Note to self: When moving across country, it probably isn’t the wisest to decide on covering a film festival. Here we are, almost a month later, and I still need to share what I thought about the lovely Fantasia Film Festival. I wasn’t able to cover nearly enough films due to the hectic nature of my move. Be sure to check out the other reviews I’ve posted here and at The Martyr Cycle.
One would think that devoting an entire documentary to one scene in a movie would get old very quickly, however, the conversations that sparked from the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO and are showcased in 78/52 are intelligent, educational, and extremely entertaining. Not only do we get to learn more about the scene, we get to see it’s cultural impact as it is one of the more transformative cinematic sequences that has graced the screen. This doc truly pays tribute to all involved, right down to the sound designer collecting melons to find that perfect stabbing sound.
An unappreciated wife and mother has a psychotic break when she’s at the end of her rope, or belt in this instance. Surviving a suicide attempt, she begins acting like a stray dog that has been hanging around her house. Her cheating and workaholic husband must re-evaluate his and his family’s lives as their matriarch has literally gone to the dogs. This dark comedy digs up some even darker skeletons, but leaves you panting for more with great performances from Jaime King (MY BLOODY VALENTINE) as the sister-in-law, Jason Ritter (Parenthood, Gravity Falls) as the husband, and a compelling canine portrayal from the writer/director Marianna Palka (GOOD DICK, GLOW) as the wife.
MA VIE DE COURGETTE (MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI)
Following the accidental death of his alcoholic mother, a boy that prefers to be called Zucchini is taken to an orphanage where he quickly mixes in with the unfortunate souls there. A truly touching, sweet, and equally devastating film that reminds us how fragile childhood can be. Done in a stop motion technique, it feels familiar for fans of Laika, but like Laika’s films, it may veer too mature for most young viewers. This one left me in tears, yet also made me laugh a lot. A beautiful film to experience.
Set in the years leading up to the Vietnam War in Indochina, SAVAGE DOG tells the tale of a former soldier getting out of prison, to find himself pulled into fighting for gamblers. Scott Adkins plays the lead, and despite his laughable accent, he does a great job of carrying the action throughout. Marko Zaror plays the lead henchman, and he deserves more screen time as he truly rules the stage when he’s front and center. And when Adkins and him face off, you could power a small city with the electricity. The film also has the honor of having Keith David narrating and co-starring, which immediately should bump it up a few notches if you’re a genre fan at all.