It's happening! It's really happening!
This is my favorite time of year, when the Fantastic Fest announcements start heating up. Okay, that's a lie - Fantastic Fest itself is my favorite time of year. But that period from July to September starts to feel like the weeks before Christmas, that heady anticipation you'd feel as a kid seeing the wrapped presents begin to pile up under the tree. And this particular present, the First Wave of Programming, is a doozy. MAN OF TAI CHI! CHEAP THRILLS! KID'S POLICE! I'd better stop listing titles or I'll just name all of them.
So yes, MAN OF TAI CHI will be hitting screens at Fantastic Fest this year, with Keanu Reeves in person! Kind of a big deal, you guys. Here's what you need to know about the film:
Keanu Reeves stars in and makes his directorial debut in the multi-lingual narrative, MAN OF TAI CHI. Partly inspired by the life of Reeves’ friend, stuntman Tiger Chen, MAN OF TAI CHI tells the story of a young martial artist whose unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underground fight club. As the fights intensify so does his will to survive and his desire to protect his way of life.
We're really thrilled with the lineup this year, and this is just the first wave of titles. Fantastic Fest Founder and creative director Tim League has more to add:
“Every year we scour the globe for the freshest and craziest genre films. This first incredible selection of films gives a small taste of the fun, but I can assure you there are lots of surprises yet to come. 2013 should be remembered as a vintage year for Fantastic Fest.”
BIG BAD WOLVES (Israel, 2013)
Director- Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales, 110 mins
The directing team behind the 2010 cult smash RABIES return to Fantastic Fest with one of the best genre films of 2013.
BORGMAN (The Netherlands, 2013)
Director - Alex van Warmerdam, 113 mins
Something wicked this way comes in the form of the ordinary, the polite and the normal as a drifter and his followers invade the home of a bourgeois family.
CHEAP THRILLS (United States, 2013)
Special Encore Presentation
Director - E.L. Katz, 85 mins
A recently fired father facing eviction is paid to take on an escalating series of insane challenges from a rich couple with a twisted sense of humor. World Premiered at SXSW 2013.
COMMANDO - A ONE MAN ARMY (India, 2013)
Director- Dilip Ghosh, 120min
Singing! Dancing! Extreme violence and goofy one-liners from Bollywood's answer to Tony Jaa and Marko Zaror! If Cannon Films were to relocate to India, COMMANDO would be the result!
EEGA (India, 2012)
Director - SriSaila Sri Rajamouli, 107 mins
A murdered man reincarnates as a fly to wreak vengeance on the villain who took his life and his lover. EEGA is an inventive, insane take on a revenge story unlike anything you've seen before.
HALLEY (Mexico/The Netherlands, 2013)
Director - Sebastian Hofmann, 83 mins
Though Beto’s life may technically be over, he allows himself to experience it one last time before his body completely falls apart in this unique and contemplative horror film.
KID’S POLICE (Japan, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director - Yuichi FUKUDA, 100 mins
When evil criminal organization Red Venus strikes, there's only one team of highly specialized cops who can help. Unfortunately, they've been dosed with anti-aging gas that has turned them all into children.
LFO (Sweden/Denmark, 2013)
Director - Antonio Tublen, 94 mins
A solitary man discovers audio frequencies that open the human mind wide to hypnotic suggestion and, ultimately, his total control in this slyly deadpan dark comedy from Sweden.
MAN OF TAI CHI (United States, 2013)
Director – Keanu Reeves, 105 mins
Keanu Reeves stars in and directs this epic tale about a young martial artist who must compete in an underground fight club to protect his way of life. As the fights intensify so does his will to survive.
NARCO CULTURA (United States, 2013)
Director - Shaul Schwarz, 103 mins
NARCO CULTURA is a graphically disturbing documentary that examines the parallels between the Mexican drug war and the increasingly popular musical style of narcocorridos (drug ballads).
NIGHTBREED – THE CABAL CUT (United Kingdom, 2012)
Directors - Russell Cherrington, 144 mins
NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT is a new director's cut of Clive Barker's horror classic that places the film in an entirely different light.
NORTHWEST (Denmark, 2013)
Director - Michael Noer, 91 mins
A teen hoodlum in Copenhagen becomes entangled in the criminal underworld
NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN (Germany, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director - Katrin Gebbe, 110 mins
Tore, a member of the counter-culture Christian movement Jesus Freaks, is befriended and taken in by a family who play an increasingly cruel, violent game and push his capacity to love to its limits.
ON THE JOB (Philippines, 2013)
Director - Erik Matti, 200 min
Corruption abounds in this stylish, Cannes-selected, ripped-from-the-headlines story of prisoners released on a day pass to work as killers. The cops must bring them in, never knowing how far the corruption spreads and who they can trust.
RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD, THE (The Netherlands, 2013)
Director - Guido van Driel, 89 mins
Adapted from his own graphic novel by first time writer-director Guido van Driel, RESURRECTION OF A BASTARD tells the darkly funny, Coen-esque tale of a career thug caught in an existential crisis.
SHE WOLF (Argentina, 2013)
North American Premiere
Director - Tamae Garateguy, 92 mins
A sexual predator roams the streets and trains of Buenos Aires, a beautiful woman who uses sex to lure in her victims. A potent, punk rock spin on Euro-sleaze influences in this raw, erotic thriller.
VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR (Canada, 2013)
Director - Denis Côté, 95 mins
An ex-con named Vic and her lover Flo retreat to a sugar shack in a small Quebec town to start anew. Their attempt to live a normal life slowly and disastrously unravels.