SFFF Day 2 – Chillin’ with the Villains

The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival went globe-trotting to start Day 2. The “Drawn from Around the World” block of animated shorts offered some enthralling works. Many conveyed a sad or lamenting poignancy. Keiro (Tatiana Jusewycz, Benoît Leloup, Franck Menigoz, Zoé Nérot, and Charlotte Poncin, 2016) traced a girl’s journey to adulthood and its effect on the giant creature that accompanies her, Beyond the Books (Jérôme Battistelli, Mathilde Cartigny, Nicolas Evain, Maéna Paillet, Robin Pelissier, and Judith Wahler, 2017) envisioned the highly detailed collapse of an impossibly immense library, the Spanish short Dead Horses (Marc Riba and Anna Solanas, 2016) revealed the brutality of war from a child’s perspective and amid fabric devastation, and the Indian film Schirkoa (Asian Shukla, 2017) imagined political strife in a world where citizens wear bags and boxes on their heads. Others brought the funny, like Daniel Sterlin-Altman’s Hi, It’s Your Mother (2017), about motherhood, blood loss, and middle class living told in crude claymation, and Deuspi (Megacomputer, 2017), a very short work about a pair of astonishingly inept stick-up men and their hilarious fates.

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My Podcasting Debut!

PrintBig thanks to the great Doug McCambridge for having me on his new Plain Cast podcast to discuss spine #3 in the excellent South Korean boutique label Plain Archive. There, we discuss Yeon Sang-ho’s The King of Pigs (2011) and its harrowing treatment of middle school bullying (spoilers abound!). In addition, Doug has episodes discussing Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) with Emily Mackay of Movies & Mayhem and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler (2008) with Cole Roulain of The Magic Lantern podcast, should you be interested in some better known titles.

king-of-pigs-olive-films(One note on the podcast – should our discussion pique your interest, we should note that in the time since our recording this episode, Olive Films has released The King of Pigs for the North American market, along with the director’s follow-up The Fake.)

While we’re at it, let’s plug Doug’s other excellent podcast Good Times Great Movies where he and Jamie Lorello tour through the preeminent films of the ’80s! I recently had the chance to listen to their very entertaining discussion of Chopping Mall (Jim Wynorski, 1986), a film about deadly Roombas intent on killing a group of horny teenagers trapped in a shopping mall and, as Jamie notes, features no chopping.

SFFF Day 4 Report – An Extended Trip Overseas

saskatoon_fantastic_film_festivalThe Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival closed with a massive final day that included five feature films, five shorts, and screenings of the films participating in the Festival’s 48 Hour Movie Making Challenge. SFFF closed the four day run with a trio of Asian films – the Mo Brothers’ Headshot (2015), Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan (2016), and Kôji Shiraishi’s Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) – that were collected to thrill audience members and get their communal adrenaline pumping. These efforts seemed to prove successful, but the best of Day 4 was found elsewhere and the final day offered some welcome surprises along the way.

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Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (Yoon Jong-bin, 2012)

“The Korean mob film Scorsese would be proud of.” – Jacob Templin, TIME.com

Drafthouse Films Logo1982.  South Korea.  Set to lose his job as a customs officer, Choi Ik-hyun has no hesitation in approaching a local crime syndicate to sell drugs confiscated by him and quickly partners up the city’s most powerful mob boss, Choi Hyung-bae (Ha Jung-woo, The Yellow Sea).  In less than ten years, Ik-hyun becomes a powerful criminal force in his own right, armed with a book of contacts and knack for exploiting distant family relations, but his longtime partnership with Hyung-bae strains under their own success.  A blockbuster film in its home country, Nameless Gangster features another bravura performance by Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, I Saw the Devil) as the buffoonish yet canny Ik-hyun and a spot-on reconstruction of 1980s and ’90s Busan, South Korea, set amid the country’s period of rampant crime and corruption.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Yoon Jong-bin
  • The Golden Age of the Bad Guys, a making-of documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
  • The War on Crime, a featurette on South Korean organized crime and the government’s war against it in 1990
  • Gangsters of the 1980s – Busan, reviewing the style, fashion, and production design of Nameless Gangster
  • The Music in Those Days …, a review of Nameless Gangster‘s period music
  • Footage from the première
  • Theatrical trailer, teasers, and TV spots
  • 24-page booklet of photos, production stills, and promotional materials, plus an interview with director Yoon Jong-bin

“Who You Know” Edition – Package Includes:

  • Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 3 hours of bonus material!
  • DRM-free Digital Download of the film in 1080p, 720p, and mobile/tablet formats
  • Instant Download of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Jo Yeong-wook and including Jang-Ki-ha and the Faces’ “I Heard a Rumor”
  • 27″ x 40″ reversible theatrical one-sheet

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Criterion Made Mine! The Housemaid Edition

For reasons we can only assume are solely related to MMC!‘s earlier post, the Criterion Collection has graduated Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid (1960) from a recent Hulu title to a December 2013 release, part of the Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project box set.  So thank you Criterion, and you’re welcome.

Aachi & Ssipak (Jo Beom-jin, 2006)

“Violence, drugs, porn, and poo – It’s extreme!” – SEATTLE WEEKLY

Drafthouse Films LogoIn the future, the only energy source is human excrement.  Citizens are microchipped and rewarded for defecation with addictive Juicybars.  In Shit City, two small-time hoods team up with a would-be porn actress and become major traffickers in the Government-issued treat.  Hunted by the notorious Diaper Gang, a collection of blue, constipated, mutant Juicybar addicts led by the dangerous Diaper King, and with a superhuman Government agent out to stop them all, the trio may have bitten off more Juicybars than they can chew.  Welcome to the insane world of Aachi & Ssipak.

Warning: This movie is unsuitable for teenagers, pregnant women, and those with heart trouble.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary with Jo Beom-jin and jTeam Staff
  • Introduction by Todd Brown of Twitchfilm
  • Making of documentary
  • Cast interviews
  • Character featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Original Flashanimated Aachi & Ssipak webisodes
  • Music video
  • Teasers and trailers
  • 16-page booklet with stills and production art

Juicybar Edition – Package Includes:

  • Aachi & Ssipak on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 2 hours of bonus material
  • High quality 720p HD Digital Download of the Film Available on Street Date
  • Instant Download of the 13-track Aachi & Ssipak Soundtrack
  • 27″ x 40″ Theatrical Poster
  • Juicybar Popsicle Molds

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