Published 1 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its second wave of programming, led by a closing night screening of writer-director Rian Johnson's hotly anticipated new Lionsgate and MRC mystery Knives Out. A tribute to the work of Agatha Christie, Knives Out stars Daniel Craig as debonair Detective Benoit Blanc, sent to investigate the death of a renowned crime novelist played by Christopher Plummer. Knives Out will be Fantastic Fest 2019's closing night film with Johnson in attendance for a special presentation at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX on Thursday, September 26th.
"Rian Johnson is a consistently thrilling and brilliant director whose work has enthralled Fantastic Fest audiences for the past 15 years," said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. "The chance to close out the festival with his unique and ingenious murder mystery was too good an offer to pass up!"
Cannes Palme d'Or winner Parasite will also play this year's Fantastic Fest with director Bong Joon-ho SNOWPIERCER, OKJA in attendance. Reaping near-universal acclaim around the world, Parasite is a darkly comic tale of two very different families who find their lives inexplicably intertwined.
This year, Fantastic Fest celebrates the rich and varied history of Mexican genre film with a trio of rarely seen repertory titles, programmed in association with Mexico City's Mórbido Film Fest. In The Black Pit of Dr. M Misterios De Ultratumba, two doctors make an unholy bet to discover just what's in the afterlife in The Ship of Monsters La Nave De Los Monstruos, two extraterrestrials traverse the universe collecting sample species to repopulate their planet resulting in the wildest spaceship ever with a wide array of characters from singing cowboys to Martian princes and other otherworldly beings starring none other than the brilliant Lorena Velázquez and finally, Trampa Infernal a.k.a. Hell's Trap sees a group of young people go after a bear, only to find themselves terrorized by a crazed Vietnam vet in a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove, combining the best of slasher traditions with an incredible visual style and '80s fashions galore! A dedicated shorts program exploring up and coming young Mexican filmmakers will be presented as part of the program, as well, which will be announced at a later date.
Mórbido Film Fest's head of programming Abraham Castillo Flores will give a lecture titled "The Mórbido Crypt's Guide to Mexican Fantasy and Horror Cinema," a co-presentation with The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, founded by film writer/programmer/producer Kier-La Janisse. The sidebar is also supported by Cine Las Americas, the Mexican Film Institute IMCINE, the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Fundación Televisa, Alameda Films, and Grupo Galindo.
"As Mórbido continues its primal mission to promote Mexican fantasy and horror cinema throughout the world, we are proud to collaborate with Fantastic Fest to highlight three unique films that represent peculiar moments in our complex national film history," says Flores.
Fantastic Fest shows its full rainbow colors with a sidebar dedicated to LGBTQ+ representation in genre cinema, including the US Premiere of Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, a documentary focusing on the journey Mark Patton's life took from actor to activist after starring in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, as well as a rep screening of that seminal title with the cast in attendance. There will be a very special presentation of Norman J. Warren's Prey 1977, which focuses on the disintegration of a relationship amidst a very real alien threat. The sidebar wraps up with a screening of Lyle with director Stewart Thorndike in attendance, where the grief of a mother turns to abject paranoia when she suspects her neighbors of being part of a satanic cult.
"The two most unwavering pieces of my identity - my queerness and my love of horror - come together in some fascinating and unexpected ways over the course of film history," says Fantastic Fest programmer Brian Kelley. "I can't think of a better group of people to explore and celebrate some of the crazy, frequently daring and often challenging films that make up the universe of queer horror with than my Fantastic Fest family."
Fantastic Fest's LGBTQ+ sidebar is proudly sponsored by Shudder and co-presented by community partners aGLIFF and OUTsider, the Horror Queers podcast, and drag horror titans Peaches Christ and Louisianna Purchase, who along with Die Felicia will slay at an epic BYOW Bring Your Own Wig party in The Highball.
Related: Red Dawn Announced as Fantastic Fest 2012's Closing Night Film
The witching hour arriveth at Fantastic Fest and with it brings titles that promise the audience all those forbidden sights that the daytime can't handle. In the World Premiere of Joe Begos' VFW, a group of veterans find themselves in a deadly showdown against a gang of punk mutants dead-set on killing them. Also from Begos is Bliss, where a creative mental block threatens to tip an artist into uncontrollable bloodbath in a very special 35mm screening. Seth Ickerman expands the unique vision of a neon sci-fi universe first presented within his astounding short Turbo Killer and teams up once again with synth master Carpenter Brut in the North American premiere of Blood Machines. And Richard Stanley recruits the help of Nicolas Cage to explore just what mysteries Color Out of Space holds in an adaptation of the seminal Lovecraft story in the US premiere of the highly-anticipated title.
Science fiction and visions of the future are represented at the festival with a trio of titles that run the gamut of all fears. Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson return to the festival for the US Premiere of their newest fever-dream Synchronic starring Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as a pair of paramedics in the throes of a losing battle against a brand new designer drug. Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots are a couple who find themselves moving into their dream house, only to discover a trap in Lorcan Finnegan's Cannes hit Vivarium. And in a small town in 1950s New Mexico, a mysterious radio signal sends a pair of teenagers on an exciting journey to discover its source in the masterful debut The Vast of Night from director Andrew Patterson.
Cinema itself is explored at Fantastic Fest with a duo of documentaries that focus on wildly varied subjects. Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet's Phil Tippet - Mad Dreams and Monsters takes an extensive look at the great genius behind the visual effects of films such as Robocop, Star Wars and Jurassic Park while Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks explores the history of kung fu cinema from 1960s Hong Kong through '70s 42nd Street and beyond with the help of experts, historians, kung fu stars and more! Prior to the festival, Alamo Drafthouse will be running a series to prep for the screening titled Fists of Iron, Wheels of Steel where Texas DJs will be live-scoring some of the most beloved Kung Fu classics, including Master of the Flying Guillotine with DJ Jester the Filipino Fist, Police Story with DJ Catwalk, and more!
The world at large is explored through a genre lens with films that take aim at topical subjects. In the US Premiere of Karl Markovics' Nobadi, the unlikely friendship between an old German man and a migrant worker will show them the true horror of their existence, while the US Premiere of The Platform sees society use a very new and unique punishment for criminals and those in need. In Abou Leila, two men hunt for a vicious terrorist leader while trying to hide from the bloodstains in their soul, and in the US Premiere of Orçun Behram's The Antenna, a sinister government broadcast in Turkey corrupts the very nature of everything it touches.
Worldwide, weird and wonderful genre films return with a selection of titles that refuse to be categorized. In Martin Krejčí's The True Adventure of Wolfboy, an unusual young man goes on a journey of discovery with a roster of eccentric characters in a film that mixes the best of fairy-tales and Czech magical realism. In Vhyes, the discovery of a video camcorder leads a 12-year-old boy to create a unique time capsule. In Patrick, a young man goes to extreme lengths to find his lost hammer in his father's nudist colony. Finally, in Butt Boy, a man discovers he has a fetish of the most extraordinary kind during a routine prostate examination.
More FF alumni return to the festival with new and exciting titles. Mickey Reece uses the cold backdrop of a New England winter to explore a homecoming of a very weird kind in the astounding Climate of the Hunter. In Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz's The Lodge, the relationship between two children and their stepmother gets strained to its murderous limit when the trio are trapped in a cabin. And Mattie Do explores the power of mistakes, choices, and consequences in the stunning and unique Laotian science-fiction exploration The Long Walk.
Fantastic Fest 2019 Second Wave Film Lineup:
ABOU LEILAAlgeria, France, Qatar, 2019North American Premiere, 139 minDirector - Amin Sidi-BoumédièneIn the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.
THE ANTENNATurkey, 2019US Premiere, 115 minDirector - Orçun BehramSomewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.
THE BLACK PIT OF DR. MMexico, 1959Repertory Screening, 82 minDirector - Fernando MéndezTwo doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.
BLISSUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 80 minDirector - Joe BegosWhile trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.
BLOOD MACHINESFrance, USA, 2019North American Premiere, 50 minDirector - Seth IckermanThe wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, "Turbo Killer," shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.
BUTT BOYUSA, 2019World Premiere, 100 minDirector - Tyler CornackIn attendance - Director Tyler CornackWriter/director/comedian Tyler Cornack's Butt Boy introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.
CLIMATE OF THE HUNTERUSA, 2019World Premiere, 90 minDirector - Mickey ReeceThe "Soderbergh of the Sticks," Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.
COLOR OUT OF SPACEUSA, 2019US Premiere, 111 minDirector - Richard StanleyUnimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley's entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story.
IRON FISTS AND KUNG FU KICKSAustralia, 2019North American Premiere, 107 minDirector - Serge OuFrom the Shaw Brothers to The Matrix, this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.
KNIVES OUTUSA, 2019Special Presentation, 130 minDirector - Rian JohnsonIn attendance - Director Rian JohnsonFrom acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes Knives Out, a fresh and modern take on the classic "whodunnit" mystery genre.
THE LODGEUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 108 minDirectors - Veronika Franz & Severin FialaFive years after Goodnight Mommy stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.
THE LONG WALKLaos, Spain, Singapore, 2019US Premiere, 115 minDirector - Mattie DoIn attendance - Director Mattie DoAn old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother's painful death.
LYLE2014, USARepertory Screening, 65 minDirector - Stewart ThorndikeIn attendance - Director Stewart ThorndikeAfter the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGEUSA, 1985Repertory Screening, 87 minDirector - Jack SholderIn attendance - Actors Mark Patton and Kim MyersJesse Mark Patton is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.
NOBADIAustria, 2019US Premiere, 90 minDirector - Karl MarkovicsIn a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics' remarkable and poignant third feature.
PARASITESouth Korea, 2019Texas Premiere, 131 minDirector - Bong Joon-hoIn attendance - Director Bong Joon-hoBong Joon-ho's seventh feature - about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment - is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.
PATRICKBelgium, 2019North American Premiere, 97 minDirector - Tim MielantsPatrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick's search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn't even know existed.
PHIL TIPPETT - MAD DREAMS AND MONSTERSFrance, 2019International Premiere, 80 minDirectors - Gilles Penso & Alexandre PoncetAfter their documentary Creature Designers - The Frankenstein Complex, French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.
THE PLATFORMSpain, 2019US Premiere, 90 minDirector - Galder Gaztelu-UrrutiaIn attendance - Director Galder Gaztelu-UrrutiaSomewhere in the future exists The Platform, a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner's luck hold? One man is about to find out.
PREY1977, United KingdomRepertory Screening, 78 minDirector - Norman J. WarrenJessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they're chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.
SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREETUSA, 2019US Premiere, 100 minDirectors - Roman Chimienti & Tyler JensenIn attendance - Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler JensenMore than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton star of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE, sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.
THE SHIP OF MONSTERSMexico, 1960Repertory Screening, 81 minDirector - Rogelio A. GonzálezTwo Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!
SYNCHRONICUSA, 2019US Premiere, 96 minDirectors - Justin Benson & Aaron MoorheadIn attendance - Directors Justin Benson and Aaron MoorheadTwo paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.
TRAMPA INFERNALMexico, 1989Repertory Screening, 77 minDirector - Pedro Galindo IIIIn Mexico's most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!
THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOYUSA, 2019North American Premiere, 88 minDirector - Martin KrejčíSuffering from hypertrichosis - which covers him with animal-like fur - Paul knows he's not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.
THE VAST OF NIGHTUSA, 2019Texas Premiere, 90 minDirector - Andrew PattersonA rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.
VFWUSA, 2019World Premiere, 92 minDirector - Joe BegosIn attendance - Director Joe BegosIn the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they've set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos' star-studded latest.
VHYESUSA, 2019World Premiere, 71 minDirector - Jack Henry RobbinsIn attendance - Director Jack Henry RobbinsThis bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents' wedding tape.
VIVARIUMIreland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019US Premiere, 98 minDirector - Lorcan FinneganWhen young couple Gemma Imogen Poots and Tom Jesse Eisenberg drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.
Published 10 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
British broadcaster Channel 4has unveiled its latest programming slate including a Muslim punk comedy, a three-part doc series about Russian President Vladimir Putin and a reality series set within a Namibian tribe.
The shows were announced by Channel 4 at the start of the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
NBCU-backed Working Title Television is making Lady Parts, a six-part comedy about an all female Muslim punk band. From writer/director Nida Manzoor, the half-hour series follows the eponymous band, featuring geeky PHD student and lead guitarist Amina Hussein and fierce and enigmatic front-woman Saira. Saira uses Amina's desperation to find a husband as leverage, offering to hook up dates for her if she agrees to join the band. Amina has never, ever met girls like this before, and soon gets swept up in their joyful anarchic energy. But will she be the key to the band's success? And &ndash will she finally find a husband?
The show, which started as a comedy pilot via C4's Blaps strand, is written and directed by Manzoor. It was commissioned by C4's Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott and Commissioning Executive Laura Riseam. It is exec produced by WTTV's Mark Freeland and Surian Fletcher-Jones.
Manzoor said, “I had such a blast making the C4 Comedy Blap and am so thrilled to have the opportunity to make a full series. The show is so close to my heart and I feel very lucky to be working with the incredible people at Channel 4 and WTTV who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout.“
McDermott added, “Lady Parts promises to be an audacious, celebratory and hilarious new comedy. Nida is a phenomenal talent who had such vision for this show and the women and world she wanted to portray, it was impossible not to succumb to it after the success of the Blap. We're thrilled to be working with her and all at Working Title on scaling it up.“Jacques Witt/SIPA/Shutterstock
On its doc slate, C4 has ordered Putin: A Russian Spy Story from The Gun Shop producer Rogan Productions. The three-part series is set to be a definitive account of Putin's power and how it changed the modern world. Filmed across Russia, America, Europe and the UK, the series will show how Putin brought his knowledge of spy-craft to define the presidency of a nuclear power. Landing 20 years into his rule, this will be the definitive account of Putin's power and how it has changed the modern world.  It will explore how Putin's personal experiences have influenced his politics, how modern Russia has been created through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger, and how Putin’s values have been exported around the world &ndash from Crimea to Salisbury to Washington DC.
Told using Putin's own words, by those close to him and by those most impacted by his actions, it will explore Putin's beginnings in 1968, Leningrad, USSR and his role at the KGB as well as his path to power.
Directed by Nick Green, Paul Mitchell is series produer with James Rogan as exec producer. The series was commissioned by C4's Head of Specialist Factual Fatima Salaria.
Salaria said, “This new exciting commission promises to deliver new revelation and insight into a figure who we are all intrigued by. Nick Green, Paul Mitchell and James Rogan will bring intricate storytelling, beautifully assembled archive and fascinating interviews from those who witnessed and lived through these events.”
Rogan added, “To understand what is happening in the world right now, it is necessary to understand Vladimir Putin. Putin has shown his staying power as one of the most formidable politicians of the 21st century. This series will explore how as a former spy he has redefined politics and the impact this has had globally.“Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
On the reality slate, C4 is taking Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt right and her family to spend four weeks with the Himba tribe in a remote Namibian tribal village in The British Tribe Next Door. The four-part series will see the Moffatt's bring all of their home comforts, including running water, electricity, iPhones, hair straighteners and television to the small village of semi-nomadic Himba cattle-herders
In the spirit of the 2007 anthropological series Meet The Natives, it will look at the differences between the two cultures.
The British Tribe Next Door w/t, was commissioned by C4's Head of Factual Entertainment Alf Lawrie. It is a Voltage TV and Motion Content Group co-production and exec produced by Sanjay Singhal and Dominique Walker for Voltage and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group. Series Editor is David Vallance and the Series Director is Christian Watt.
Lawrie said, “For the first time in human history, British suburbia and Himba tribal life will co-exist side-by-side. This series contrasts two worlds on a spectacular scale &ndash but at its heart, is about the extraordinary relationships it creates. Scarlett and the Himba are the perfect foils, both hospitable, curious, friendly &hellip and sharing wicked senses of humour.“
Sanjay Singhal, co-executive Producer for Voltage TV added, &lsquoWe're excited to be making such an ambitious and innovative programme. It feels totally unpredictable and I'm intrigued to know what the Himba and the Moffatts will learn about themselves from taking part.“
Published 12 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
For esteemed composer Benjamin Wallfisch, National Geographic’s Hostile Planet was “one of those opportunities which I wasn't expecting to get.“ Having never before worked on a docuseries, Wallfisch was captivated by the project&mdasha brutally realistic nature series, which depicts animals struggling to survive in different environments&mdashnot only because of its cinematic and immersive visuals, but also because of the message at its heart.
“It’s very important to me that the message about the urgency of the need to take action on climate change is communicated,“ the composer explains. “We’re living through a time where we carry a responsibility to future generations to take action, and so much of that is about creating a groundswell of everyone being motivated to make sure our representatives take action&mdashand the right action&mdashand take it quickly.“
For the first-time Emmy nominee, who recently completed his score for the highly anticipated horror flick It Chapter Two, the challenge with Hostile Planet was to be intimate and epic all at once. Aiming to foster an emotional connection to animals surviving in brutal conditions&mdashheroic characters that couldn't speak for themselves&mdashWallfisch first had to consider how to tell the story of an animal through music.National Geographic/Anthony Pyper
Your score for Hostile Planet reflects both the sublime beauty and horror to be found in nature. Could you flesh out a sense of your early conversations with the series' key creatives?
I think Guillermo [Navarro, director] was keen that they didn’t lean too hard on the voiceover, having the visuals illustrate what you’re being told. He almost wants to reverse the polarity so that the story is on screen as the starting point, and the narrator fills in the gaps when needed. And also, [it's] just never shying away from reality, in that a lot of nature shows don't necessarily go for the jugular. The raw reality of living as an animal, in an environment which is getting increasingly difficult to live in because of climate change and other factors, these things needed to be shown in a way which was not shying away and not sugar coating. So, I think a lot of the conversations were geared towards [that]. If you watch and listen and feel without being given information through narrative, how much can we convey?
So, the music kind of became the voice of these creatures who can’t speak. That was the first part of the very first conversation with the filmmakers, was treating the animals as protagonists, giving them a narrative. Each episode has a central protagonist, so there was an overarching theme, which ties all the episodes together, but then within each episode, we have our primary theme for each of these main characters&mdasha mountain lion, a tribe of elephants, and so on.
What was really interesting is that the minute I started thinking like that, it felt like home, in terms of the way I knew what I needed to do. What they really wanted was the score to motivate the narrative, rather than comment on it, if that makes sense.
I remember they just said, “Don’t hold back. Don’t think of this like it’s a documentary&mdashmake it feel like it’s a movie.” That was the main thing, and I think it was because Guillermo was really keen that it didn’t feel like just another nature documentary. He wanted it to be an experience, something [where] you could almost turn off the narrative and you’d still understand what was going on.National Geographic
For you, what was key, in figuring out how to tell the story of an animal through music?
I think the key to it was to think about what unites all these animals. It’s survival and it’s the heroism of the survivor, and no matter what species you’re talking about, that is the instinct of life. In this case, it’s about survival against the odds. “What are the odds, and why are the odds increasingly more difficult?“
So, it was not trying to get into the minutiae of the rhythm of an animal’s speed of walking. I didn’t want to get into almost animation-style scoring. It was more about thinking bigger picture, about communicating the heroism of survival, and then fine-tuning that. For example, the gelada [monkey] tribe, and how they have an almost ritualistic style of conflict. They don't dance, but there's a kind of rhythm to their movement that immediately inspired something very rhythmically powerful, almost with that tribal sense. With the great blue whale, that incredible majesty of that creature inspires soaring string melodies, and the mountain lion similarly.
The series is full of surprises, so I think the other part of it was to never settle on a sound. Each episode has a very distinct hue in the score. For example, the “Oceans“ episode, it’s probably the most melodic of all the episodes because I was thinking of the flow of water, and just the fact that most of planet Earth is water. We're united by that&mdashby that sense of flow, and of line and continuity&mdashso it was an opportunity to write very thematically, and almost have it feel like the climax of the whole series, in terms of the use of melody.
Then, for example, in the “Jungles“ episode, I got almost completely away from the orchestra and started using very processed electronics, to communicate the strangeness of some of the species we see&mdashand also underwater. You'll see in the “Oceans“ episode that some of the tiny jellyfish and luminescent creatures [make] you feel like you’re suddenly on another planet, so that was all about not being beholden to the sound of an orchestra. We were very lucky to have an orchestra for every episode. But that’s really just a starting point.National Geographic/Jason Isley
Your score for Hostile Planet really is diverse, in terms of style. Occasionally, you seem to evoke the sound of a horror film, or a war movie. Did you think of the music you were writing for the series as existing within different genres?
What I would say is that the experience I had, with all the episodes, was really akin to scoring a thriller. It really felt like everything was high stakes. There was always a sense of time running out, and the idea of survival against the odds as a mission, almost. So, I think it was really more about establishing a different sound for each environment. But the overarching genre, if I was to pick one, would definitely be that of a thriller.
How did you arrive at your more classically beautiful, overarching theme for the show?
It was again stepping back and thinking about what unites all the animals, and also the environments. It was about hope and survival. We didn’t want to make the show just feel like a pessimistic, cautionary tale. We wanted it to be an eye-opening, very dramatic and emotional experience, but imbued with hope for the future. Imbued with the sense that life finds a way to survive, if the odds allow, and it’s up to us to make sure that the odds are kept in balance so that we can still take care of our home.
I think the way to start with trying to find a thing which unites six hours of television, which covers so many different stories, is to find out, what is that unifying concept? And it was survival&mdashhope and survival.
So, the theme, it rises&mdashthe theme keeps climbing. And also, we were really trying to come up with a melody&mdashbecause there was a lot of back and forth between me and the filmmakers&mdashwhich almost felt like an anthem. It was very hard to do that, and they key was actually to think, Okay, we've got to almost give Mother Earth a song.National Geographic
There's an incredible vocalist, Judith Hill, and the idea was [that] she is the sound of Mother Earth kind of crying out, in a way. So, when she sings, the idea metaphorically is, “That's Mother Earth. That's the home of all these creatures.“ I mean, it's impossible obviously to define that that's just a completely subjective thing. But that was our hope, to communicate that using Judith's vocal, which is so passionate and powerful.
The big, booming drums you incorporated into your score seemed to be a big factor in lending the series its epic blockbuster feel. What kinds of percussion did you use?
It's really interesting you pick up on that, because it was again about trying to find a sense that communicates planet Earth, [and] the one instrument that is ubiquitous in all musical cultures is a drum. So, trying to make a drum sound which was not too region-specific, it was a combination of western tom-toms and bass drums with Japanese taiko drums, and also some very high-pitched African djembe drums. You find a kind of balance between those, and then I used a lot of compression and other processes to give it incredible power and intensity of sound.
In Season 1, you created three full volumes of music for just six episodes. How much time did you have to work on the score?
The project went on for I think nine months, so there was a decent amount of time, but it was very concentrated towards a two-and-a-half month period. So, there was nine months of talking about it, and then it was a case of finding a window of time between my film projects where I could focus entirely on the series.
It was a very, very intense period of writing, having spent maybe four months of thinking and talking with the filmmakers whilst I was busy with other projects, and then finally [getting] down to business, in the way you always have to with any project. There's always a moment of crunch where you've just got to sit down and write it.
Published 17 hour ago on 20 Aug 1919
Two months after announcing its first wave, the Alamo Drafthouse-created Fantastic Fest is continuing to flesh out its genre-filled lineup. Their latest slate of films is dominated by old and new horror from around the world, but two high-profile inclusions will catch movie lovers’ eyes. Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” followup, the murder mystery “Knives Out,” is set to close the festival with the director in attendance. Palme d’Or winner “Parasite,” in the midst of a domestic Oscar campaign after storming the international box office, will also play Fantastic Fest.
From there, the programming places special emphasis on two categories: Mexican genre film and LGBTQ+ stories. For the former, there will be screenings of three-rarely seen Mexican horror classics, as well as lectures and a shorts program for young Mexican filmmakers.
The festival will also include screenings of some landmark LGBTQ+ horror films, including the new documentary “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street.” Fantastic Fest programmer Brian Kelley said: “The two most unwavering pieces of my identity &mdash my queerness and my love of horror &mdash come together in some fascinating and unexpected ways over the course of film history. I can’t think of a better group of people to explore and celebrate some of the crazy, frequently daring and often challenging films that make up the universe of queer horror with than my Fantastic Fest family.“
These films join a lineup that already includes Taikka Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” and Takashi Miike’s “First Love.” All in all, it’s shaping up to be can’t-miss viewing for any lover of horror, science fiction, or fantasy. The complete second wave of the lineup can be found below, with synopses provided by the festival.
“Aboue Leila” Algeria, France, Qatar, 2019 North American Premiere, 139 min Director – Amin Sidi-Boumédiène In the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.
“The Antenna” Turkey, 2019 US Premiere, 115 min Director – Orçun Behram Somewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.
“The Black Pit of Dr. M” Mexico, 1959 Repertory Screening, 82 min Director – Fernando Méndez Two doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.
“Bliss” USA, 2019 Texas Premiere, 80 min Director – Joe Begos While trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.
“Blood Machine” France, USA, 2019 North American Premiere, 50 min Director – Seth Ickerman The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, “Turbo Killer,“ shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.
“Butt Boy” USA, 2019 World Premiere, 100 min Director – Tyler Cornack Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack's “Butt Boy” introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.
“Climate of the Hunter” USA, 2019 World Premiere, 90 min Director – Mickey Reece The “Soderbergh of the Sticks,“ Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.
“Color Out of Space” USA, 2019 US Premiere, 111 min Director – Richard Stanley Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley’s entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.
“Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks” Australia, 2019 North American Premiere, 107 min Director – Serge Ou From the Shaw Brothers to “The Matrix,” this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.
“Knives Out” USA, 2019 Special Presentation, 130 min Director – Rian Johnson In attendance – Director Rian Johnson From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes “Knives Out,” a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit“ mystery genre.
“The Lodge” USA, 2019 Texas Premiere, 108 min Directors – Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala Five years after “Goodnight Mommy” stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.
“The Long Walk” Laos, Spain, Singapore, 2019 US Premiere, 115 min Director – Mattie Do In attendance – Director Mattie Do An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother's painful death..
“Lyle” 2014, USA Repertory Screening, 65 min Director – Stewart Thorndike In attendance – Director Stewart Thorndike After the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” USA, 1985 Repertory Screening, 87 min Director – Jack Sholder In attendance – Actors Mark Patton and Kim Myers Jesse Mark Patton is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.
“Nobadi” Austria, 2019 US Premiere, 90 min Director – Karl Markovics In a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics' remarkable and poignant third feature.
“Parasite” South Korea, 2019 Texas Premiere, 131 min Director – Bong Joon-ho Bong Joon-ho's seventh feature &mdash about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment &mdash is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.
“Patrick” Belgium, 2019 North American Premiere, 97 min Director – Tim Mielants Patrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick's search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn't even know existed.
“Phil Tippett – Mad Dreams and Monsters” France, 2019 International Premiere, 80 min Directors – Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet After their documentary “Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex,” French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.
“The Platform” Spain, 2019 US Premiere, 90 min Director – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia In attendance – Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia Somewhere in the future exists “The Platform,” a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner's luck hold? One man is about to find out.
“Prey” 1977, United Kingdom Repertory Screening, 78 min Director – Norman J. Warren Jessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they're chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.
“Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street” USA, 2019 US Premiere, 100 min Directors – Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen In attendance – Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton star of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”, sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.
“The Ship of Monsters” Mexico, 1960 Repertory Screening, 81 min Director – Rogelio A. González Two Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!
“Synchronic” USA, 2019 US Premiere, 96 min Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead In attendance – Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.
“Trampa Infernal” Mexico, 1989 Repertory Screening, 77 min Director – Pedro Galindo III In Mexico’s most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!!
“The True Adventures of Wolfboy” USA, 2019 North American Premiere, 88 min Director – Martin Krejčí Suffering from hypertrichosis &mdash which covers him with animal-like fur &mdash Paul knows he's not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.
“The Vast of Night” USA, 2019 Texas Premiere, 90 min Director – Andrew Patterson A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.
“VFW” USA, 2019 World Premiere, 92 min Director – Joe Begos In attendance – Director Joe Begos In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they've set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos' star-studded latest.
“VHYes” USA, 2019 World Premiere, 71 min Director – Jack Henry Robbins In attendance – Director Jack Henry Robbins This bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents' wedding tape.
“Vivarium” Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019 US Premiere, 98 min Director – Lorcan Finnegan When young couple Gemma Imogen Poots and Tom Jesse Eisenberg drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.
Published 17 hour ago on 25 Jul 1919
Quentin Tarantino latest film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, has been described as an elegy for a bygone era of the movie business. But many of Tarantino’s biggest fans have no first-hand experience with the ’50s western TV shows and ’60s counter-culture films that he’s eulogizing. For those people, seeing a new Tarantino film might bring back memories of a distant time when Tarantino himself was his own genre.
Back in the ’90s, you couldn’t walk into a video store or watch cable without seeing movies plainly influenced by Tarantino’s first two films, 1992’s Reservoir Dogs and 1994’s Pulp Fiction. These Tarantino rip-offs were populated by sharp-dressed hitmen and philosophizing petty criminals. They peppered their conversations with pop-culture references before blowing somebody away while an oldie from the ’60s or ’70s played in the background.
There were doomed lovers on the run from the cops. There were cameos by cool character actors like Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken, who inevitably said things like, “You know who you’re stealing from?!?” There were numerous instances of “ironic” sexism, racism, and homophobia. There was ironic everything in these movies.
Tarantino remains an influence on subsequent generations of filmmakers. But the peak of Tarantino-esque cinema was roughly 1994 to — the period that coincides with the peak of his fame, when he was a fixture on talk shows and even a guest host on Saturday Night Live. It was the time of the gap between Pulp Fiction and Tarantino’s third film, Jackie Brown, the public was fascinated with QT, and they wanted lots and lots of QT-like content.
Looking back, it’s incredible how many filmmaking careers were launched in that era by directors who worked in Tarantino’s quirky crime-film lane. There was Wes Anderson Bottle Rocket, Paul Thomas Anderson Hard Eight, the Wachowskis Bound, Bryan Singer The Usual Suspects, and Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. And then there were veteran filmmakers whose careers were revitalized by plugging into this style, including The Coen Brothers Fargo, Steven Soderbergh Out Of Sight, and Sami Raimi A Simple Plan.
But the movies most closely associated with the “Tarantino-esque” genre are the low-budget, disreputable ones. The films that in retrospect seem closer to the trashy B-movies that Tarantino himself was inspired by. Here are ten of the most essential.