshly shake up the kung fu genre again about kung fu masters in the tragicomedy THE FINAL MASTER. Winner of Best Action Choreography-Golden Horse Awards.
FREE AND EASY
China – Dir: Geng Jun
A soap salesman, a monk, and some lazy cops collide in a factory town in the Northeast of China. Putting the “dead” firmly back in deadpan, Geng’s comedy unfolds as an absurdist caper of Beckettian proportions, making for a great portrait of small-town crime in the wake of China’s rapid industrialization.
Brazil – Dir: Gabriela Amaral Almeida
Fantasia is proud to be presenting the World Premiere of FRIENDLY BEAST, a bold and brilliant feature debut from Brazilian writer/director Gabriela Amaral Almeida. Easily one of the most provocative works you’ll encounter this year, the film concerns a restaurant owner going over the edge when an armed robbery is attempted at his establishment. He holds everyone captive at gunpoint – criminals and customers alike – and situations corrode into a nightmare state, guided by manipulation and raw compulsion.
Germany – Dir. Gordian Maugg
Far from the conventional biopic, FRITZ LANG is part fan-fiction, speculation, and biography: what if Lang was the hero of one of his own films? This is a whirlwind of images where past and present collide, exploring the myth, rather than the man – a composite image of an elusive director, in the days leading to the creation of the masterpiece, M. Winner: Best Feature Film, Hessen Film and Cinema Awards 2016.
GAME OF DEATH
Canada – Dir: Sebastien Landry and Laurence Baz Morias
A hard-partying pack of teens are forced into a desperate game of kill-or-be-killed after playing the wrong retro game in this high-energy, blood-spattered brainchild of Montreal filmmakers Sebastien Landry and Laurence Baz Morais. Official Selection: SXSW 2017, Jeonju International Film Festival 2017.
Canada – Dir. Gina Hara
Women inhabit a relatively hidden half of nerd culture; a world of cute dresses, professional gamers, fake names and death threats. Filmmaker Gina Hara struggles through unexpected resistance to discover and show their experiences. Official Selection: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017. Director in Attendance.
Japan – Dir. Shukou Murase
An elite intelligence agent pursues a mysterious figure who may be at the heart of the genocidal fury engulfing the world. The third techno-thriller in the Project Itoh anime trilogy.
A GHOST STORY
USA – Dir: David Lowery
A metaphysical exploration of love, longing, destiny and mortality that reunites the PETE’S DRAGON’s director with actors Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.
Japan – Dir: Yuichi Fukuda
Fantasia favorite Yuichi Fukuda (HK: FORBIDDEN SUPERHERO) is back, with his biggest film yet: GINTAMA, based on Hideaki Sorachi’s long-running, best-selling shonen manga series – adapted to the big screen in all its comedic, swashbuckling, fourth-wall-breaking glory! Fukuda runs completely wild with the manga’s many sight gags and extravagant costumes, in what proves to be at once a must for diehard fans and a treat for manga enthusiasts in general; a crash-course in live-action done right!
GOD OF WAR
Hong Kong-China – Dir. Gordon Chan
A brilliant young general confronts an army of wily Japanese pirates in Ming-Dynasty China – an extra-large-scale battlefield epic with a cast of martial arts titans including the legendary Sammo Hung. From Gordon Chan, the director of many Hong Kong cinema classics including FIST OF LEGEND and BEAST COP!
GOD TOLD ME TO
USA – Dir. Larry Cohen
Repertory screening. Random acts of urban violence, religious mania, a genre-mashing plot that’s part police procedural, part horror movie and part science fiction – GOD TOLD ME TO is proof that writer-director Larry Cohen has long been ahead of the curve. The 1976 classic sees New York City detective Peter Nicholas (Tony Lo Bianco) discover a link between a rash of seemingly unrelated acts of random violence. A sniper blows away pedestrians on a busy street, a police officer opens fire on parade-goers, and a seemingly normal father murders his wife and child – in each case, the killer gives a four-word explanation for the crime: “God told me to.”
GOING TO BRAZIL
France-Brazil – Dir. Patrick Mille
Four childhood friends are reunited at a wedding in Rio. But when they accidentally kill a young man during a party that gets out of hand, they are forced to flee the city in a crazy adventure. GOING TO BRAZIL is a corrosively energetic film that stands out from your typical French comedies. Official Selection: SXSW 2017.
USA – Dir: the Safdie Brothers
A tense, nocturnal odyssey of poor decision-making that escalates to a nearly unbearable pitch, the Safdie brothers’ Cannes Competition sensation GOOD TIME is a high-wire exercise in intensity, starring Robert Pattinson in a career-best performance. Tipping their hats to ’70s thrillers, the Safdies’ new film also builds beautifully on their previous effort, HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT – here’s another maddeningly bleak vision of New York City’s underbelly, nonetheless beaming with humanity and authenticity. Directors in Attendance.
India – Dir. Shanker Raman
An ominous noir crime thriller, Shankar Raman’s debut film GURGAON explores corruption, jealousy, and toxic sibling rivalry within a wealthy family living in the titular city in Northern India. Through clashes between blood relations and bloodshed, the film is a story of having it all and wanting none of it.