DAY NINE - STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP
Hey everyone... well......so much has been happening it can be difficult keep up with everything..perhaps next year we should get a couple of interns to help us out. As I type this in our apartment Ian is beavering away working out the logistics of this years 5 screen 50 plus film FrightFest event. We just had a long meeting discussing how things will have to be organised this year and I have to say that the plans are making me even more excited about this year. It's really going to be spectacular.. trust me.
On to the films and stuff... sadly a generally negative reaction to the Ryan Gosling genre pic LOST RIVER apparently a star packed homage to his cinema influences Lynch/ Refn etc but I'm still looking forward to seeing this later today. I enjoyed WHEN ANIMALS DREAM which has also been a bit of an audience divider with its languid tale of a girl coming of age .. very Von Trier at times and in fact Colin (TIFF/Midnight Madness) Geddes first described it to me as "BREAKING THE WOLVES" which was spot on.
An absolute ton of sales agent meetings with literally dozens and dozens of discs and screening links to be watched..most will inevitably turn out to be poor .. but you never know there should be some gems hopefully.
Lots of drinks receptions and parties including Fantasia's annual Karaoke bash where I belted out "Don't Stop Me Now" to a room full of genre friends and colleagues, the Film4 bash was a much more subdued but lovely affair, Variety had a beach party that was full of endless champagne and nibbles, Scottish Screen hosted a great fun bash that included bagpipes and kilts naturally and our delightful Glasgow Film Festival compatriots.. FrightFest also got a great mention during the speeches.. which was an unexpected surprise.
Many people are now heading home but we are sticking it out until the bitter end to properly catch up with Tim League and his Alamo/ Fantastic Fest crew ... we've had a few wild nights out together over the last few days and yes we did do the now infamous face slapping ..a crazy tradition started at last years Fantastic Fest ..so we naturally brought it to the streets of Cannes much to everyones surprise.
Todd Brown (Twitch Film/ XYZ) also showed me a whole bunch of great looking promos from there exciting upcoming slate including Kevin Smith's TUSK his new monster movie, STUNG the killer wasp creature feature and a whole heap more, oh and the aforementioned Mr Smith is also in pre-production on ANTI-CLAUS a holiday horror film with 5 terror tales with a Christmas theme... interesting stuff!
Oh well that's all from me for now as gonna have to head out and watch the Ryan Gosling... wish me luck with that one!
Until next time...
Good morning everyone. Not one but two guest contributors today and both Cannes virgins. We will be back with our own festival round-ups tomorrow, but in the mean time enjoy these looks at the festival from a different perspective.
Hello FrightFest Nation! This is a postcard from I-have-no-idea-which-day because they've all blurred way the hell together. I'm Chad Eberle (previously introduced by Ian as the "Cannes virgin"), here at the festival as an Acquisitions Consultant for Ultra 8 Pictures. I ran into Team FrightFest on my first night here and told them how surreal it was meet them on my first trip to Cannes after years of reading their fest postcards. Ian chuckled (I think he may have been drinking two beers at once at the time), then quickly took the opportunity to pawn off a day of postcard writing on me ("It's just 500 words. Oh, and concentrate on misadventures."). In all seriousness though, it's an honor to appear on these pages.
I spent most of the first week of the fest watching genre films in the Marche du Film, where
I shared many a screening room with Team FrightFest and got to hear their insta-reviews as the credits rolled (usually "It's shit"). My favorite Marche titles so far have been HONEYMOON and THE GUEST.
HONEYMOON, directed by Leigh Janiak, is a bizarre slow-creep horror film about a newlywed couple's wilderness getaway gradually turning freakish as they start to experience some inexplicable...changes. The less plot shared, the better. Go in blind and enjoy the icky ride.
THE GUEST is the new film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett (the pair behind YOU'RE NEXT and A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE) and it's a wild, nasty action-thriller. Discharged soldier Dan Stevens shows up on the doorstep of the family of a friend who was killed in combat. He intends to make good on a promise to look out for the family, but his methods turn out be a tad extreme. And a tad ultra violent.
I will also join the chorus of praises for IT FOLLOWS, playing in the Critics Week sidebar of the festival. It's a kinky, creepy neo-ELM-STREET with one of the most striking horror premises of the last several years (which, again, you're better off going in not knowing). In short, it deserves the hype.
So what about the misadventures? Well, the parties here have lived up to their reputation. You can go from one to the next all night long until your next morning's schedule starts looking impossible. No matter what time it is, someone always seems to know of another party that's still going. My most misadventures night thus far involved: a sales agent's wine and cheese tasting, a brief detour onto the boat from THE LIFE AQUATIC, untold millions of glasses of champagne at a genre festival mixer, a Queer Night party at the American Pavilion, a Panama Film Commission party where the menu was all-you-can-drink Sex on the Beaches, and then almost a boat taxi out to a yacht(!!!). The yacht reached capacity before my group could get on, which I took as my cue to bail and ran home to finally to get some sleep. At that point, I was due at a screening in just a few hours.
Even if you don't have party plans, you can always find a ton of cool people, most likely including some or all of Team FrightFest, on the street outside Le Petit Majestic drinking Heineken out of plastic cups into the wee hours of the night. There are really just too many good times here. I'm having a blast.
A hearty thanks to Ian, Paul and Alan for inviting me to contribute a postcard -- and for giving me such a warm, friendly welcome at my first ever Cannes Film Festival. Cheers!
My first time in Cannes, I truly had a blast! I won't lie, I was only able to see a handful of films. But it is really the atmosphere, meeting people, and the love for cinema that is very tangible in the air is what makes Cannes a truly unique experience. On top of that, great weather, delicious food, million dollar 4 story yachts and some great dresses around complete the picture.
This year was special for the genre film scene in Cannes. At the first ever Fantastic Mixer event, I had the pleasure of chatting to Llyod Kaufman, Brian Yuzna and Ruggero Deodato! Many of my good friends and the directors/members of the top genre festivals around the world were there having a pint at Petit Majestic every night. Film4 FrightFest, Sitges, Fantastic Fest, Fantasia, Neer Do Well, XYZ, Raven Banner, Future Past Films, Metrodome and many more! Such an all star genre fan cast rarely comes together in even the biggest genre film festivals.
This particular year, Cannes was more significant for me. Following an important meeting with Mike Hostench, my first feature film, BASKIN, has been officially announced in Variety magazine. It was a great, exciting feeling.
Also earlier, I had the pleasure of walking on the red carpet to see Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 'Winter Sleep', and celebrate the 100th Year of Turkish Cinema, with some very valuable cinema people from my home country. All this, intertwined with bearing the terrible news of the the huge mine disaster in Soma, and going back to my room each time to read about how the government cracks down on the protestors. You don't really feel like sharing your joy, or any photos from Cannes when your newsfeed is overrun by sorrow and disturbing and angry updates from friends and family.
Cannes definitely has a very art house, classy and grand feeling around the red carpet with hordes of fans, journalists, black official Cannes cars and everything... However that vibe completely changes when you step inside the market and confront such titles as 'Pandasaurus', 'Lavantula', 'Zoombies', 'Atomic Shark', 'Goal Dead'... Oh, and 'God Loves Caviar'!
My favorite synopsis belonged to 'Evil Feed'. Here it goes: Steven spent his entire life being the good son, dedicated all his time to the family business, The Long Pig Restaurant, known in the underground world for cannibalistic cuisine. When Steven hears that his father would rather sell the business to a stranger than pass it down to his own son, Steven has no choice but to chop off his head. With his father's head safely displayed in a cabinet, Steven and his nymphomaniac girlfriend have big plans for The Long Pig. They capture elite MMA fighters and force them to battle in the restaurant's new "Pit of Gore" where blood thirsty customers get to watch their meals being tenderised. Steven calls this, "Tendertainment!"
I flew back home today, very very happy to have shared this wonderful experience with wonderful friends, having met some some new wonderful and mad friends, and definitely feeling the urge to make worthy stuff to come back to Cannes again. Hopefully very soon!
Clck on the banners above to open and close.