Volume 23 Issue 5 / May 2019

Fantasia 2018

With Fantasia 2019 just around the corner, Offscreen looks back at the 2018 edition of what has become one of the premiere genre film festivals (and a sneak ahead). The issue places a focus on interviews with invited guests whose works were presented at Fantasia. First off is an important genre figure who was feted by Fantasia with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Joe Dante. Dante’s career began as a film critic writing for seminal monster mags like Famous Monsters of Filmland and Castle of Frankenstein, before learning his craft cutting trailers and films for Roger Corman, before graduating to directing in 1976 with Hollywood Boulevard (co-directed with Allan Arkush). Dante stamped his blend of clever reflexive and politically tinged horror with his first solo film, Piranha (1978). Offscreen starts off with an interview with Joe Dante, followed by an interview with a Brazilian filmmaker with a long Fantasia history, Dennison Ramahlo. Ramahlo made his mark at Fantasia with two stunning short films, Love From Mother Only (arguably both interviewer Jordan and I’s most memorable Fantasia experience) and Ninjas, which set in stone Ramahlo’s unique blending of realism with folkloric supernaturalism. Ramahlo was twice an invited guest at Fantasia, once accompanying Jose Mojica Marins as co-screenwriter for Marins’ last feature, Embodiment of Evil (which concluded his Coffin Joe Trilogy). Fantasia was excited to welcome Ramahlo with his first feature film, Nightshifters (now streaming on Shudder). Troy Bordun contributes two sets of interviews, with the cast and crew of the entertaining retro slasher The Ranger, and an interview with the co-directors Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber, of the engrossing psychological horror film centered on sex trade workers, Cam (which has since been picked up by Netflix, perhaps surprising given the emotional intensity of the subject matter). Frédéric St-Hilaire next covers the career of a Japanese veteran director who he feels is unjustly overlooked, Nobuhiko Obayashi, giving him his due in a career spanning overview. St-Hilaire concludes the issue with a look ahead at the 2019 edition, focusing on the Asian entries. (Donato Totaro)

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