vrijdag 19 april 2013


On wednesday a wonderful time came to an end (again): the Imagine Fantastic Film Festival. Last year was the first time I attended this festival (read about it here) and I was lucky enough to be able to do lots of interviews and write articles for both the Daily (newspaper) as well as for the website. I was also the official twitterer. This year I could not wait to go again. So I took nine days of from work and went to the wonderous world of Imagine. 

This year there was no Daily and I was mainly the official twitterer of the festival. But I also got to write several articles for the website, as well as do two interviews. One was with Irishman Ciarán Foy, the writer/director of the movie Citadel, and the other one was with the youngest jury of the festival: The Imagine MovieZone Jury. I really enjoyed these interviews. Foy brought his wife with him and they are truly the most lovely and wonderful people. I ended up chatting with them and Foy showed me a picture of him with J.J. Abrams. The coolest thing was that the MovieZone Jury nominated three movies who were in the running for the award (Warm Bodies, Trance and Citadel) and Foy actually won!!! I'm very happy for him because he really deserves it. I also think it's great that out of those three nominees, with big names, they chose Ciaráns movie, which is his debut feature film.

(Masterclass by production designer Francois Schuiten) 
Being the official twitterer of the festival was a lot of fun. It meant attending the Q&A's and tweeting about it (in this case Warm Bodies with Nicholas Hoult, The Battery with Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim, for the shorts Alberto Lopez from The Trap and Randall Plunkett form Out There). Other than that I attended the Masterclasses (by Neil Jordan and Francois Schuiten), the Symposium House of Psychotic Women (with Keir-La Janisse, Patricia Pisters, Maryn Wilkinson, Hedwig van Driel and Damiaan Denys ) as well as the award ceremonies. It was a lot of fun, both interesting and entertaining and I simply cannot say enough about how awesome it was. I would hardly even see it as work, though it was hard work :P, but I enjoyed it so much that I feel priviledged to be the one to do it. I was also very happy to meet Jeremy and Adam myself, because they LOVE to tweet! I retweeted a lot of their pictures, so I just wanted to see who these men really were. We ended up having a some really nice conversations and they are the coolest guys. Their 6000 dollar movie The Battery ended up winning the audience award, the very well deserved Silver Scream Award. I'm really glad they won. They are on their way to Scotland pretty soon, so if you're curious and happen to live around there, be sure to check it out ;-).

(The Battery boys during the closing ceremony)
There weren't any actual spaceships... Unfortunately. But a lot of the time the EYE Film Institute building is referred to as a spaceship. And that is where the festival took place. This building is only about one year old, so all the rooms have the best equipment and sound. It's very spacious and there are four cinema rooms. While EYE kept their restaurant, the festival had it's own festival 'pub', where we could eat and simply hang out in between films. 
What else I loved about it, was the office and cantine. Last year it was held in a way smaller art house/cinema. Both the cantine and office were very crowded. It's nice, and it helps with the ambience, but I loved how much room we had in EYE this year. The office was like twice (maybe three times) as big and the cantine, well... don't get me started. Besides, they had really nice hot chocolate. Perfect for when you need a suger rush :P. 
I also love being at EYE, because a while ago I did my internship there. Not in this building of course, but the people still work there. It was great to see them again, even if it was for a short time. 

 (Spaceship EYE)
At Imagine there are several Awards to give out. Here's a list of the winners of 2013:

Silver Scream Award: The audience award goes to The Battery (Jeremy Gardner & Adam Cronheim)

Silver Méliès d'Argent Award (Best European Fantastic movie): The award given in name of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) goes to Fin (Jorge Torregrossa)

Silver Méliès d'Argent Award (Best European Fantastic Short): (see above) This one goes to Perfect Drug (Toon Aerts)

Black Tulip (Best movie): The award from the jury of Imagine itself goes to Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda)

Imagine MovieZone Award: The youngest jury of the festival gives its award to Citadel (Ciarán Foy)

Earlier during the festival the Time Capsule Awards were given out. These are for the best leader. Every year the festival has a competition, where everyone can join in the race for the Time Capsule Award. The assignement is to make a festival leader, which will be shown before the movies start. The three winners of this year were Monsterpop (from Boriz Baatsen) chosen by jury, Tree of Flesh (from the Heyl Brothers) audience favorite and a special mention went to Cinema (from Jan-Jaap van Dijk) which had the most likes on facebook. All the leaders which were in competition can be watched here.

It's all about the movies. It's a Film Festival after all. And because I mostly tweeted and wrote a couple of articles, I had a plenty of time to see a lot of them. Again, not as many as I would have liked, but you can never see everything right? (and after seeing the list, you're gonna think I'm so very spoiled to say such a thing :P) So here's a little list of the movies I went to. I would love to write more about it (and I still might) but it would make for a very long blog, so I'm gonna keep it on the short side:

Byzantium: Historic movie about (the origin of) vamps, that focuses on mother and daughter relationship through the ages. In a world where they have a brotherhood and women aren't invited. With Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan, who played their parts amazing. I loved it. But I'm part biased: I love vamp stories, I love strong female characters and the drama and action of it all. ****

Ghost Graduation (Promocion Fantasmas): A Spanish ghost version of The Breakfast Club, where the children are still hanging around twenty years later. A teacher - who can see ghosts - shows up and wants to find a way to help them move on. This is ridiculously funny. It's the way a comedy should be. Whether you're a fan of Spanish cinema or not, it really doesn't matter. This movie is great for everyone. *****

Earthbound: On his fathers deathbed Joe finds out he's an alien, destined to help his planet. Years later when he's all grown up he finds the love of his life, but at one point he has to tell her the truth. I love the way it looks, I love the way it's written and the characters are awesome. ***1/2

Mars et Avril: Story set in the future... TBH I don't remember much of the story, but visually this movie is amazing!!! ****

The Battery: Zombie movie without zombies. Two friends travel the road, surviving in the woods. It's ridiculously funny, smart and incredibly made. ****

Citadel: Creepy movie about Tommy who's afraid to go out with his baby, after his wife gets killed by monsters. At some point he's going to have to face his fears in order to safe his baby girl. Incredibly made, very eery, scary, dark and amazing. Gets under your skin. ****

The Tall Man: (aka The Secret) Children keep disappearing in Cold Rock and the rumour goes that it's the Tall Man. But does he even exist? What's really going on? Great movie, filled with plot twists. With Jessica Biel and Samantha Ferris (from Supernatural). **** 

Possession: Classic. Actually... this is a pretty tough movie to explain. Really crazy, weird... Talk about psychotic women! Massively impressive though. ****

The Mafu Cage: Ellen has a mentally unstable sister, Cissy, and does everything to take care of her. This relationship escalades to the weirdest proportions. Intruiging movie, sometimes a little slow, but very interesting and occasionly funny. ***

Supermen of Malegaon: Very interesting look behind the scenes of how to make a movie in India, when it's a hobby. This team wants to make a funny parody version of Superman and it's both funny and interesting. ***1/2

009 RE: Cyborg (3D): Anime/manga about cyberheroes that have to come back to the fold because of 'The Voice'. Visually beautiful, but a bit long, I really liked all the different heroes. ***

Hellbenders: Story about a group of blasphemous ministers who do exorcisms and fight demons. They also have to be ready to take in the demons themselves if they can't defeat it (and then kill themselves once the demon is inside them). In order to be able to do that, they have to live in sin... Here comes the biggest demon of all. It's funny that these clergymen live to sin. But it really wasn't all that... Kinda reminded me of Supernatural the entire time and they do it waaaaay better. Good actors though. ***

John Dies at the End: Soy Sauce. That's the big bad here. Take the drug and a whole lot of stuff goes down. It's to much to tell for a short description but it's a brilliant movie! The drug, the monsters, the dialogue, the mind fucks. It's all incredible. There was no movie like it at the festival. Pure wacked out craziness. ****1/2

Robo-G: Sweet story about an old man, who ends up playing a robot when the technicians can't build it in time. But the 'robot' is such a succes that they seem to be getting caught in a web of lies... Beautiful, funny and touching at times. ***

A Werewolf Boy: Teenager Soon-Yi lives in the country with her family. One day they find a bewildered boy in the barn and they end up taking care of him. It's the beginning of a special relationship. Wonderful, romantic, beautiful, suspenceful, sweet and sometimes sad and funny. You might just cry, watching this movie. ****

Wolf Children: One girl tells the story of her childhood, which was a bit different because her father was part wolf. That makes her and her brother part human, part wolf too. Sweet, funny and touching. A real family movie. ****

Warm Bodies: Zombie R thinks a lot about his un-life as a zombie, sees a girl and starts to get warm again (his heart starts beating). Told from the perspective of the zombie. This is really funny, sarcastic, and kinda awesome. I really like the fact that it was told from the zombie perspective. **** 

Fin: Story about the end of the world with a completely different take. Exciting, beautiful, interesting, suspenceful! *****

World Wide Fantastic Shorts: Séance, At the Formal, Necrolovers, Envy the Dead, The Captured Bird, Erim, Familiar, Rauch und Spiegel. Won't go into all of them... Some were good, some weird, some simply boring. Rauch und Spiegel was very cool. **1/2

European Fantastic Shorts #1: Out There, Defeated, Perpetuum Immobile, Rew Day, Sweet Rabbit, The Trap, Nostaligic Z, And Death Will be Alright, Lonely Bones, Perfect Drug. Same as above, but this showing was very funny and/or looked really cool. They are the reason I love watching shorts. *** 

The Grandmaster: Story about three martial arts masters Ip Man, Gong Er and Ma San.  The martial arts look beautiful, but almost everything is shown in slow motion and/or with flashbacks. That's why it gets dull pretty soon. Too bad, cos it could have been great. It still has some really cool shots (especially the fight in the rain).***

Among Friends: Friends go to a going away party, only to find out the host has some horrific plans, like making each other tell the truth and punishing them for their sins (by cutting of fingers and such). Feels like I've seen this before... **

The ABC's of Death: 26 short movies, made by different directors and teams. They had to find a creative way to die for a letter. Only five shorts or so are worth the trouble. **

Like I said, I couldn't see everything. Movies I would have liked to see - if I would have had the time - are: American Mary, The Black Square, Despite the Gods, Eega, European Fantastic Shorts #2, Found in Time, Grabbers, Kiss of the Damned, Rowdy Rathore, Tasher Desh and Trance. Some of these I might still be able to see, but a couple will probably be hard to find due to the fact that they can't always find distributors here.

That's my recap of a FANTASTIC festival. Once again I had a great time at Imagine. I loved the location, though I'm a little bummed I didn't get to go to the latest screenings of some movies due to transportation (read: I wouldn't have been able to get home...) The food, location, movies and everything around was amazing. I loved it and will definitely be going back next year!

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