Celluloid Diaries

Friday, April 28, 2017

Eight twisted movie recommendations

twisted movie recommendations

I almost missed out on Norbert Keil's twisted movie Replace. I'd been seeing several films in a row already that day at BIFFF, and though Replace was on my list of movies to watch, I wasn't in the mood to jump into another screening without a break. I decided to give the film a try a second before it started, and it turned out to be one of my favorites of the 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.

Several days later, Norbert and I met over a game of Story Cubes, and I asked him if he wanted to share movie recommendations on Celluloid Diaries. This week, he emailed me with eight recommendations for a twisted night at the movies, some of which were undoubtedly influences for his own twisted little film (there's definitely a David Cronenberg/Herbert West vibe to it).

Replace tells the story of Kira, whose skin shrivels up due to extreme ageing. When she discovers she can replace her skin with somebody else's, the question arises whether she'll kill to remain her youthful look or if she'll let her body wither away.

The film was co-written with Richard Stanley and stars Rebecca Forsythe, Lucy Aron and Barbara Crampton.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

10 BIFFF Movies You'll Want to Watch Right Now

The 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) took place between April 4th and April 16th. The program was an interesting mix of South African ghost stories, Albanian folklore, Turkish cat movies, Russian adventure films, French crime, Korean thrillers, and much more. Want to know which ones were the best? Here's my top 10 of BIFFF movies you'll want to watch right now.

Safe Neighborhood


It's Christmas and the kids are home alone with their babysitter when “burglars” try and enter the house. However, it won't be a normal home invasion. Entertaining and with a twist no one saw coming, Safe Neighborhood was my favorite BIFFF movie and also won the Golden Raven for best picture.

Safe Neighborhood

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4 movies that inspired 1000 Cuts

1000 Cuts
To celebrate the French and Belgian release of 1000 Cuts (original French title: Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures), I invited French director Eric Valette to talk about the movies that inspired his film.

Based on the DOA novel Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures and starring Tomer Sisley, Terence Yin, Erica Sainte, Pascal Greggory, Carlos Cabra, and Stéphane Debac, 1000 Cuts starts when a wounded fugitive takes a young family hostage in order to hide out in their isolated farmhouse. Meanwhile, both the criminal underworld and the police are hellbent on finding and neutralizing him. The mysterious, nameless fugitive creates a wave of violence that will leave no one unscathed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Interview with Park Chan-wook

park chan-wook

Ever since Park Chan-wook won the Grand Prix at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for Oldboy, he put South Korea on the cinematographic map for many movie lovers. Loyal fans from all over the world praised his films for their unique aesthetic and visual poetry, excessive violence, and power to evoke strong emotions. Several of his films became international sensations, including Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Lady Vengeance (2005), I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK (2006), Thirst (2009), and Stoker (2013). His latest, the period thriller The Handmaiden (2016), is the best-selling Korean film of all time and was sold to over 100 countries before even hitting the Cannes Film Festival.

I spoke with Park Chan-wook during his stay in Brussels where he was the guest of honor of the 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF).

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Fault in Our Stars filming locations in Amsterdam

amsterdam filming locations the fault in our stars

Based on the novel by John Green, The Fault in our Stars was a huge hit when it came out in 2014. One of the romantic highlights in the film is when the main characters visit Amsterdam in search of their favorite author, but it's also the place where they fall in love. You can visit the all the famous Amsterdam filming locations of The Fault in our Stars and trace the steps of Hazel and Augustus yourself.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Offscreen Film Festival 2017

offscreen film festival 2017

In March, I spent three weeks at the Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels, which is known for its screenings of both old and new cutting edge movies. This year, they put the focus on Czech fairy tales, Indonesian action cinema, and the films of Stephen Sayadian (Rinse Dream) and Walerian Borowczyk.

The opening night of the Offscreen film festival saw the premiere of the teenage cannibal movie Grave which I thought was too soft and on-the-nose but almost everyone else loved because of its gruesomeness and unpredictability.

Friday, March 31, 2017

BIFFF 2017 Panel Discussions

bifff 2017 brussels international fantastic film festival

Over the next two weeks, I'll be moderating several panel discussions with filmmakers and actors at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF). These panel discussions are open to the audience, so don't hesitate to stop by if you have the chance.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eight best Belgian horror movies

best belgian horror movies

This is a guest post by Steve De Roover.

My feature-length documentary Forgotten Scares goes back to the birth of Flemish horror in the '70s and shines a bright light on the future of horror made in Flanders, Belgium. The viewer gets a chance to discover long forgotten - and even unfinished - genre gems and learn in-depth info about underrated "splatter and gore"-fests, post-apocalyptic movies, slasher films, nazisploitation, women-in-prison and other fantastical Belgian genre benders through the eyes of the directors, producers, composers, principal actors and genre experts. Forgotten Scares is illustrated by rare behind the scene footage, classic film scenes, production stills, promotional art and even never before seen videos out of the vaults of the filmmakers.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Five best movies about self-discovery

best movies about self-discovery happiness true love

It's International Day of Happiness! For the occasion, author Natalie Savvides shares her favorite movies on the subject. They each carry the main themes of her book Full Circle; self-discovery, a search for true love, inner peace, and ultimately happiness.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Caturday Movies - The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses

Až přijde kocour

Our Caturday Movie of the week is Až přijde kocour (1963), a Czechoslovakian movie also known as The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses, The Cassandra Cat, That Cat, and When the Cat Comes. It's directed by Vojtěch Jasný and won the CST and Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1963.

The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses takes place in a small Czechoslovakian town in the early 1960s. In the first half hour of the film, we get to know the inhabitants and their quirks. Turns out most of them are cheaters, liars and opportunists. One day, Castellan Oliva (Jan Werich) tells the pupils of a local school that he once fell in love with a beautiful woman named Diana. She worked for a circus and had a cat who constantly wore sunglasses. Oliva knew it was forbidden to take them off, but that's what he did anyway. Instantly, everyone around him changed color. The liars became violet, the thieves grey, and the unfaithful yellow. Those that were in love turned red. Now that the true nature of each inhabitant was exposed, the village was no longer peaceful. In order to restore tranquility, the villagers went after the cat and killed it.