Daria Gamliel for Cinetalk.net

Lots of cool films are still showing at the Fantasia Film Festival, and we wanted to give shout-outs to a few keepers, even if they have already been screened by the public.

 

No Cinetalk reader should be shocked about this one. We even hinted at it a few weeks before the festival. Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses is finally here! His signature play of light and color is still strong, though employed in a less theatrical way. It is a more conventionally linear story than Argento followers have seen in the past. This might add commercial appeal for uninitiated moviegoers.

If you’ve watched the trailers, you already know the central character is a prostitute dealing with the sudden loss of her vision. Together with an unusual companion – a Chinese-Italian child – the two try to unravel a murderous mystery, and stay alive. Argento’s daughter, Asia, is featured in such an unexpected role as a middle-aged O&M coach with blond hair and curtain bangs. (O&M aka Orientation and Mobility is used to train visually impaired people how to navigate in the world).

No big spoilers, but the “comeback” feature is satisfying. Perhaps not Argento’s very best, but definitely a worthwhile watch! 

 

 

In a completely different genre, Im Sang Soo’s Heaven: To the Land of Happiness offers a dish of morality with a side order of humor and action-drama.

An escaped criminal and a crooked hospital employee flee life as they’ve known it. While one comes to terms with a brain tumor, the other needs to maintain his endocrine illness.

Stylish but pretentious rich people always want more money and more fame. But fugitives may be more likely to take risks, and think about the deeper meaning of their journey and interpersonal relationships. Though nothing particularly new is being brought to the genre, it is however, heartfelt, with some fun chase scenes, bumbling foes, and a warmth rarely shown between two strangers. 

It’s not that we’ve never seen a buddy flick. It’s just that some are superior to others. Heaven incorporates most of the action flick/roadtrip movie standard tropes. But with the always-superb Choi Min-Sik (Oldboy, 2003) in the lead role, it already wins major points.

 

Dark Glasses (coming soon to Shudder streaming service)

Heaven: To the Land of Happiness

(previously screened)

Official Fantasia Website