Photo: Air Doll
After DOCUMENTARIES FROM THE EDGE and THE FANTASTIC WEEKEND OF QUEBEC SHORTS, the Fantasia Film Festival opens a new category this year, CAMERA LUCIDA, in reference to Roland Barthes who has always manifested his unabashed passion for popular culture. Rebellious, curious, and innovative, this new section will present audiences with new directions in today’s genre cinema.
What is the current state of genre cinema? The innovation that is CAMERA LUCIDA attempts to answer this question. Although the cinematic landscape today is marked by the arrival of undeniable and unclassifiable hybrids, some even being directed by known auteurs, the definition of “genre cinema” is seemingly becoming more and more elusive. In trying to clarify this, the idea of a platform dedicated to this contemporary filmic phenomenon was created by the Fantasia Film Festival. Yet, instead of offering a clear answer to the question that led to the project, the films being presented in this category only add to its complexity. Even though they proudly adhere to a specific genre, from animation to science fiction, on through to musical, each drastically redefines it by confronting it with new perspectives, by proposing new reflections on its past and certainly, by revolutionizing it. Here is, in its most radical and uncommon state, genre cinema as presented to the modern cinephile.
Just weeks after having stirred things up at Cannes, the honour of opening the proceedings goes to the crazy film RUBBER by French director Quentin Dupieux. A ludicrous slasher flick, this brilliant pastiche of Z-movies with a Brechtian touch, gives the lead role to none other than a serial-killing car tire. The first feature from Malaysian director Yeo Joon Han is the hilarious musical comedy SELL OUT! With touches of black comedy, it irreverently mocks, Reality TV, corporations and auteur cinema. In capturing a realist sweet-and-sour portrait of a South Korean family among others, the charming animated drama WHAT IS NOT ROMANCE? by Hong Eun-ji, Park Jae-ok and Soo Kyoung, sides itself much more with the likes of Mizoguchi rather than Oshii. Mashing film noir and romance with a meticulous mise-en-scène, NEVERLOST by Canadian Chad Archibald straddles themes of madness in exploring the personal labyrinth of a failed screenwriter confronted with his inner demons. With AIR DOLL, the master of contemporary cinema, Hirokazu Kore-eda, returns to the fantasy world of AFTER LIFE and creates a poetic meditation wherein magic realism allows him to illustrate society’s ills. “1” from Hungarian director Pater Sparrow is a demented film, an existentialist science fiction puzzle that, on top of perfectly capturing the spirit of the novels by the late José Saramago, propels us into a surrealist universe where any philosophical idea shatters under the weight of delirium. Straight from the abattoir, the experimental film THÉORIE DE LA RELIGION by Frédérick Maheux closes the CAMERA LUCIDA chapter with the transgressive spectacle of a man who finds in a mannequin an obscure object of desire that allows him to live out his fantasies.
Chad Archibald and Frédérick Maheux will be present at the world premieres of their respective films.
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