Fantasy Film Festival – Berlin 2014

Fantasy Film Fest Berlin 2014

Fantasy Film Fest Berlin 2014

More good movies! I think this is one of my favorite film festivals because it’s fun! (Yes I do think bloody zombies are funny)

I originally planned only to see four movies, but ended up seeing twelve fourteen(!) movies. (Yes I’m a movie addict – my hobbies keep me sane!)

This year’s selection was pretty good in my opinion. There’s some fresh humor, good scares, and strange ideas. I’m trying to separate my impressions based on the type of movies I’ve seen.

First up is what stood up to me most. Can you guess? No, it’s not how scary or bloody, but…

Music

Yes, music! It’s so prominent on some of the films that it sticks in my head. There’s the obvious one, like

Metalhead, a film from Iceland about a sister who tries to cope with her brother’s tragic death. From the title, it’s quite obvious the music genre is metal. And it’s Iceland, with a little bit of church thrown into it. Not really recommending this one except for the music. The rest is just too cliched.

Wrong Cops, is simply brilliantly fun! If you love Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber (or other sort of crazy utopia), then by all means, do yourself a favor and go see this movie. I’m not a fan of electronic music, but this one made it work so well. Plus you’d want to see Marilyn Manson in this one.

Life After Beth, the closing movie in FFF. It’s a dark comedy zombie movie with a little romance thrown into it (don’t worry it’s nothing like Warm Bodies). Here the music works as a different element, just because the zombies react well to smooth jazz… !

Haunted House

Of course, right? No horror festival should be without one. There’s some good scary ones this year too, I’m actually a wimp when it comes to haunted scares.

The Babadook, sounds like a children movie based on a children book and a character called Babadook. No, surely not. So please don’t take your children to see this one. It’s in the same line as Conjuring with some nice psychological twists.

Oculus, a story about two siblings who tried to resolve their twisted past by destroying the mirror that somehow created the illusions in their head. Quite interesting premise but somehow fell a little flat in the end.

Housebound, is a smart take on the haunted house theme. Comes with a sarcastic crazy daughter who ia housebound from her criminal behaviour. It’s a New Zealand movie and now I’m starting to think if there’s a New Zealand type of humor that I really like? Totally recommended, and this movie also happens to win the Fresh Blood award (audience award) at the FFF Berlin.

Fantasy World

Give and take, all movies are fantasies anyways, but these movies just take it to a different level of fantasy.

Patema Inverted, a story of two worlds with polar gravity. What happens when these two people from these two worlds meet? Could you actually fall to the sky? It’s an anime movie that’s somehow sweet but also well made.

Get Shorty, true, it’s a compilation of shorts, but I’m just going to mention two I’m very impressed with this year… Orbit Ever After, which is a story of love in the orbiting small spaceships, with a rather rogue and apocalyptic feel to it. Sequence, what if you’re in everyone’s super scary nightmare last night?

Mockumentaries

What We Do in the Shadows. I’ve seen this at the Berlinale, and I love it!! The vampire genre is already supersaturated and I didn’t think anyone could come up with a nice take on it… until this one. It’s that good and funny!

Others

Couldn’t really find good categories for the movies here. I wanted to say Asians, but that’s just where it comes from and not really reflects what it’s about.

Go Goa Gone, zombies meet Bollywood. It’s just funny to see how different culture “react” to this. Has its fun moments for sure!

Man on High Heels, tries to deal with a deeper meaning than just an action movie. He’s a superpower cop guy who always wanted to have a gender reassignment surgery. Interesting drama, especially when set in a culture and environment where this is highly frowned upon.

13 Sins, how far would you go when you are desperate for money? It’s a remake from a Thai movie (which, from IMDB seemed to be a comedy – I really want to see it!). Anyhow, this has some good stuff going, although I don’t really like the ending. Also, Daniel Stamm, the director, was present at the screening. Didn’t know that he’s German (the movie was USA/English)

These two movies, I don’t like them at all, but I’m mentioning it just for my own reference.

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, it’s one of those overly pretentious movies in my book. There are plenty of “metaphors” going on in this movie (yes, I’m putting it on quote consciously and on purpose). It’s one of the longest movie I’ve ever seen, and it’s only 100 minutes.

Wer, it tries to be a new take on werewolves but failed. The only thing I’d remember about this movie is that it’s set in Lyon. Other than that, it’s one of the movies who wanted to be smart about tackling werewolves but ended up doing every cliches in the book.

Recommendations

What really the stands out for me: Housebound, What We Did in the Shadows, Life After Beth, and Wrong Cops. Go see them when you have the chance!!

 

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 :). Continue reading

Fantasy Film Festival – Berlin 2012

FEAR GOOD MOVIES *

For some reasons, I didn’t fully realize that there is a genre where you get to actually laugh at gory movies. Seriously. I thought it’s either comedy or it’s slasher gore-horror type. Which was what I thought this festival was all about. I was wrong. Yes there were horror, slashers, zombies, fantasies, but most importantly there’s horror comedy!

Just like Zombieland (which I love).

Suddenly I wanted to see more movies like that. Also this year I seemed to play a lot of fun bloody games (Mini Gore, anyone?) and actually my favorite part of Assassin’s Creed was when I could kill all of the guards.

The Festival itself was really nice and well organized (the Germans are really awesome for these kind of things!). You can get a festival pass (which was sold out in a blink – my friend said), the slightly discounted pre-sales tickets some weeks before, or you can get the normal ones starting from a week before the showings.

I only went to five movies. Which is quite a lot in a week’s time but I tell you nothing compared to the real fans (yeah, you know who you are ;)).

Alright, here’s my short impressions of the movies I saw!

Grabbers Poster

Grabbers

Grabbers

It’s a fun crazy movie about bloodsucking aliens. The catch? Toxic blood is toxic for them. The solution: drink a lot of booze! They should’ve known not to land in Ireland ;).

The movie is just loads of fun without being too silly. There’s some cliches in the story line, but enough surprises and jokes to make up for it. All in all, it’s a very good start to the festival! Totally recommended if you like crazy alien bloodsucking movies. Or Irish people smashing stuff.

Thale Poster

Thale

Thale

A Norwegian movie, about this folklore called Thale. It was not what I expected from the poster and the trailer. It was actually more of a drama – thriller, so it’s a little bit on the boring side for me. The cliched story didn’t really help here either. It’s an okay movie, but I guess I wouldn’t remember much of it except that Thale was mostly naked throughout the movie. I wouldn’t really recommend this, but I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t watch it either.

The Suicide Shop

The Suicide Shop

The Suicide Shop

The main characters are a family who owns a suicide shop. This movie actually is what I like about this festival. You get to see movies where the stories were not typical. A somewhat dysfunctional family whose goal is to sell items for a suicide, ranging from poison to katanas. It has the promise of being a great dark animation movie, but it fell short on the ending – thanks to the cheery youngest addition to the family. The singing is also a bit much. However I do like the visualization.. and it’s in 3D, I like animated 3D sometimes. Still very interesting and recommended especially if you like the drawing style.

Btw, this movie actually reminds me of School of Evil (A book by Danny Gregory). If you’re into this kind of story, read this e-book. It’s a totally dark and twisted book of a (good) kid going to School of Evil.

Get Shorty

It’s a collection of short films. Always recommended if you go to a film festival. I expected to see something very gory in this mix, but actually it was really a good unexpected mix. It’s even not as depressing as the Berlinale ones!

The Black Lake is too twisted. It follows the French pattern of they met, fall in love, they fuck, in the end one of them died. The ending was just too disturbing, even though I actually understand why she did it… Tune for Two is a sarcastic Nordic humor… Luminaris is a very beautiful piece about this two young people who worked at a light bulb factory and has a big dream… The Trap is an interesting idea. Curiosity always kills the cat… Danny Boy is quite interesting because I see it as a sarcastic metaphor. If you are different but better than everyone else, would you sacrifice it just for the sake of being ‘normal’?… The Little Mermaid I know nothing about, I fell completely asleep… Abiogenesis has some interesting robotic bio movements… The Furred Man and Sugar are really depressingly funny, you’re not supposed to laugh at someone’s misfortunes ;)… Believe the Dance is just weird dancing sequence. Unforgettably weird.

My favorite ones from the Get Shorty are Luminaris and Sugar.

Cockneys vs Zombies

Cockneys vs Zombies

Cockneys vs Zombies

The last movie I saw in this festival, and what a way to end it too. It’s a glorious zombie killing movie, full of crazy banters and cockney humors. What to do when a group of elders had to fight against a bunch of zombies?  Run, yeah, with a help of the walking aid. Luckily the zombies can’t walk fast either!

I laughed a lot during this one. Totally the best movie I saw in this festival. Bloody funny gory fun. More, please!!! And yes, totally recommended! I think it would be much funnier if you know London too :D.

* PS: I hate being fussy about grammars, but I found the tagline is a little confusing… fear good movies. What does it mean? Fear – good movies? Should I be afraid of good movies? So the movies in this festival are all bad? Fear good – movies? Movies where having fear is good? But it’s missing an ‘is’? Although I guess this one makes more sense… but still, I hope they would come up with a better tagline next year, less confusing at least ;).