April is my favorite month of the year thanks to the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival BIFFF. This year was the 19th time I attended the festival and I had a blast as usual. Here's a little overview and some photos of my twelve days at the festival.
After a decent opening with Neil Jordan's Byzantium (not bad, but overly long), the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival really took off on Wednesday with Hideo Nakata's new movie The Complex (slow and predictable) and Franck Khalfoun's remake of Maniac (nasty, beautiful, smart, original, stylish).
On Thursday I reunited with someone I hadn't seen in a long time. We watched I Declare War (never really got into this movie about kids playing war games in the woods), Spiders 3D (I just love these giant spider movies from Nu Image even though they're zany in every possible way), and Found (compelling little curio with a love for vintage video nasties that will stick with you).
In A Fantastic Fear of Everything Simon Pegg excels as a writer who is manically afraid to be murdered. The film was so hilarious I cried. It could have easily been half an hour shorter, though.
After the movie, I hosted a q&a with director Crispian Mills (also the frontman of Kula Shaker) and producer Geraldine Patten. A fun meeting where we talked about Crispian's horrible experiences on set, how Simon Pegg had always been the one to play the lead, and bizarre phobias such as fear of chopsticks, alcohol, and cats.
The first movie I saw on Saturday was Here Comes The Devil, a Mexican film in which a couple of kids disappear during a trip and come back possessed by the devil. A fascinating idea, but not as creepy as I hoped it would be.
I ended the evening with A Haunting in Georgia (the follow up of The Haunting in Connecticut), which was entertaining but not groundbreaking.
Everyone agreed that The Host, based on Stephenie Meyer's bestseller, was the worst movie of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. What is this woman's obsession with cheesy love triangles?
On Monday I took a day off from the festival and went to bed early to watch the evil clown movie Stitches that I missed the day before. Although it was fun to watch it in bed, it's definitely a festival movie that benefits from the cheering and laughter of the festival audience.
Oblivion premiered on Tuesday at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, a visually stunning film with several interesting story arches, but I wish they would have made it shorter and more original.
Next came Hellbenders 3D. If you're an actor or filmmaker, then Hellbenders is the perfect example of how NOT to do your job.
I hosted a q&a with director/screenwriter Alan Brennan for his movie Earthbound, a charming mix between K-Pax, Happy Accidents, and Safety Not Guaranteed.
I ended the evening with Texas Chainsaw 3D. Lots of fun, but Leatherface as the "good" guy? Really?
On Thursday I watched three movies: Belenggu (an Indonesian thriller that copies the giant rabbit visions of Donnie Darko and mixes it with a predictable intrigue), Forgotten (a German ghost story in which nothing happens) and The Human Race (an entertaining film following the same plot as Battle Royale and The Hunger Games).
After Kim Ki-Duk's brilliant new movie Pieta , I presented the official premiere of Un Homme Bien (the short film based on my vampire story A Good Man for a full cinema. I discovered the movie at the same time as the audience and had no idea what to expect. You have to know that every scene you see in the film was meant to become a full-length feature, but because the production came (temporarily) to a halt director Steve de Roover used the existing images to turn them into a short. Unfortunately, there's no mistaken that Un Homme Bien was never destined to become a short film. The beginning is slow, it lacks transition scenes, and the film is overall not representative of my work. I do, however, say "bravo" to the director's ability to find logic and structure in the random images.
The Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival ended on Saturday with lots of champagne and a projection of Chan-Wook Park's first Hollywood movie Stoker (which was the perfect example of how a brilliant and inventive direction can turn an ordinary story into something special).