Volume 17, Issue 5 / May 2013

Fantasia 2012

In this issue

For this issue we look back at the Fantasia International Film Festival edition 2012. The 2013 edition is just around the corner, and with renovations at its home base Concordia University, the festival will be temporarily shifting partially back to its first home, the Imperial Theatre. Fantasia organizers and fans alike are greatly anticipating the ongoing renovations to the large Hall Building H-110 theatre, which will include brand new seats, upgraded projection facilities, and other environment tweaks. The special Fantasia issue starts off with my experiences as Jury head of the Séquences committee to select the best International Film at Fantasia 2012. Fantasia made a lot of people happy when they invited famed film studies scholar and cinephile David Bordwell to receive a ‘lifetime excellence’ award and have him give a master class on Hong Kong action cinema. I had the fun privilege of introducing Professor Bordwell and moderating his presentation, which included many clips and finished off with an engaging question and answer period. The ever personable Bordwell graciously granted Offscreen an interview, conducted by Offscreen regular David Hanley. Hanley’s interview with Bordwell touches on cinephilia, the differences between American and Hong Kong action film, and how that relates to class among spectatorship, and some thoughts on the field which Bordwell has contributed so much to over the past 30 years, Film Studies. In anticipation of the forthcoming new Offscreen design by Amphibian Design, which will include a new section on visual media (video interviews and video essays), Offscreen presents alongside this print interview, an accompanying video interview with David Bordwell, video recorded by artist-filmmaker Victor Arroyo. This print transcript has been edited to make the interview more concise and easier to read. For the full, unedited conversation follow the video interview linked in the printed interview. Up next is first-time writer Teresa Lobos, who analyzes two films that featured at Fantasia, Pascal Laugier’s follow-up to Martyrs, The Tall Man and the K-horror, White: The Melody of the Curse (Gok Kim, Sun Kim, 2011). While The Tall Man seems miles removed from the intense violence of Martyrs, it shares an interest in couching the horror in a sociological context. The contrast is that in the new film Laugier places this context front and center, arguably at the expense of usual horror film frissons. Lobos’ approach to the K-horror film is also to emphasize the specific cultural meanings surrounding the K-pop phenomena which, she argues, is perhaps not as well understood by the same North American audience that has readily digested the K-horror film. Concluding the issue is Randolph Jordan’s book review of Tom Mes’ second book on Fantasia favorite and regular Takashi Miike, published by the same FAB Press (of Mes’ first book on Miike), Re-Agitator: A Decade of Writing on Takashi Miike. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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