With the Chattanooga Film Festival just over a week away and with a stacked program stuffed into only 3½ days, careful planning and difficult prioritizing is required to get the most out of this year’s CFF. MMC! takes this opportunity to celebrate this year’s bounty and offer a quick preview of the CFF with a “Trailer Tuesday” devoted to making some hard choices.
1. Lowlife vs. Madeline’s Madeline vs. WTF
The CFF’s opening block of films is a doozy, programming Ryan Prows’s wonderful Lowlife opposite Josephine Decker’s Sundance darling Madeline’s Madeline and the WTF (Watch These Films) block of short films. I’ve already expressed my admiration for Lowlife, which is both an excellent pastiche of 1990s New Hollywood Violence and a canny take on MAGA-era America, and with director Ryan Prows in attendance for a Q&A and Carey Williams’ short Emergency accompanying it, that’s a hard to miss screening. Madeline’s Madeline came out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival with great reviews, reportedly a coming of age drama/experimental film about a young actor who joins an acting troupe and immerses herself in her current role rather too deeply for comfort, and the WTF block of shorts has some really intriguing titles including Laura Moss’s Allen Anders, a found footage presentation of a notorious stand-up performance from 1987, and John F. Beach and Jonathan Hoeg’s The Accomplice, about a man who discovers his unwitting participation in a bank robbery through a series of answering machine messages. All of these screenings reappear later in the CFF schedule, but that doesn’t really make the choice any easier!
MMC!‘s “Trailer Tuesdays” are the blogosphere’s most viewed posts. Period.
With that out of the way, let’s watch some trailers!
Rialto Pictures is promoting a new restoration of Julien Duvivier’s Panique (1946), a thriller about murder and betrayal that looks great in this re-release trailer. The Criterion Collection has already declared its appreciation of Duvivier (as has MMC!), so we should naturally be hopeful that a stacked Blu-ray for Panique might appear bearing a wacky “C.”
The Criterion Collection’s March 2017 announcements are certainly getting folks excited. I’m likely going against the grain in saying that I’m most interested in Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Felipe Cazals, 1976) than heavy-hitters like Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) or Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979), but the film that has long been on my “need to watch” list as a potential MMC! title and I’m very happy to see more Mexican cinema in the Collection. With that said, the prospect of a forthcoming Criterion edition of Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy is even more interesting, with new restorations of Marius (1931), Fanny (1932), and César (1936) undertaken by Janus Films serving as prelude to a box set bearing a wacky “C.” Quelle surprise!
“The Citizen Kane of animation” – Bill Plympton
Based on Robin Nishi’s underground manga, Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game is a singularly daring first feature that fully embraces the creative freedom of animation. This surrealistic adventure follows aspiring comic book artist Nishi from death and back again, then into the belly of a whale where he learns to pursue his dreams and take charge of his life while in the company of his childhood crush, her no-nonsense sister, and an elderly man trapped inside for more than 30 years. Mind Game, another vibrant and imaginative work of Japan’s celebrated Studio 4°C, blends flat animation, CGI, and digitally-painted live action into a roughly hewn, artistically exaggerated, cult masterpiece. Technically surreal and aesthetically defying, Mind Game is a brave and inspiring work of art unlike anything in Japanese anime and global animation.
- Audio commentary with director Masaaki Yuasa
- Footage from the Mind Game completion reception
- Pre-screening discussions at the Mind Game premiere
- Cast and crew interviews
- Koji Morimoto’s Noiseman Sound Insect, a 15-minute anime produced by Studio 4°C and featuring the designs and animation of Masaaki Yuasa
- Cat Soup, Tatsuo Sato’s experimental 33-minute anime written and produced by Masaaki Yuasa
- Masaaki Yuasa’s crowd-funded short, Kick-Heart
- A 16-page booklet featuring an interview with Yuasa and an essay by Japanese film scholar Mark Shilling
Kami-sama Edition – Package Includes:
- Mind Game on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 4 hours of bonus material!
- DRM-free Digital Download of the film in 1080p, 720p, and mobile/tablet formats
- Instant Download of Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Seiichi Yamamoto and including Fayray’s closing song “Saisho de Saigo no Koi”
- Storyboards and concept art by Masaaki Yuasa
- Complete Mind Game manga by Robin Nishi
- Illustrated Postcards