My first film of the Fantasia International Film Festival was a fascinating and understated horror film from Germany. Sleep is a film fueled by nightmares that break into the waking space and fuse themselves to the horrors of the real world. The film centers on Marlene (Sandra Huller) and her daughter Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof). Marlene is plagued by nightmares, often finding herself trapped between sleep and consciousness, gasping for breath. Mona tries to help her as much as she can, but her condition keeps worsening and doesn’t have an apparent source.
Nolan is joined by Ben McBride, Thomas Foster, and Paul Farrell to discuss Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) and Joe Begos’ Bliss (2019). The crew share their thoughts on recent horror releases, new discoveries, and rewatches before pushing themselves to physical and mental extremes in order to achieve artistic perfection and falling apart along the way.
Nolan is joined by Kat Adams, Emily von Seele, and Philip Yount to discuss John Erick Dowdle’s As Above, So Below (2014) and Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch (2016). The crew share their thoughts on new discoveries and rewatches, as well as recent horror releases — including a review of Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep (2019) (**Spoilers from 7:25 – 11:25**) — before the unresolved baggage from a lost family member spurs the group on a dangerous adventure into a forbidden zone (which is documented on video, of course).
Nolan is joined by Emily von Seele, Paul Farrell, and Philip Yount to discuss Lucky McKee’s May (2003) and Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes Of My Mother (2016). The crew share their thoughts on spooky season discoveries, as well as recent releases and rewatches, before trauma and prolonged isolation force the group to take extreme measures in an attempt at making friends.
Lucky McKee’s May has become a Halloween-viewing staple among genre fans. The strange fairy tale of a lonely young woman trying to find a meaningful relationship in a world of imperfection is a beautiful and unique film experience. May’s journey is one of hope and heartbreak, as we watch her try to form a bond with several people in her life, only to be let down and forced to take a rather unorthodox approach to finding that connection.
On this Off-Topic episode, Emily von Seele is joined by The Deeper You Dig co-director/co-writer/co-star Toby Poser to talk about her new film making its way through the festival circuit and what it’s like to make micro-budget films with your family.
As the final frames of the last movie flickered into blackness, I knew the end had come. No more screening slots to agonize over, no more seating assignments to lament, no more festival volunteers to high-five — Fantastic Fest 2019 was no more. But in those final hours, there was still celebration; movies to watch, love, and share with the world. That’s when an epiphany hit me. For if we keep talking about it, Fantastic Fest will never truly end, only live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of movie fans everywhere, for all time. And thanks to a particularly great lineup of films on the final day, I’ve still got plenty to say.
Life in the movie theater grows short, I know this now. For days people have been speaking of the coming end, the veritable theatrical apocalypse. I can scarcely believe that such a life ever could end, such has been the eternity with which it seems to have lasted. Still, I fear the rumors are true that, indeed, Fantastic Fest has nearly reached its final hours. And yet there is still more to talk about. Take Wednesday, for example.