Best of Fantasia & Thoughts [Fantasia Fest]

The next and last volume of my round-ups for Fantasia! This was supposed to come out sooner, but to be honest, I felt a bit burnt out, but I’m trying to get back to my productive self. No other way to do so, but force it out, right?

This year has been very strange, that much is for sure. Fantasia is the first time I’ve ever done a film festival digitally, and frankly, I wasn’t excited when it started. I love the energy inside a room when the lights go off at festivals. And while I missed that energy immensely, Fantasia had a discord server dedicated to press, cast+ crew, and fans and it made up for it. In fact, it might disappoint me in the future if a festival doesn’t have a server similar. I haven’t attended Fantasia prior and knowing myself, I would have attended and stuck to myself. I’m not known for making friends in lines, or attending events outside of films. But thanks to the servers, I made friends with people within the country to even people in the States. I’m very thankful to Alyssia (leftyscissors on the server) who helped run it (but also pitched the idea in the first place). And obviously to Steven who dealt with all our never-ending press and screener questions.

As it usually is the case with most festivals, I’m sad that it’s over, but also am excited to sleep a bit more. I hope that next year I’ll be able to attend and meet some of the friends from the server.

And now that we’ve talked about that, I want to once again bring up some of my favourite films from the festival. In alphabetical order because I’m never truly a fan of ranking, let’s start.

Come True
Directed by Anthony Scott Burns

I need Anthony Scott Burns to remake/reboot Nightmare on Elm Street ASAP. It was definitely one of my reoccuring thoughts throughout the film. The other is, how it made me afraid to go to sleep. Which again, goes back to my opening statement. I loved the atmosphere and the feel of everything that came with the film. As I sat with it more and more, I was blown away with how incredible a work of art it is. If you haven’t seen Our House yet, it’s on Netflix so go watch it.

Read my review here.

Directed by John Hsu

As I wrote about it then, Detention was the first film I saw for the festival and it perfectly set the mood for me. From its perfect atmosphere to the real-life horror that was found in Taiwan at the time, Detention follows in the footsteps that Pan’s Labryinth made so many years prior. Worthy of every award that it recieved, and then some. I hope it’s accessible to Western audiences soon.

Read my interview with John Hsu here and read my review here.

I WeirDo
Directed by Liao Ming-Yi

I WeirDo is the film that might have ripped my heart out the most during the fest. A film that is so absolutely sweet, for only a brief time. It brings us entirely into this relationship of both parties suffering from OCD, but how easily a flaw can go from a merit to something fatal. Shot on an iPhone, I WeirDo is beautiful.

Read my review here.

The Paper Tigers
Directed by Bao Tran

Possibly the most charming film out of the festival that I saw. A film so heartwarming that it doesn’t feel at first to fit in the martial arts canon of films, but the martial arts DNA is felt in every single frame of this super charming film. A film that was filled with laughs and helped me feel so refreshed and hit me on the perfect morning to watch it.

Read my review here.

You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Directed by David Darg and Price James

One of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a while. So filled with energy and exhilarating. David Arquette is so vulnerable and open that I’m floored he agreed to do so. I’ve always had high praise for him as a performer, but seeing him like this, I love him as a person as well.

Read my review here.

There are much more films to check out, read the rest of my reviews here. As well as check out friend of the site Prince’s podcast episode (and his show in general has been my what I listen to on my commute for the past month).