July 16, 2012

Countdown to Fantasia

Fantasia, the largest genre film festival in North America, swings into action this week, in MontrĂ©al. Running from July 19 to August 9 — three weeks! — the 16th annual edition will feature over 160 films, cutting edge to classic revival, with guests, panels, master classes and special events throughout. This year, as a measure of the festival’s international influence and reputation, Fantasia has grown to include a new Film Market for industry agents and producers. 

Films on a Frankensteinian theme include Eron Sheean’s Errors of the Human Body, describes as “an unsettling, stylistically bold look at the personal and ethical horrors of modern genetic engineering”, and Allison Defren’s The Mechanical Bride, a disturbing documentary exploring the obsessions of “individuals of all ages and origins who feel unconditional love for, and are physically attracted to, mechanical women”. 

On a lighter note, shades of Robocop and The Vindicator, there’s Steven Kostanski’s Manborg, a new movie that plays like a drive-in/grindhouse sci-fi B-movie from the seventies.

Among the original programming, we note Origins of The Dark Knight, a lecture and screening hosted by Philippe Spurrell and Christian Major that tracks early influences for Bob Kane’s Batman, including the 1931 film The Reckoner (aka The Public Defender), starring Richard Dix as a millionaire playboy who moonlights as a mysterious avenger, assisted by Boris Karloff as the Alfred-like character, “The Professor”. Then there’s If They Came from Within, the fun, Alternative History of Canadian Horror, which I previously posted about here.

Check out the eye-popping Fantasia website, loaded with info and film trailers!

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