Thursday, April 27, 2017

BIFFFF 2017 Wrap-up!

Well, BIFFF 2017 has come and gone, and a glorious experience it was.

This marked my third visit to Brussels for the fest, as well as my first time serving on the jury of an international film festival. I was honored to lead the 7th Orbit Jury, filled out by my illustrious compatriots, actress Bénédicte Philippon, radio personality Lucile Poulain, and writer/director Xavier Seron.

There were fewer jaw-dropping celebrity encounters compared to my visits in 2012 (Barbara Steele, Terry Gilliam, William Friedkin) and 2013 (Dario Argento, John Hough), but I was still happy to have rubbed shoulders with directors Fabrice du Welz (Calvaire, Vinyan) and Stanley Tong (Supercop, Rumble in the Bronx), and the lovely Spanish actress Macarena Gomez (Dagon, Witching and Bitching). Due to my late arrival, I just missed meeting 2017’s inductees into the Order of the Raven (the BIFFF’s Hall of Fame), Chan-wook Park (Oldboy, Stoker) and Alejandro Amenabar (The Others, Open Your Eyes).

Edith Scob, the star of the original 1960 shocker Eyes without a Face, was also supposed to be on hand but had to bow out at the last minute due to illness.

As with my previous visits, I spent my downtime camped out in the abode of Brussels blood brother and Cult Reviews mastermind Gert Verbeeck, although our separate trajectories – he was handling a healthy portion of the subtitling programming throughout the fest while I was attending to my jury duties and trying to catch as many other features as possible – did not allow us to spend as much time sitting side by side amidst the raucous BIFFF crowds. Still, it was nice to know that we were both playing important roles in the festival this time around.

Announcing Swiss Army Man as the winner of the 7th Orbit, with Saving Sally receiving a Special Mention

Monday, April 3, 2017

Fool's Views (3/22 - 3/31)

You're going to need a bigger pigpen....

Back again so soon...?

Here's the second half of March's Views, which featured a little double feature from Peter O'Toole. In looking back over the star's filmography, I was surprised at how many duds he had following his 1960-early 70s heyday, and by the time 1982 rolled around (20 years after Lawrence of Arabia made him a household name), many people assumed he was more or less playing himself in My Favorite Year, i.e. a washed up movie star riding on booze, goodwill, and fond memories.

With BIFFF right around the corner, I'm planning to knock out a couple more Kurosawa flicks, and then dive headlong into the Brusselian madness which starts April 8 and which I'm planning to document as thoroughly as possible because who knows when we'll pass this way again. So, don't go too far because it's about to get loopy up in here.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fool's Views (3/1 - 3/21)

Hey there!

As mentioned in the previous post, 2017 got off to a pretty rocky start, but once my stage obligations were concluded, I found myself with a bit more spare time and inspiration to enjoy the moving image once again. (Just in the nick of time, since I’ll be heading off to Belgium in a week to partake in my third go-round of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival aka BIFFF, where I’ll probably consume more flicks over the course of 10 days than in the previous three months.)

In addition to a quartet of Blu-ray screeners from Shout! Factory and Severin, I actually got to the cinema on four separate occasions and batted 1.000 right down the line: Get Out, Raw, Logan, and a midnight screening of Razorback at the Music Box Theatre. Plus, for the first time since November’s Turkey Day, a group of the fear-loving faithful gathered at Kitley’s Krypt to partake in some long overdue Sharing and Scaring.

I also decided to make Akira Kurosawa my dedicated “director project” for 2017 (previous subjects include David Cronenberg, Robert Altman, Robert Aldrich, and Alfred Hitchcock), so I kicked things off with a revisit of Ran, and first time viewings of Drunken Angel and The Hidden Fortress. It’s going to be a good year, methinks.

In fact, March was so bountiful, I’m going to break this installment of the Views into two parts. So, stay tuned!

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

DREAMSCAPE (1984) Blu-ray review

Dreamscape (1984) d. Ruben, Joseph (USA)

Dennis Quaid stars as a psychic who primarily uses his brainwave powers for picking winners at the race track until former mentor Max von Sydow tracks him down and blackmails him into joining a top-secret government project where he can enter people’s subconscious through their dreams with a little help from beepy and flashy technology. But, as with any good top-secret government project, he quickly learns that all positive creations can be turned to evil ends....