This year’s Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada had some great offerings for film lovers everywhere. With submissions from all over the globe, there was something for everyone. Here are my top five films spanning multiple genres and countries that you should definitely check out as soon as they come available in your part of the world.
THE DWARVENAUT (Documentary – USA) (Cover Photo)
Stephen Pokorny is the ultimate dungeon master and the owner of Dwarven Forge, a company which hand makes miniatures for Dungeons and Dragons. This documentary details his life- a Korean-born orphan adopted by an American family who creates his own successful company. THE DWARVENAUT is a well-shot documentary and a wonderful story of a man following his dreams.
THE EXCLUSIVE: BEAT THE DEVIL’S TATTOO (Thriller/ Dark Comedy – South Korea)
An out of work journalist comes across a lead in a serial killer investigation. But when his lead turns out to be erroneous, he decides to cover it up in order to keep his new found success going. However, the hole he digs continues to grow deeper and may have gotten him too close to the actual killer. Packed with dark humor and fast paced action, it will remind you of Ron Howard’s THE PAPER. THE EXCLUSIVE also is a great commentary on today’s for-profit news media and boasts a pretty kick ass soundtrack.
BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE (Animation – Martinique)
In the year 2100, mankind exists only in a virtual world. Citizens live as slaves working to collect 1000xp in order to live another month. In this bleak VR world, a young girl fights as part of the resistance to free herself and the rest of the world from virtual slavery. BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE is the first animated feature film from the island of Martinique. The style is crude, yet reminiscent of Gerald Potterton’s HEAVY METAL with a very plausible glimpse of our virtual future.
THE INERASABLE (J-Horror – Japan)
Ai, a mystery novel writer, receives a letter from architecture student named Kubo. In the letter, she describes a strange haunting sound in her apartment. Intrigued, Ai begins investigating, not only of Kubo’s apartment, but the history of the building and the land, tracing the haunting back several generations. THE INERASABLE is an interesting concept, the idea that a haunting can manifest itself in different ways across many generations. It’s as though someone traced five generations of THE GRUDGE.
Goran (Drama – Croatia)
Goran is a taxi driver who wants to live out his unassuming quiet life with his blind wife and his close-knit group of friends. However, the real world seems to constantly get in his way. Convinced his wife is pregnant by another man, Goran sinks into an anxiety ridden depression. I’m not sure where to put this film. Although most sites list it as a comedy, I feel like it works better as a drama. Never-the-less, it’s a nice slow burn of a film with an unexpected twist and some good social commentary.