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Fantasia Film Festival: First Announcements On Line-Up of Films

Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, which will be held from July 14 to August 7, will kick off with Kevin Smith's Red State.

Fantasia also made the first announcement about the films that will be part of this 15th edition's line-up.

People can see the anthology film Theatre Bizarre. This coproduction between Canada, France, Germany, the UK, the USA reunites Richard Stanley (Hardware), Karim Hussain (La belle bête), Douglas Buck (Cutting Moments), Buddy Giovinazzo (Life Is Hot in Cracktown), David Gregory (Plague Town) and Tom Savini, as directors.

The festival will also hold the world premier of The Wicker Tree, from Robin Hardy. Moreover, a book launch is also expected because The Wicker Tree is based on the novel Cowboys for Christ, by Hardy.

As for a Canadian premiere, Ryoo Seung-wan's The Unjust will be screened. Besides, Ryoo will be invited by the festival's organizers to teach choreography for action films.
See full article at The Cultural Post »

First Wave Of Films for Fantasia 2011 Has Been Announced

The Fantasia Film Festival is by far my favourite film festival in the world and I’ve been impatiently awaiting some news of what films they’ll be screening this year. Considered the world’s largest genre film festival and running over three weeks long, the event is celebrating it’s 15th edition this year and the lineup is already pretty incredible. In the past I’ve seen some of my favourite films premiere at the fest and last year I wrote up a list of the best films ever screened at the fest which you can read here. This year Kevin Smith’s Red State opens the festival and directors Robin Hardy (The Wicker Man) and Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) will be in the house to discuss the occult on film. The full lineup which includes 130-feature titles will be announced on July 7. For now here is the
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Fantasia 2011: First Wave of Announcements!

With July rapidly approaching, that means two things - the one/two punch of both Comic-Con and Canada's incredible Fantasia Film Festival! Speaking of the latter, the first wave of announcements is here! Read on for details!

From the Press Release

While less than two weeks away from announcing the full line-up of its 15th edition, Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival has revealed a first wave of titles and happenings. The full 130-feature array of titles will be announced at our press conference on July 7.

Opening Film – Kevin Smith’S Red State

Fantasia is proud to open the 2011 edition of the festival with the Canadian Premiere of Kevin Smith's acclaimed Sundance hit Red State. The director of Clerks and Zack And Miri Make A Porno has made a jump to an entirely new genre with tremendous success. Red State is a powerhouse film featuring fantastic performances by Michael Parks,
See full article at Dread Central »

James’ Top 10 Johnnie To Films That Should Be In The Criterion Collection

One of the the most prolific directors in Hong Kong, let alone the world, Johnnie To is a filmmaker who I’m surprised has never been asked to join the Criterion Collection with any number of his films. Until now, perhaps. Not only did IFC Films pick up his critically acclaimed film Vengeance (which was put out by Mpi Home Video) but they also recently asked him what his 10 favorite Criterion films were, which you can see right here. He’s very short and sweet as to why he loves these films, but while perusing the list, one can see his influence and how he crafts his films.

So we here at the Criterion Cast like to play guessing games and are wishful thinkers, so here’s a top 10 Johnnie To films that we wish could enter the Criterion Collection. Remember, a lot of hands are on these films, in
See full article at CriterionCast »

Exclusive Pics: Johnnie To's "Vengeance"

  • Fangoria
Exclusive Pics: Johnnie To's
We love a good, nasty revenge tale, especially when they come from Asia like Chan-wook Park’s notorious Vengeance trilogy. We also love the work of cerebral Hong Kong action auteur Johnnie To, whose Election 1 & 2, Exiled, Mad Detective, Ptu, Fulltime Killer and A Hero Never Dies garnered To a major international fan base. So Fangoria just had to share these exclusive pix (see below the jump) from To’s own Vengeance, a gripping new thriller that Roger Ebert called “an elegant genre exercise.” The film, which premiered to great acclaim in competition at Cannes in 2009, is currently available nationwide on demand via IFC Midnight.
See full article at Fangoria »

Exclusive: New Vengeance Video Clip

We have a brand new exclusive clip from the upcoming film Vengeance, which can currently be seen in video-on-demand formats, and which will receive a limited theatrical release later this October. Click below to watch our exclusive clip from internationally-acclaimed director Johnnie To, which features an intriguing method of target practice:

Vengeance: I Like It

In this latest action-packed bout from the director of Exiled and Mad Detective, a French chef swears revenge after a violent attack on his daughter's family in Hong Kong. During which her husband and her two children are murdered. To help him find the killers, he hires three local hit-men working for the mafia.

Vengeance comes to theaters September 2010 and stars Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Testud, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Ka Tung Lam, Suet Lam, Simon Yam, Siu-Fai Cheung, Felix Wong. The film is directed by Johnnie To.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Sundance Channel Goes Extreme from August 7 to October 30

Time to call your cable or satellite provider and add the Sundance Channel to your lineup as the network is launching a new season of its late-night destination Asia Extreme™ on August 7, showcasing the sharpest of cutting-edge Asian genre fare every Saturday night at midnight.

You'll note that a few of the offerings aren't strictly horror fare, but we're including everything since just about all of them offer gore and violence, even if the supernatural/horror elements aren't quite there.

From the Press Release:

The 2010 season of Asia Extreme includes the U.S. television premieres of five films from South Korea: The Restless, Shadows in the Palace, Tazza: The High Rollers, Voice, and The Wig. The new season of Asia Extreme premieres on August 7 at 12:00 midnight Et/Pt.

In addition to their on-air presentations, the five premieres will be among the thirteen Asia Extreme titles available free from August
See full article at Dread Central »

Now on Netflix: The Chaser, The Saddest Music in the World, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Mad Detective, ...

Taking it easy this weekend? Want to just stay home and watch something new? Here are five picks newly added to Netflix Instant Watch this week that might just be the right ones you need, from an off-kilter romantic comedy to a hardcore suspense thriller.

• • •

The Chaser

I first saw this movie last year at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and it was definitely one of the fest's highlights. A brutal thriller to the bone, the plot can be humorously nicknamed "Pimp vs Slasher," because that's basically what it is. Yun-seok Kim plays a lowlife pimp who goes out looking for his missing worker with the assumption that she's been recruited by a rival pimp, only to discover that she's at the mercy of a sadistic psychopath. It's a thoroughly gritty story that effortlessly switches from pulse-pounding suspense to chilling horror, complete with an unapologetic anti-hero and a devastating conclusion.
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Danny Pang Goes Solo to Bring Us Fairy Tale Killer / First Casting News

The Pang Brothers, Danny and Oxide, have been making some cool ass terror tales for a while now what with The Eye franchise (let's just pretend The Eye 10 doesn't exist, shall we?), etc. And now one half of the duo is delivering a different kind of terror.

Word has come down that Danny Pang has just cast Ching Wan Lau (Mad Detective for his next film, which is now tentatively known as Fairy Tale Killer

The movie centers upon what happens when fairy tales turn ugly, twisted, and bloody. A fearless cop is appointed to investigate a series of puzzling murders that resemble fairy tales. Would there be a happy ending of the abnormality in real world?

Fairy Tale Killer is set to roll for Universe Films Distribution. The premise holds a lot of promise; as anyone who's actually read the real versions of the Grimms' fairy tales can tell you,
See full article at Dread Central »

Danny Pang takes on the Fairy Tale Killer

Hong Kong director and all round horror auteur Danny Pang is a busy man it seems. Still putting the finishing touches - with his brother Oxide - to their latest scare flick (the newest “3D” instalment in their blockbuster ‘The Eye’ series) “Childs Eye,” he already has new project in the works, a horror thriller titled Fairy Tale Killer. Details are still sketchy but we do know that Hong Kong acting veteran Ching Wan Lau (Mad Detective," "Overheard") has signed on to star in the lead. Lau will play a hard nosed cop appointed to investigate a series of puzzling and grisly murders, arranged in such a way as to resemble Fairy Tales? Danny Pang directing an actor of Ching Wan Lau's calibre, in a story of Fairy Tales turned bad and bloody. Late 2010, just got a whole lot more interesting! More when we get it.
See full article at 24FramesPerSecond »

Eureka! A BluRay for Fantastic Planet!

Thanks go to Marten in our forum, who alerted me that British distributor Eureka will be re-releasing René Laloux' "La Planète Sauvage" aka. "Fantastic Planet" next spring in a BluRay edition as part of their "Masters Of Cinema" label. Eureka has confirmed this news.

Often have I commented on the eternal friendly battle between Criterion and Eureka Moc, and how we all benefit from it. Sometimes Criterion has the best version, sometimes Eureka Moc. But so far, Eureka Moc doesn't show the annoying blind spots that Criterion seems to have for all non-Japanese Asian movies and animation. This is very much true for their BluRay line-up so far, which included Johnny To's "Mad Detective" last year and in 2010 includes this animated classic. 


For me this is the best news I've heard today: I reviewed their DVD-release of "Fantastic Planet" ( click here... ) and while I was very much taken by it,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Accident (Louis Koo, Richie Ren) Hong Kong Movie Review

Accident is the latest film from director Pou-Soi Cheang (Shamo, Dog Bit Dog, and Love Battlefield) and producer Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Election, Ptu) via To’s Milkyway Images production. It tells the story of a crack team of assassins led by Brains (Louis Koo) who instead of forcefully killing their foe, instead come up with elaborate plans to make the murders look like every day accidents. Each ‘accident’ is painstakingly put together with every minor detail taking care of. It’s this attention to detail which quickly grabs the viewers’ attention from the very opening scene.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Free Asian Horrors Courtesy Of Sundance Channel On-Demand

I'm coming a bit late to the table on this one, but as a fan of all things awesome and Asian I feel compelled to alert you about something happening over at the Sundance Channel this month. And yes, "this month" is August, and yes, August only has a week left... I did say I was late to the table didn't I? Sundance Channel has a long-standing affection for Asian cinema and demonstrates it on a weekly basis with Asia Extreme, which is their series of some of the best genre films Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand have to offer. They run the gamut from horror, crime, drama, and just plain crazy-ass flicks, and have included excellent titles like Audition, Breaking News, Save the Green Planet, and The Bow. They're doing something a bit different this month though, and it involves premiering their new season of several brand new titles on Pay-Per-View for free. I
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Vacillating Voiceovers: A History of Unreliable Narrators

  • IFC
We trust the movies. We have to. Most of them only work if we look up at the images changing 24-times-a-second in front of us and believe that they reflect some sort of objective reality where a man can fly his house to South America or alien robots can transform into cars. Even when a movie is told entirely from a character's perspective, we assume that the intimacy cinema provides to hear a person's thoughts or see things the way they do affords us some safety from deception. We are wrong. People lie; the movies can too.

Some movies take that trust and exploit it, or prey on it, or play with it. In "(500) Days of Summer," a man named Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls in love with a woman named Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The film begins with Tom's friends sitting him down and asking him to explain what happened in his relationship with Summer,
See full article at IFC »

Review: Written By - another take

Wai Ka Fai clearly has a penchant for the supernatural. His directorial collaborations with Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Running On Karma) often explore spiritual, philosophical and fantastic themes that To, when flying solo, tends to eschew in favour of more grounded, if super-stylised, interpretations of reality. When Wai works alone, however, the results can often be a little more haphazard.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Nyaff 09 Review:  Written By

[Our thanks to Ben Umstead for the following review.]

I wore shorts to a world premiere. Amidst a growing crowd of sharply dressed folks (many from the Hong Kong economic office) who were eager to see Johnnie To collaborator and Mad Detective co-director Wai Ka-fai’s latest, there I was in shorts…

By reading the plot synopsis on the fest’s website, one would assume Written By is entering some surreal Kaufman-esque territory; a girl who has lost her father in a car accident begins to write a novel in which he survives and she dies, and he in turn writes a novel etc. etc Yet what we get is a meta-physical family melodrama with multiple novels within novels, ghosts, reincarnations, spirit planes, doorways into parallel universes… and… and… It sounds complex but it isn’t, it is just confusing.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

First Images Of Lau Ching-Wan in Wai Ka-Fai’s Kaufman-esque Written By * Updated With Trailer! *

Wai Ka-Fai has written almost every single Johnnie To movie, and co-directed several others (Mad Detective, Running On Karma). In this film, Wai directs Hong Kong’s best actor, Lau Ching-wan, in the story of a woman whose dad dies, so she writes a book where she died and he lived, and in that book his character writes a book where he died and she lived…and on and on in an endlessly recursive loop as wounded characters desperately apply fiction to dull the sharp edges of their grief. Like a Charlie (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) Kaufman movie made in Hong Kong.—From the New York Asian Film Festival notes

Though in recent years Wai Ka-Fai has generally been over shadowed by his long time business and creative partner Johnnie To - at least he has here in the west - Wai is a huge creative force in
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Concept Art for Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame

Chinese entertainment portal Sina has released some concept artwork from director Tsui Hark’s historical thriller Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame. Reason enough for me to finally write an article on the project.

The film takes place in the Tang Dynasty and tells the story of the detective Di Ren Jie (or Dee) who gets called back from exile by the Chinese empress Wu Zetian to solve a series of mysterious deaths of high court officials. During his investigations Dee gains support from the bustling commander Bei and a master of disguise names Ghost Doctor.

Next to Hong Kong’s darling Andy Lau, Carina Lau (Ashes of Time), Li Bing Bing (Forbidden Kingdom), Tony Leung Kar Fai (Election) and Lau Ching Wan (Mad Detective) will star in this 13 million Us$ production. Sammo Hung will be responsible for choreographing the action scenes. Shootings have begun in May, Detective
See full article at Affenheimtheater »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a Master of Cinema!

When I think of gourmet-distributors like Criterion and Eureka, I tend to think they only release the known classics from many years past, but this is not always the case. Criterion released several Wes Anderson movies very fast after their cinematic run, and yesterday their version of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” hit the shelves on the same day as Paramount’s single disc edition did.

And last year, Eureka surprisingly released Johnny To’s “Mad Detective” as part of their excellent “Masters of Cinema” series, both on DVD and Bluray! It was the title with the shortest cinema-to-disc time bearing the MoC logo.

Was? Indeed, was!

On the 22nd of June, Eureka will be releasing Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata” on DVD (spine number #81) and BluRay (spine number #3), both as part of their “Masters of Cinema” brand.

Now it’s not exactly a secret that we’re big
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

More Johnnie To Remakes In The Works!

So, Newsmakers - the Russian remake of Johnnie To’s Breaking News - is all set to take a bow at Tribeca so how better to celebrate (?) than by announcing a pair of pending English language spins on To’s films? There have been rumblings of an upcoming English remake of To’s Mad Detective for a good while now and that news just became official with Variety breaking the news that producer Arthur Sarkissian is behind a push to remake both Mad Detective and earlier To title The Mission. With the right director these could both be very strong but is Sarkissian the guy to get that director? The man was a producer on Rush Hour so you know a whole lot of Asian fanboys are very nervous right now, waiting to see if Brett Ratner tries to work his way in to the projects ...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »
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