SFFF Day 1 Report – Four Killers and a Dog

Even before I arrived in Saskatoon, I felt like Fantastic Film Festival-action was meeting me like a herald of things to come. It had something to do with the man waiting at my flight’s gate conspicuously wearing a black eyepatch that threatened spy movie villainy. It also had something to do with the man behind me in security and his laptop that tested positive for “explosive residue.” Fortunately for me, action-thrillers weren’t slated until Day 2 of the Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival and my flight proceeded without complication, bringing me to Day 1 of SFFF and a block of films featuring some disturbed title characters.

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Psycho (Gus Van Sant, 1998)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Psycho.

criterion logoFew films have been as maligned and misunderstood as Gus Van Sant’s near shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece, however Van Sant’s retelling is a bold effort to restore Psycho to its filmic roots and a brash statement on authorship, Hollywood entertainment, and the changing nature of cinema.  It is an unlikeliest of movies – a $60-million dollar, studio-funded, nationally-released, avant-garde film.  Gathering around him an impressive cast and crew including Anne Heche, Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Robert Forster, cinematographer Christopher Doyle, title designer Pablo Ferro, original Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stefano, and composers Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek, and Wayne Horvitz, Van Sant takes on one of cinema’s great masterpieces and offers an unsettling opportunity to see Psycho for the first time once again.

Disc Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration approved by director Gus Van Sant and cinematographer Christopher Doyle, with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary with Van Sant and actors Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn
  • New interviews with Van Sant, and actors Heche, Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortenson, William H. Macy, Philip Baker Hall, and Robert Forster
  • Psycho Paths, a 30-minute documentary on the making of Van Sant’s Psycho
  • Psycho Shampoo, Van Sant’s 1979 parody commercial appropriating Psycho‘s famous shower scene
  • Punk Rock Psycho, a new interview with Van Sant and Mortenson on their considered follow-up remake of Psycho relocated to a punk rock setting
  • Psychos, Steven Soderbergh’s feature-length mash-up of Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho and Van Sant’s 1998 Psycho, with introduction by Soderbergh
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film scholars Stephen Jay Schneider, Donato Totaro, and Mark Carpenter

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