We know that we here at Cinematical have been yammering on and on about how awesome Fantastic Fest is, but that's only because we wish everyone who wanted to could simply attend the largest genre festival in the US. Unfortunately we live in a world where day jobs still exist and teleportation does not, and so for many getting down to Austin, TX for a decadent week of film programming starting on September 23 just isn't in the cards. If that's the case for you, then you'll be glad to know that IFC Midnight, the genre arm of IFC Films, has your back.
IFC Midnight are now set to make the films they're contributing to Fantastic Fest available On-Demand around the country. And what films are those exactly? 'Heartless', directed by Philip Ridley, starring Jim Sturgess as a man who thinks he's starting to see demons; 'High Lane', a French flick about mountain climbing gone wrong that I've seen and can attest is definitely worth your time; 'Primal', a "neo-Ozploitation" flick from Australian director Josh Reed; and 'Red, White & Blue', Simon Rumley's truly harrowing film about three people whose lives violently collide.
In addition to those four new pick ups, IFC Midnight will also be re-releasing three of its previous Fantastic Fest acquisitions: 'The Human Centipede', 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird', and 'Doghouse' (I highly recommend these last two). So that means you will soon be able to watch seven movies with the Fantastic Fest seal of approval by simply picking up a remote control. I wish I had had those options in the years when I couldn't make the pilgrimage to Austin, TX. Read on for the full details.
IFC Midnight will also make three acclaimed films from Fantastic Fest 2009 available on demand as part of this initiative including: Tom Six's THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, Kim Ji-Woon's THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD, and Jake West's DOGHOUSE. PRIMAL director Josh Reed and RED WHITE & BLUE director Simon Rumley will be in attendance at Fantastic Fest screenings. RED WHITE & BLUE and HEARTLESS will also have select theatrical engagements nationwide in the fall.
Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, said, "Following our successful day-and-date on demand partnerships with SXSW and Sundance, which have included several genre films, a partnership with Fantastic Fest is the next logical step. Tim League has cultivated some of the genre's most enthusiastic fans, and Fantastic Fest is an ideal festival with which to launch these four amazing films nationwide."
Tim League, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse and Co-Founder of Fantastic Fest said, "We're very excited to be a part of this new on demand partnership with IFC Midnight. As a long term friend of Fantastic Fest, IFC Films has an excellent eye for acquiring the very best of genre entertainment and distributing them to viewers in unique and innovative ways. Their new IFC Midnight label is the perfect partner for Fantastic Fest.
Said Simon Rumley, "IFC Films has constantly proved themselves to be innovators in an ever-changing distribution marketplace and has never shied away from working on some of the most interesting and ground-breaking films of our time. Similarly, in a very short period of time, Fantastic Fest has shown itself to be a leader in the world of daring but quality movie programming. To have IFC Films and Fantastic Fest back RED WHITE & BLUE is a natural fit and it's with much excitement that I anticipate their collective championing and distribution of it."
IFC Midnight was launched in May as IFC Films' new home for the very best in international genre cinema, including horror, sci-fi, thrillers, erotic arthouse, action and more. Recent genre cinema from IFC Films include ANTICHRIST, DEAD SNOW, 7 DAYS, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, VENGEANCE and VALHALLA RISING.
ABOUT THE FILMS IN 'Direct From Fantastic Fest':
Erica (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER's Amanda Fuller) is a tough, troubled nymphomaniac with wounds across her soul. For Erica, sleeping with multiple men forms the core of her life, until she meets the mysterious Iraq vet Nate (THE PROPOSITION's Noah Taylor). Despite his quiet air of danger, Nate's the only guy who doesn't immediately want to sleep with her, and the two form a hesitant bond. But in a shocking twist, one of Erica's earlier sexual encounters, with wannabe rock star Franki (Mark Senter), will have unexpected - and devastating – consequences on both of their lives. Hard-edged and uncompromising, RED WHITE & BLUE, from director Simon Rumley (THE LIVING AND THE DEAD), has already been compared to the works of such disparate filmmakers as Larry Clark and Sam Peckinpah. The film had its US premiere at SXSW, and was produced by Rumley and Bob Portal, and executive produced by Tim League, Judy Lipsey, Doug Abbott, and Adam Goldworm. It is the first film from Celluloid Nightmares, a new partnership between Paris-based Celluloid Dreams and Los Angeles-based XYZ Films, with the shared goal of bringing commercial, elevated genre films to audiences around the world. The film will have several theatrical screenings throughout the US and Canada this fall.
HEARTLESS (directed by Philip Ridley)
Jim Sturgess(21, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE)leads a hugely-talented ensemble cast in this sublime British psychological thriller from cult UK director Philip Ridley (THE REFLECTING SKIN, THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON), who returns to the screen after a 14-year absence. The film follows Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark across his face, which leaves him an outcast in rough East London. While wandering abandoned yards taking photographs, he comes across a gang of thugs and soon discovers that they are something other than human. He then is led into a Faustian deal that will see him become a party to the terrifying chaos around him. Part DONNIE DARKO, part Guillermo del Toro, this dark urban tale takes its audience to the darkest and most violent corners of the human heart. The filmalso stars Clémence Poésy, Noel Clarke, Joseph Mawle, Eddie Marsan, LukeTreadaway and Timothy Spall, and was produced by Pippa Cross and Richard Raymond. The film recently won the Best Independent Film Award at the Toronto After Dark Festival. HEARTLESS will open at the IFC Center in New York on 11/21 followed by select national dates.
PRIMAL (directed by Josh Reed)
Primordial nature runs amuck in this expertly-played slice of neo-Ozploitation from Australian director Josh Reed. The film follows six friends on a field trip who set up camp in the remote wilderness of Australia. When one person takes a late-night skinny dip in a nearby waterhole, she becomes incredibly feverish and agitated, and soon regresses to a crazed predatory state in which her companions suddenly become the hunted. When another begins the same beastly transition, terror descends on the remainder as they realize it's now kill or be killed. A frenzied visceral nightmare in the vein of CABIN FEVER, PRIMAL is a hugely enjoyable rollercoaster ride through primitive panic.
HIGH LANE (directed by Abel Ferry)
Towering heights and beautiful vistas turn into a haunting mindtrip in Abel Ferry's gripping French scarefest that will definitely make you think twice about your next mountain climbing trip. In the film, a group of friends on vacation in Eastern Europe embark on an ambitious mountain expedition along a trail that they discover – way too late – is closed for repair. The thrill of this foolish challenge quickly turns sour as it becomes clear that not only is the path a lot more dangerous than they thought, but also that they are not alone. Fear exposes old traumas and brings up hidden emotions to the surface, and soon, everyone is fighting tooth-and-nail for their survival.