July 15, 2013
The 2013 edition of Montreal’s FanTasia International Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, July 18, and runs for three delirious weeks in venues all over the city. In its 17th year, FanTasia is not only the largest genre film festival in North America, it has claimed its rightful place among the great festivals and film markets of the world. With over 120 feature films and countless shorts, this year’s offerings fill a 320-plus page program book. The full schedule is online now!
FanTasia walks the cutting edge of genre films, screening subversive horror, mind-blowing science fiction and fantasy, animation, a smattering of rediscovered classics, and the just plain unclassifiable, with many of the showings introduced by their creators. Filmmakers and actors from the world over attend, participate in panel discussions and party with the fans.
Richard Raaphorst’s Frankenstein’s Army — a project that has been percolating for six years — finally gets its North American premiere on July 20. Here’s the film’s schedule page, complete with a demented trailer. Also intriguing is the Canadian feature The Dead Experiment, about returning from the dead… and its alarming side effects.
Among the films and events I’ll be looking out for is Québécois writer-director Éric Falardeau’s Thanatomorphose, a transgressive horror film in which a young woman is “trapped in the irreversible process of human decomposition.” Then there’s a 75th anniversary celebration of Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds featuring audio excerpts from the radio show, a revival of the 1975 TV movie The Night That Panicked America, and a rarer-than-rare showing of a split-screen, condensed version of George Pal’s War of the Worlds of 1953 originally custom-created as an installation for Montreal’s World Expo in 1967.
Finally, the festival’s most anticipated live event this year — the legendary late-night parties aside — is Clive Barker’s play The History of the Devil, staged by Title 66 Productions at the prestigious Place des Arts Theater.
Keep up with this year’s FanTasia Festival on their daily News Blog.