Austin’s Fantastic Fest returns for a 17th year this September, and CineFiles is happy to be covering it again (albeit virtually, but you could experience the fun in person). Fantastic Fest has a number of high profile releases on the docket this year — Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness,The Menu, Smile. I want to highlight for you, instead, a few other titles worth keeping an eye on.
July Jung’s Next Sohee is a story told in two nearly equal halves. In the first half, high schooler Sohee (Kim Si-eun) is awarded an externship to work at a call center office. Conditions at the call center are tense and only get worse as Sohee tries to acclimate to a highly competitive environment and training which has her doing everything in her power to delay unhappy customers’ service cancellations.
Bjorn (Morten Burian) and Louise (Sidsel Siem Koch) are on holiday in Tuscany with their daughter (Liva Forsberg), where they meet a Dutch family of similar makeup. They share a day or two together and then part ways. Back home in Denmark, Bjorn and Louise receive a postcard from their newfound acquaintances with an invitation to come stay in the family’s home in Holland. They agree, and slowly, methodically, this second vacation becomes one of nightmares.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There’s so much visual noise in these dark shots that you have to squint just to make out the outline of objects in the frame. Camera placement is often very low or very high, capturing fragments of doorways and hallways. A child hits his head, we’re told, but he won’t require stitches. 15 minutes go by before we see a room in this house fully illuminated. The light at the top of the steps clicks off. Darkness. The boy calls out for his father. No answer. Continue reading Review: Skinamarink — Fantasia Festival 2022→
Director Renaud Gauthier came into my radar with the 2019 film Aquaslash, a bare-bones slasher film taking place in a water park where a serial killer has inserted large blades inside of a water slide. It appeared to me that Aquaslash was the sort of movie that hearkened back lovingly to the B-movie slashers of the day. The problem was that the film was not well-made in its own right, so instead of coming off as a B-movie homage it came off as a purposeful attempt at the “so bad it’s good” variety (emphasis on the bad). At the very least, Aquaslash was good for a few cheap laughs.
Gauthier’s newest feature, Punta Sinistra, is an ultra low-budget crime film set in Mexico. From its protagonist’s half-baked voiceover, it feels like Gauthier is going for a neo-noir vibe. This hero, a journalist from Canada, travels to the island of “Punta Sinistra” to investigate a Continue reading Review: Punta Sinistra — Fantasia Festival 2022→
Please Baby Please is screening as part of the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival, which runs from July 14 – August 3.
Newlyweds Suze (Andrea Riseborough) and Arthur (Harry Melling) witness a murder outside of their apartment building. The culprits, a greaser gang called the Young Gents, then turn their attention to the couple, initiating a series of events that change the two people forever.