Volume 14, Issue 5 / May 2010

Fantasia 2009

In this issue

In this issue Offscreen takes a long look back at last year’s edition of the ever-growing, Fantasia International Film Festival 2009. In terms of its growth, the development is occurring in many fronts, economic, programming scope, funding, and importance (to both the local Montreal cultural scene and the international genre festival circuit). Fantasia has already earned the respect and admiration of filmmakers the world over, as can be gleaned from the many filmmakers who praise the festival’s organization, warmth and passion when introducing their work. Unlike other festivals in the city, Fantasia makes it very easy for fans to meet the guests in both formal and informal settings. The latter setting is more remarkable for the way even the high profile guests enjoy going out for post-film drinks to chat with the festival entourage. The respect is finally beginning to show on the funding front too, but there still a way to go before the government funding levels are at par with the local and international importance that Fantasia has attained, but the path is being formed. In this special spotlight issue there are two reports by myself and venerable Fantasian Randolph Jordan, with our reports coordinated so as to have as little overlap as possible. I first met and interviewed the remarkable Jose Mojica Marins (Coffin Joe being his on-screen persona) back in 2001 when he was first invited to rake part in a retrospective of his works. Marins was back in 2009 with the (long-awaited) concluding chapter of his Coffin Joe trilogy, Embodiment of Evil. The film is a worthy conclusion to one of the genre’s greatest trilogies, and I was excited to get the opportunity to interview Marins, along with his son Crounel Marins, and Marins prodigy and co-screenwriter of Embodiment of Evil and worthy director in his own right, Dennison Ramahlo. One of the main Fantasia programmers Mitch Davis’ all-time favorite, under-appreciated, good guy genre directors is Buddy Giovinazzo, who was another welcome guest at Fantasia 2009. Giovinazzo was pleased to present his latest feature, Life is Hot in Cracktown, along with a retro screening of his debut feature, Combat Shock. The issue concludes with Jordan’s in-depth formal analysis of sound in a film which was a favorite for both of us, Kanji Nakajima’s The Clone Returns Home. Thanks for reading. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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