Fantasia 2017: Town in a lake (2015 – Philippines)

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for Cinetalk.net

Jet Leyco’s Matangtubig (Town in a lake) is a slow paced, atmospheric and enigmatic piece on a tropical paradise suddenly turned upside down.

The peaceful balance of a remote village is challenged by a brutal murder, abduction case becoming the focus of national media coverage.

The gorgeous scenery is the backdrop for a metaphor on political turmoil and struggles against the country’s tradition and faith, more than it is about the crime’s resolution. It depicts corruption, alienation within a tight-knit micro society bound by what seems like an omertà. Collective conscience is at stake Continue reading

Fantasia 2017 : Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman (Netherlands)

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for Cinetalk.net

The humor is straight forward and pretty vulgar in Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman. It works several times and fail at others. This silly comedy directed by Dutch duet Steffen Haars & Flip Van der Kuil

After a video of a failed stunt (he was dead drunk) becomes viral, Ron uses his new found celebrity to become a canon fodder on film sets, while trying to seduce a movie celebrity to win a bet he made with his girlfriend.

Ron Goossens, Low Budget Stuntman is a no-brainer deprived of any political correctness (there is some amusing drunk driving and failed stunts) on a Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: November (Estonia – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

A compelling film from Estonia is coming at Fantasia (and it will be released in America this Fall through Oscilloscope). Rainer Sarnet’s November (based on the celebrated novel by fellow countryman Andrus Kivirähk), is set in 19th century Estonia.

Torn between christian faith and pagan rituals, a group of villagers, in order to survive, constantly cheat their masters, Jesus, the Devil and themselves, making various agreements toward whatever is the more convenient at the right place and the right time. In their survival schemes they get the help from magical servants called Kratts.

One of the most fascinating thing about November (as a North American viewer) is Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (Japan, 2017)

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

Anyone who has been to Tokyo would recognize the array of neon lights and their reflections in nearby bodies of water. For the uninitiated, Yuya Ishii’s The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue is an accurate introduction. The colorful, bokeh’ed opening sequences are at once beautiful and romantically lonely. In a megalopolis of over 35 million people, is it even possible to feel alone? Protagonist Mika muses that falling in love with Tokyo is like committing suicide. Somewhere across town, Shinji, is almost obliviously on a similar quest for love and for self-validation.

Through the use of complimentary colors and various techniques to demonstrate sensory contrasts (noise vs. silence, motion vs. stillness, etc.), we watch Shinji and Miki fumble through a relatively mundane life. The themes of death and hope Continue reading

Fantasia 2017 : The MAN WHO LAUGHS – the Gabriel Thibaudeau Score

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Concert time at Fantasia tonight!

German film maker Paul Leni shot Victor Hugo’s The Man who Laughs (1928), starring Conrad Veidt (WAXWORKS,THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI), in America. Seventy years later, this silent classic had a score commissioned to amazingly gifted specialist of the genre (live accompaniment for live silent films that is), Gabriel Thibaudeau that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

While the first incarnations for concert Hall purpose were performed by the Octuor de France, under the direction of Maestro Thibaudeau, a nine-piece orchestra (featuring the exquisite Quatuor Molinari), under the direction of the composer, will be on duty tonight.

Don’t miss this Gem!

July 20 • 8:00 PM Théâtre D.B. Clarke