Fantasy Film Festival – Berlin 2013

Fantasy Filmfest 2013
Fantasy Filmfest 2013

It’s been exactly one year since my last year’s post on Fantasy Filmfest. Since I had a lot of fun last year, of course I went again this year! I planned only to see four movies, but ended up seeing nine. That’s just how it goes when you’re having too much fun, isn’t it?

As it was last year, they’ve put up a good selection of movie too, although I really missed something funny, sarcastic, so over the top like Cockneys vs Zombies or Grabbers. On the other hand, there’s loads of smartly constructed story, ideas, and those dark humors.

Here are my impressions of the movies.

The Congress

The Congress
The Congress

The opening movie. It was a Sci-Fi theme, the what if we were to be able to escape from our reality into an animated reality by just a sniff of a substance. In the animated world, you are free to be whoever you want (and someone chose to be Jesus)… I’m not sure I’d want to be anyone else but myself, and I hope my friends too (out-of-topic). Anyways, I was a little torn with this one. It has some great ideas but I find it lacking punch. Either the story wasn’t dramatic enough (note to self: read the book) or the interplay between the real world and the animated world wasn’t working so well. I do like the imagination of the characters so I’m going to go neutral and say it’s a good festival movie. Also I went to the talk at the Apple Store earlier that day, which is where I got my fff poster signed by the director, Ari Folman :).

In the Name of the Son

In the Name of the Son
In the Name of the Son

This one actually dealt with a real serious subject. Pedophilia in the church setting, and about how some people could justify anything in the name of religion. It is quite entertaining to watch, especially funny if you can laugh at religions, a little slow in the beginning, but I love how the mother would just take the matter in her own hand and takes revenge in the name of the son. Sidenote: I think Vincent Lanoo, the director, is a really cool person!

 

Big Ass Spider

Big Ass Spider
Big Ass Spider

Godzilla in the form of a spider. The ultimate scare if you’re afraid of spiders. I’m not. (it’s probably going to be different had it been cockroaches) It’s a good sort of monster bashing, bazooka blowing flick, with a likeable hero and a funny sidekick. Nothing really exceptional here except for the spider idea, everything else follows a typical storyline.  Kind of a pity, I think. But then again it’s sort of a okay B-movie type. Just hoping there’s something more with the spiders here.

Get Shorty

This is a compilation of short movies. Death of a Shadow is a very interesting idea of a dead soldier who were given a second chance to came back to life, as long as he would collect shadows of the dead. Tumult is a crazy (time travel?) meeting between a group of Vikings and British tour group. It’s bloody, gore, and funny (in a sick way). I’ve seen this one before and I’m happy to see it again. Fear of Flying is actually a very cute animated story of a bird who’s afraid to fly. How would he survive winter? Could he still fly? Malaria is a western story about a bounty hunter, but it’s told in a surprisingly fresh way of combining animation and a sort of page flipping effect. The video is online here (thanks for the link, Dom). The Man Who Could Not Dream told a tragic story about a person who were told to not dream and be normal as a kid. Argh. Never tell anyone to stop dreaming, people! Perfect Drug is a crazy psychedelic story combining gore, drugs, and octopus. Just imagine the Japanese wacky imagination combined with the Albanian crazy mafia. A Field in England… I really don’t remember anything about this one. Help! Fool’s Day is a twisted April Fool’s day joke gone horribly wrong.

Blancanieves

blancanieves
Blancanieves

One of my favorite one this year! I love this one. I was a bit skeptical of this because I’m not really a fan of black and white – silent movies. BUT I was blown away by this one. The pacing was great. The music, the images, and the story was twisted and darkly beautiful.

It is a take on Snow White, but it was not that easy interpretation of it, just a general theme was the same. There’s a wicked stepmother, pretty girl, dwarves, and a poisoned apple.

It’s unconventional, fits really well as Fantasy Filmfest movie. Yeah!

Saving General Yang

Saving General Yang
Saving General Yang

A classic epic type of Chinese Kungfu Warrior movie, and a very good one at that too. The story is about the Yang brothers goes into the mission of saving their father. There are seven brothers, and only six will return. This one reminds me of all those kungfu series I loved as a child. While some love comics and superheroes, I’m a huge fan of things like The Legend of the Condor Heroes series. So I was in awe to see the scenery and fights and how everything looked so detailed and beautiful on a big screen.

Big Bad Wolves

bigbadwolves
Big Bad Wolves

This one is a dark humor and a psychological play in your mind. It’s a smart sort of movie that kept you wondering whether the bad guy is THE bad guy, are we all wrong to trust him or should we have pity on the guy?

There’s also something about the storytelling that haunts me longer after the movie was finished. I really like when a movie get me thinking longer than its running time. Sometimes I think it might be because of the different culture in this one (It’s an Israeli movie). Also love the random appearance of the Arab guy on a horse :D.

You’re Next

You're Next
You’re Next

I was hesitating to see this one, somehow I wasn’t not too convinced by the trailer. But then I saw some reviews and boy I’m glad I went! I found it very entertaining, it’s a very good play on the genre. It makes pun of the other similar type movies, lots of blood, tricks, and a really awesome bad-ass of a (female) main character. Really great closing movie for the festival!

 

 

That’s all the movie I’ve seen at the Festival! Oh wait, actually there’s another one. It’s an Indian movie called

Makkhi

Makkhi
Makkhi

It’s on fff this year, but unfortunately I couldn’t watch it on the cinema, but I found it on YouTube. No subs so I can’t understand most of it, but just from the pictures and actions… it’s so funny, hilarious, and really out there type of movie. I personally found Bollywood movies unintentionally funny. My grandma used to throw those looks on me because I kept laughing when I watched them… but this one, between the combination of unintentionally funny and the actual story of a lover reincarnated as a fly… is freaking hilarious! And only can be done in a Bollywood setting. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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