July 9th, 2009 11:47:00
FANTASIA 2009 is officially under way! The guests are starting to arrive, and anticipation is building for the opening night festivities. Cult producer Yoshinori Chiba has arrived from Japan to host our official opening screening of Takashi Miike's wacked-out take on the popular 1970s TV anime series YATTERMAN (see our exclusive interview with Yoshinori Chiba HERE), which occurs tonight, Thursday July 9th at 6:30pm in the Hall Theatre. After years of playing Miike's inimitable films at Fantasia, we've come to expect the unexpected, and YATTERMAN will not disappoint!
Complementing the over-the-top weirdness of Miike is the subtle black humor of Henrik Ruben Genz' award-winning TERRIBLY HAPPY at 7:00pm in the Salle J.A. de Seve. Twitchfilm called Genz "the Danish answer to the Coen Brothers" with this intricate neo-noir that features cinematography from Von Trier camera-op Jørgen Johansson (on THE KINGDOM, no less!) and a performance from much-beloved Fantasia alumnus Kim Bodnia (the PUSHER series, IN CHINA THEY EAT DOGS, etc.).
Diary of a Times Square Thief
Paired with TERRIBLY HAPPY in the same program (but playing afterwards as opposed to preceding it) is the incredibly moving short documentary DIARY OF A TIMES SQUARE THIEF, which is part of our annual Documentaries From The Edge spotlight series. DIARY... is a standout film about a Dutch collector who buys an old scrapbook on eBay and becomes obssessed with tracking down the tortured author who wrote it. It was an official selection at Toronto's Hot Docs and highly recommended viewing. Stay tuned for a more in-depth article on DIARY OF A TIMES SQUARE THIEF later today!
The day closes with Wilson Yip's stunning martial arts epic IP MAN, starring genre staple Donnie Yen as Bruce Lee’s legendary Wing Chun master Ip Man. Winner of Best Picture prize at the 2009 Hong Kong Film Awards and co-starring Fantasia favourites (and Johnnie To regulars) Simon Yam and Gordon Lam, IP MAN kicks off this year's Hong Kong Cinema: 100 Years spotlight series. Full of electrifying fight choreography, this is the first cinematic celebration of Bruce Lee's legendary master. IP MAN plays at 9:30pm in the Hall Theatre.