Fantasia 2022: Remi & Danny's picks for the grand return to theatres for the premiere-genre film festival

It’s been a good two years since the full return to an in-person experience at the Fantasia Film Festival, with a few in-person events last year. Speaking from the past five years of experience, Fantasia with a full audience is the best possible way to enjoy the festival with everything that makes it special, including CJLO DJ’s and meowing cat noises. For the newcomers, the Fantasia Film festival is a premiere genre film festival that finds its own niche audience and runs from July 14 to August 3 with its central location being around the Concordia SGW campus, downtown area. Nothing beats the air conditioned hall theater at Concordia’s SWG Campus on a hot and muggy July day as you're being entertained with a film for two hours more or less. 

Remi Caron's Fantasia picks:

The Festival kicks off July 14 with their opening film Polaris, a film from director KC Carthew, that describes itself as a Sci-Fi Eco-Adventure about a girl named Sumi and her adoptive polar bear mother who live in a snowy, post-apocalyptic world, having to battle a group of nomadic warriors. Once they are separated by these warriors, Sumi must use her magical powers to survive and make it to the North Star, Polaris. On August 3 the closing film will be the Cannes sensation from South Korea, Next Soshee from director July Jung; a drama about a girl named Soshee that works at an abusive telemarketing office that later takes a turn into a detective drama once something happens to Soshee. However, another highlight for the closing night of the festival would be the A24 slasher horror film Bodies, Bodies, Bodies from director Halina Reijn starring SNL alum Pete Davidson

I always like to start off the festival circuit by exploring the films in the Documentaries From The Edge section. Director Alexandre O. Philippe is a film historian when it comes to documentaries about the subjects of film. His next project at this years Fantasia festival, Lynch/Oz, takes a look at the parallel connection between David Lynch’s film Wild at Heart and Victor Fleming's The Wizard of Oz. Musical documentaries are also a big festival favourite. This year there is Sirens from director RIta Baghdadi focusing on the Middle-East’s first all female metal band, Slave to Sirens from Lebanon. 

Nothing says A24 Vibes more than the Camera Lucida section at this year's festival. If you are looking for more of a sonic and visual sensory experience to your films, the two that immediately stick out to me are Harper’s Comet from director Tyler Taormina and Topology of Sirens from director Jonathan Davies. On the international front you have the debut horror film Chorokbam from South Korean director Yoon Seo-Jin and from Japan, Just Remember directed by Daigo Matsui; a COVID romance spanning six years told in non-chronological order. 

Looking further down at the Selections 2022 of the festival besides the aforementioned Bodies, Bodies, Bodies some more of the highlights include one of the masters of horror cinema, Dario Argento returning with his new film Dark Glasses, a film about a sex worker who’s blind and under siege by a psychopath. There’s also the horror/thriller from director Andrew Semans, Resurrection, starring Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth which critics are calling career defining performances. Fantasia Festival favourite director Mickey Reece is back this year with his new film, Country Gold

Spotlights at this year’s festival include House of Psychotic Women: 10th Anniversary from director Kier-La Janisse, Korean Animation Spotlight and Spotlight on Queer Genre Cinema. There are the films that are on an official jury competition to win a special award in the Cheval Noir section, the animation section Axis, bold independent and filmmakers who are the staple of Fantasia Underground and past Fantasia gems that are highlighted in Fantasia RetroQuébec films are highlighted in Les Fantastiques Week-Eds Du Cinéma Québécois & Genres Du Pays and Canadian films are highlighted in the Septentrion Shadows section. Not to be missed is the Fantasia staple  DJ XL5’s Ultimate Zappin’ Party and as well Artist Talk: John Woo who is this year’s recipient of 2022 Fantasia Career Achievement Award. For the kids friendly fair, check out My First Fantasia. 


Dany Aubry's Fantasia picks:

To my great delight I have once again been provided with the honour and the privilege of attending the Fantasia Film festival. Unlike the last two summers, this summer I'll be downtown in the presence of my Fantasia family to hear them imitate the cat's meow, which I deeply missed. For the time being, there are just three films that really stand out to me, reflect what's going on in the world today.

What to do with the Dead Kaiju? is a comedy from Japan, directed by Satoshi Miki about a late monster known as a Kaiju which had humanity living in fear. However, the dead body of the monster decays in a way that can potentially explode, therefore once again putting humanity in jeopardy. It is then left up to one man to prevent the explosion from occurring. What interests me about this film is that it isn't any ordinary monster movie, it is a monster movie spoof which looked very funny to me. Within the trailer, the characters express themselves comically, therefore I feel this movie has the potential to lift the spirits of those who are feeling sad or depressed.

Whether the Weather is Fine is a  Drama from the Philippines, directed by Carlo Francisco Manatad. After a mother and son endure and survive the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, their struggle for survival continues as they embark on a quest to search for their loved ones. As I watched the trailer for this film, I felt that the acting within it looked very promising, and outlined how important it is to not take what you have in your life for granted.

The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae is a fantasy-horror film from South Korea directed by Syeyoung Park about mold that was found on the bed of a couple who split up and grows into a creature that steals people's vertebrae. Within the film trailer, I felt that the special effects looked very neat, and the sound score appeared to suit the mood of what was occurring within the scenes.

Although What to do with the Dead Kaiju? is indeed a comedy film, it somehow reflects what's going on in the world today in the respect that we oftentimes feel that we are just going from one crisis to another which puts us in a perpetual state of "fight or flight" mode. Whether the Weather is Fine is a painful reminder of how sad it was to be separated from our loved ones during the pandemic lockdowns. The Fifth Thoracic Vertebrae is a good example of how in this day and age, science fiction is increasingly becoming acknowledged as science fact.


Remi and Dany Host At The Movies every Tuesday morning from 8-9 AM only on CJLO 1690 AM. They will be covering the Fantasia Film Festival weekly on the CJLO online Magazine.