10 films to see at the Fantasia International Film Festival 2022
As with most events this year, the Fantasia International Film Festival returns to theaters for its 2022 edition, the 26th year of its existence. From July 14 to August 3, Montreal, Quebec, will fill its screens at the Concordia Hall Cinema, Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée and McCord Museum with the best genre offering in the industry. If you’re in town, there won’t be a better ticket this summer.
The festivities culminate in the world premiere of KC Carthew’s eco-action fantasy Polaris at the opening night and, closer, the North American premiere of Cannes alum July Jung Next Sohee. Between them comes the usual mix of festival favorites making their way to Canada for the first time and highly anticipated titles making their debut. From a special screening of Body Body Body at Neil Labute house of darkness or at Wai Ka-Fai Detective against detectives on the return from Ringu spectrum with Hisashi Kimura Sadako DXyou’d be hard-pressed not to get excited about a handful of selections at the very least.
Don’t forget the other delights on offer either, whether it’s 4K restoration screenings (Álex de la Iglesia’s Mutant Action from 1993 and Jeff Lieberman blue sun from 1978 among them), honors for John Woo (Career Achievement Award) and Kier-La Janisse (Canadian Trailblazer Award), or a massive selection of over 200 shorts. There’s a reason Fantasia is three weeks long.
And if the timeline seems a bit daunting, here are some thoughts the team at Film Stage wrote about 10 highlights:
The cow that sang a song to the future (Francisca Alegria) – July 18 and 20
Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegria The cow that sang a song to the future opens with pensive shots of the river and its inhabitants, most of whom are dead. As the dying and already passed fish sing a song of sadness, a woman, motorcycle helmet in tow, comes out of the water. She walks aimlessly, jumping on a local bus and appearing outside of a story, scaring her ex-husband into enough anxiety to land him in the hospital. The next 90 minutes of Alegria’s meditative drama unfolds largely in silence or one-sided conversation – people confronting their past like a monster growing with each passing day. – Michael Franck (exam)
Black glasses (Dario Argento) – July 30
While you watch Black glassesDario Argento’s first film in a decade, it’s nice to think back to his recent performance as an aging film critic in Gaspar Noé Vortex– a man who wistfully quoted Edgar Allen Poe’s theories on dreams as he strolled through an apartment covered in canon posters and movie trash – only to look back and see the blind protagonist of his latest movie, and the young Chinese boy who became her valet, attacked by a pack of unruly river snakes. Yes, Dario Argento’s first movie in ten years is pretty fun, for a while – and no, not near his best. – Rory O’Connor (exam)
Happer’s Comet (Tyler Taormina) – July 24 and 27
Happer’s Comet is a hypnotic, sensory, dialogue-free film that unfolds in a polished 62 minutes. The director is Tyler Taormina, a filmmaker from Los Angeles who made the great suburban surreal work rye ham in 2019. His latest is both a haunting ode to the night owl and, given its constraints, quietly energizes artistic expression. – Rory O’Connor (exam)
Paradise: In the Land of Happiness (Sang-soo Im) – July 30
I have nothing against great comedies, and Paradise: In the Land of Happiness is designed to appeal to the widest possible base. It’s very clear from the start who we need to empathize with, what they need to overcome on their journey (for 203 to reunite with his estranged daughter, for Namsik to find a new outlook on life), and that he There will be comedic moments ha-ha the difficulties along the way are due to clueless criminals and law enforcement. Nothing controversial or unusual happens to offend anyone’s sensibilities, the main weapon used throughout the film is a taser. Judged in these terms, the film is quite successful – it delivers on the promise of an enjoyable, undemanding movie night. – Zhuo-Ning Su (exam)
Huesera (Michelle Garza Cervera) – July 29
Huesera is a psychological thriller dealing more with the myriads of uncertainties that have ravaged Valeria’s life. There is his individualism constantly undermined by the family. There’s her sexual orientation, her career, her postpartum depression, and more, which causes fight-or-flight impulses until you can’t help but worry about her safety. And when that journey “inside” finally arrives, it’s less about ghosts and blood and more about reinvention. Cervera and co-writer Abia Castillo break down Valeria to rebuild her. Will it be the motherly strength that her family has always wanted her to become? Or like the independent free spirit dying to laugh and run? – Jared Mobarak (exam)
Incredible but true (Quentin Dupieux) – July 31
Dupieux’s popularity on the festival circuit is due as much to this conciseness as to his authorial qualities (sepia colors, cocktail of genres, stoner tones) and his unearthly sense of humor. (If you’re only 70 minutes away, his movies seem to say, why not spend them on childish laughter.) His latest, another raw absurdist gem, takes things one step further, offering a playful and compelling twist on an enduring sc. -fi trope. There are also disturbing gender stereotypes. There is also what one doctor calls an “iPenis”. For better or worse, it’s over in a flash. – Rory O’Connor (exam)
Lynch/Oz (Alexandre O Philippe) – July 17
Lynch/Oz explores the connection between the famous film and the dream-driven director. From documentary filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe, this six-chapter investigation acts as a video essay on that nexus, with each section narrated by a critic or filmmaker, from Amy Nicholson to David Lowery. A mix of archival footage, interview clips and an extensive collection of film scenes, the segments traverse the landscape of Lynch’s directing endeavors and draw clear parallels with aspects of The Wizard of Oz, almost all of which carry dramatic, literal gravity. The documentary thus becomes repetitive, acting as a video mission for every cinephile with 20 minutes to riff on the history of cinema through such a lens. – Michael Franck (exam)
Resurrection (Andrew Semans) – July 26
All is not well from the opening scenes of Andrew Semans Resurrection, based on its own blacklist storyline, which begins as a cold, slick workplace and mother-daughter drama before exploding into a stomach-churning psychological thriller. Although its absurdist narrative ends up getting into rather silly territory that obscures its more relevant initial thematic ideas, the film is another stellar showcase for Rebecca Hall’s immense talent. Nor can the director entirely be blamed for following through and taking his rather illogically extreme setup to its most logically absurd conclusion. – Jordan Raup (exam)
pointed stick (Lena Dunham) – July 30 and August 1
by Lena Dunham pointed stickhis first feature film since the 2010s Tiny furniture, finds the writer-director once again taking big leaps with mixed results. Set in Los Angeles, as Dunham herself has moved to the West Coast in 2020, the sex-filled comedy/drama follows Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth), a 26-year-old virgin who begins an affair with Josh (Jon Bernthal ), hunky father of the child she is caring for. Once she starts having sex, she can’t stop, determined to cross every carnal act and scenario off her to-do list. – Michael Franck (exam)
Speak no evil (Christian Tafdrup) – July 29 and August 1
Speak no evil is terrifying, shocking and deeply, deeply disturbing. There is no getting around the upset factor. Audiences catching this Sundance entry from Denmark should be warned: this one is going to hurt. Christian Tafdrup’s latest has the brutal shock value of George Sluizer Disappearance and Haneke’s gut-wrenching visceral impact funny games. Speak no evil does not reach the level of ingenuity and freshness found in these equally powerful precedents. But what it lacks in originality it makes up for in a chilling execution. – Christopher Schobert (exam)
We’ll be sharing more reviews of Fantasia premieres over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back. For the full schedule and information, visit their website.