8 days, 22 films. Actually 23, because I took in EXILED for a 3rd time. God, I love that movie.
So the train ride up there was not my favorite experience in the world, I have to admit. Like I said before, I'm OK with most forms of travel, but I can't stand the boredom, the sitting and waiting part, and the NYC to Montreal Amtrack ride was full of that. Granted, I was traveling alone, but just sitting and looking out the window for hours on end (despite some lovely scenery) was a bit too much, on top of the fact that I barely made the damn thing to begin with (which is another matter). I tried napping and took the opportunity to finish Donald Westlake's WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS FALSE and start Tom Robbins' ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION, but all the fine reading in the world couldn't make this trip go any faster. Adding to this was the fact that we arrived almost 3 hours late (making me miss the Thai thriller 13 BELOVED, which many said was quite good), so my affection for rail travel is severely hampered, unlike some people I know.
In fact, just sitting there all day kinda turned me off sitting down and watching movies all night (strange, I know), so I ditched MULBERRY STREET (which everyone's raving about) and Troma's POULTRYGIEST for a meal with friends at Ruben's and an evening of another kind of entertainment at Cleopatra's, Montreal's reigning house on strippery and a Fantasia staple. I'm honestly not one to frequent strip clubs, but Cleo's strikes me as what a strip club should be like, sleazy like a strip club, but with heart. Chances are good that you're not going to walk into the bathroom and interrupt a drug deal in progress and no one is going to pressure you to buy lap dances you don't want. And like I said, the place is a staple of my Fantasia visits and I've hung out there with numerous filmmakers, friends and fellow film fans, giving it a sense of being the strip club away from home. I know that I'm sounding like much more of a perv than I really am, as I swear to fucking god that I never really go into these places, but if I'm going to be honest about the Montreal experience then there's no reason I shouldn't mention the place.
So I'm trying to figure out exactly the best way of relating Fantasia 2007 and I'm a bit stuck about how to do it. I know that there will be certain films I will highlight and certain films I'll probably never mention. I could possibly rattle off every single film I saw there, but that would take fucking forever and I'd never get it all down right. Certainly, some films will be highlighted, but there also isn't that much to say about a secondary picture like THE VICTIM, other than the fact that there isn't much to write about. Overall, it was a very good selection this year, though there was only one great standout picture, though on the flipping side, only one dog, too (that would be a shot-on-DV thing called THE REDSIN TOWER). Many of the pictures I saw I liked, some of them very much and others just well enough. Many filmmakers came in to visit, and pretty much all of them were cool and friendly, even Uwe Boll. There was a bit of behind the scenes drama when a Canadian friend of mine was refused entry into the U.S. (a very long story), but all in all, it was yet another stellar time at Fantasia and a much-needed break from a lot of shit that's been going on, making it the right fest at the right time.
So anyway, here's a rundown of all 23 films. Expect some longer pieces on some and not much of anything on others.
DEATH NOTE: THE LAST NAME
MEMORIES OF MATSUKO
A BLOODY ARIA
A BATTLE OF WITS
THE LAST WINTER
THE REDSIN TOWER
THE KING AND THE CLOWN
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
THE DEVIL DARED ME TO
THE WIZARD OF GORE
THE 14 AMAZONS
IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE
If you're interesting in hearing about one more film in particular, just let me know.