Spectrum Productions works with a day camp in Montreal which offers filmmaking mentorship and classes for people on the autism spectrum. Spectrum Fest was a presentation of some of the films made by participants over the years for the first time at Fantasia. It was a free screening for anyone interested in going and it was hoot.
I got started as a critic in 2004 when I covered the Fantasia film festival for Film Threat. At the time I was pretty active on the Film Threat web board and one of the moderators, I believe it was Eric Campos, asked if I could attend the festival and write something for the magazine since I lived nearby. I must have done a good job because he let me stick around to do more stuff, mostly review indie films and write a series called “Versus” where I compared remakes with the original.
It was fun, but eventually I had to slow down because I was burnt out. I realize that “watching movies” doesn’t sound exhausting, but I always felt a deep sense of responsibility to both the readers and the filmmakers. It felt wrong to just go “This film sucks!” or “This film rocks” without exploring every little detail on screen and analyzing every aspect of the production.
There’s been talk of remaking Suspiria for years. So much so that a lot of what I’m going to mention here are thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for over a decade. The latest attempt at a remake, and the one most likely to happen, is supposed to star Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, have music by Thom Yorke, and be directed by Luca Guadagnino. All of whom are above average artists in their respective fields. So I wish this attempt well and I genuinely hope it succeeds.
At the same time, I think it’ll fail.
A philosophy master student is pondering life and what her master thesis should be. With the help of her teacher, she finds a subject and starts following perfect strangers to find the meaning of life. As she does this, she lets her subject become an obsession and discovers a few things about herself.
This list is long overdue mainly because I spent the last week sick as a dog, but from June 9th to June 11th, the 2nd Final Girls Berlin Film Festival was held. It’s a great film festival to provide a voice for female horror filmmakers, and writers of all kinds from all over the world. This year I was allowed the opportunity to partake in a lot of their shorts and found some surprises.
I was lucky enough to be able to review many of the short films that played for audiences at the 2nd 2017 Final Girls Berlin Film Festival. The festival which runs from June 9th to June 11th features a wide array of horror films, horror shorts and horror programs fueled by creative female voices, from writers, and directors alike. This year, they ran the anthology “XX” and a myriad new female powered genre titles, along with a big block of short genre films with specific themes. These are a few of the shorts that played.
It’s shocking how well 1981’s “My Bloody Valentine” holds up. While it is a holiday themed slasher film that would end up becoming one of many, it can be placed in a league of its own for how creepy, eerie, and tense it still is. Sure you can argue that George Mihalka’s film is a bit rough around the edges. In one scene when character Hollis discovers a young couple impaled on top of each other, in a quick edit, you can see the actress breathing. But that doesn’t stop “My Bloody Valentine” from turning in to a very tightly written and engaging horror film about a psychotic miner who really hates Valentine’s Day. Mihalka’s film transforms in to a slick amalgam of “Friday the 13th” and “The Town that Dreaded Sundown,” where our maniac Harry Warden is created after the result of gross negligence.