Hello, minions! I ventured out of the crypt to attend “Fantastic” Fest, which is merely awesome, just shy of Fantastic, in my opinion. Jest aside, I was called upon by this fair website to watch and write short impressions of cinematic misadventures to pass along to you, cursed readers.
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Masa Nakamura
Cinematographer: Nobuyasu Kita
Leo (Masataka Kubota) is a successful, if unambitious boxer who finds himself drawn into escalating underworld violence as he unwittingly finds himself protecting a young escort named Monica (Sakurako Konishi).
This is about as sweet as a Miike film can get, as one would expect, it’s funny, violent, full of surprises, and has one of the most unique car stunts ever put to cinema. One of his more grounded films… up until the third act.
Director: Orcun Behram
Writer: Orcun Behram
Cinematographer: Engin Özkaya
The installation of of an antenna to bring state run television to a bleak, run down block of flats in Turkey carries a dark infection. Authoritarianism as Cronenbergian body horror.
I liked this film quite a bit up to the third act, however the relentlessly deliberate pace probably should’ve accelerated for the finale. It’s a bleak film with touches of Brothers Quay, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Bresson, David Cronenberg, with the visual aesthetic of Antonioni’s Red Desert. If any of that is familiar to you, I think that’s probably a good indication of the kind of film this is, a slow, creeping nightmare.
The Death of Dick Long
Director: Daniel Scheinert
Writer: Billy Chew
Cinematographer: Ashley Connor
Zeke (Michael Abbot Jr.), Earl (Andre Hyland), and Dick (Daniel Scheinert) are lifelong pals in Alabama. Dick dies a horrible death, and Zeke and Earl really don’t want people to know how, but they’re not that smart, and secrets don’t stay secret long in a small town.
Finally, a sensitive dramedy about the tale of Mr. Hands! (Don’t google it) It’s funny, but doesn’t punch down. The events have some very difficult dramatic consequences, and Virginia Newcomb grounds the film from becoming too farcical.