Volume 27, Issue 6-7 / June–July 2023

Fantasia 2022 Coverage and Other Festivals

Frame grab from Dogwoof DVD

The focus on The Fantasia International Film Festival (2022) begins with the first of three reports, by Frédéric St-Hilaire, who per his usual filmgoing interests, focuses largely on the Asian offerings. Randolph Jordan looks at this year’s feast of retro titles featuring a 35mm print of Hard Boiled with John Woo in person to receive his Career Achievement Award, a long-lost Korean rubber suit monster movie from the 1960s, and a strong slate of boutique label restorations from Arrow, Severin, and Vinegar Syndrome. The first of my two Fantasia contributions is a video interview with Alexandre O. Philippe on his hard to define study of the influence of Wizard of Oz on David Lynch, Lycnh/Oz. Although the interview was conducted in the summer of 2022 the timing of its publication happily coincides with its theatrical release here in Montreal, where it is playing at one of my favorite local theatre spaces, Cinema du parc. My second contribution is a report which includes a discussion of Identikit, one of several films featured at Fantasia to celebrate the recent Severin “House of Psychotic Women Rarities Collection [5-disc blu-ray box set]. The box set was a curation by the author of the book which inspired the collection, Kier-La Janisse, who was on hand to sign copies of the second edition of her groundbreaking critical study House of Psychotic Women and introduce the selected films from the box-set, Identikit (1974) starring Elizabeth Taylor, I Like Bats (1986), Brunello Rondi’s Il Demonio (1963), and Luigi Bazzoni’s Footprints on the Moon (1975). The shadow of Kier-la Janisse’s House of Psychotic Women can be seen over Steve Soderbergh’s treatment of profit motivated gaslighting in his shot on an iPhone 7 Plus Unsane. George Kowalik analyses how Soderbergh cleverly uses the tropes of the “psychotic woman” sub-genre (the critical template being Kier-la Janisse’s study House of Psychotic Women) to frame the story as a critique of contemporary attitudes toward women that include varying forms of gaslighting. The next three articles cover other International Film Festivals. Up first is Jordan Polanski’s coverage of the likeminded (to our own Fantasia) genre festival, the 27th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival. The next two festivals take us away from the fantastic & horror focus of Fantasia and Bucheon, with Christina Brennan’s report on the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, and Peter Rist’s love letter to The Nitrate Picture Show, held at Rochester, New York. At least one of the final two articles is fully in the spirit of Fantasia, Reece Goodall’s analysis of the recent predilection for horror films that employ games as story motivation. And not far off from Fantasia —given its long-time support and love for the documentary— is Matthew Creith’s review of BlackBerry. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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