Fantastic Fest Review: ‘Bad Genius’ Is a Slick, Remarkable Caper About Exam Cheating

Bad Genius Review

A heist-style drama about genius high school students and their task to pull off the ultimate, cheating scam on behalf of dozens of wealthy peers doesn’t quite sound like the nail-biter Bad Genius ends up pulling off, but here we are. The Thai film we do get, which is directed by the very talented Nattawut Poonpiriya, not only brings with it a whip-smart screenplay, it’s an incredibly intense caper loaded with crackling dialogue and impressive performances that ranks up there with recent, instant classics like Moneyball and The Social Network. Poonpiriya keeps your attention from beginning to end and ends up delivering one of the tautest thrillers (without really being a thriller) to come along in some time. ›››

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Fantastic Fest Review: Superb Stephen King Adaptation ‘Gerald’s Game’

Gerald's Game Review

Sometimes when transferring a novel to a film, the best way to go is a straight, no-frills adaptation. The author has said all that needs to be said on the subject, and the job the filmmaker undertakes is simply bringing that source material to life through visual representation. With so many adaptations of the works of Stephen King already made – and many more just on the horizon – it’s refreshing to see a film based on his works sticking so closely to the book. Enter Gerald’s Game, based on the 1992 novel, directed by Oculus and Hush director Mike Flanagan. A streamlined adaptation, the film hits with surprising intensity and delivers ample amounts of atmosphere and scares. It also boasts a career-best performance from Carla Gugino, who aids in raising Gerald’s Game to the levels of some of the very best Stephen King adaptations. ›››

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Fantastic Fest Review: Joachim Trier’s Gripping & Unnerving ‘Thelma’

Thelma Review

Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier is an artist whose works are always delivered with a healthy dose of message. With Oslo, August 31st (2011) and Louder than Bombs (2015), the filmmaker broke onto the scene ready to force the viewers of his films into deep reflection and meticulous thought. It’s no surprise that Trier’s latest film, Thelma, comes with that same level of analysis but with an increasingly engaging, sci-fi/horror tale to go along with it. Thelma is a slow burn film, but what starts out as a low simmer eventually builds into a rolling boil, all of which is presented to the viewer with outstanding execution. It’s the kind of horror story that keeps the viewer’s skills of dissection at work long after the film is over. ›››

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The Venice Film Festival is a Wonderful Film Fest That Stole My Heart

Venice Film Festival

“Venice was and is full of lost places where people put up for sale the last worn bits of their souls, hoping no one will buy.” (-Ray Bradbury) The canals, the tiny streets, the little bridges, the amazing food. There’s so much to love about Venice, the beautiful Italian city on the water. I wasn’t sure what to expect attending the Venice Film Festival for my first time, but at the end of it all, I have to admit it is a wonderful festival in an extremely lovely city. At the beginning of the fest, I wrote about how much I love the Telluride Film Festival and how sad I was to skip that fest and attend this one instead. But, Venice stole my heart, and has shown me there’s just as much to love about this festival as there is about Telluride. Not only do they show some of the best films every year, but there is a charm to the city that can’t be found nearly anywhere else. ›››

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Scotland! Edinburgh’s Dead by Dawn Fest Returns with a Vengeance!

DeadDawn

Dead by Dawn International Horror Film Festival returns for its 24th year with 49 films over four days

Dead by Dawn is the UK’s longest-running genre film festival and celebrates the finest in independent filmmaking. And now,  in their 24th year (!) the fest’s desire to unearth new talent is stronger than ever. The fest runs from April 20th – 23rd.

Screening at the home of Edinburgh International Film Festival, Filmhouse, Dead by Dawn is showcasing 49 films from 14 countries in this year’s programme. At Dead by Dawn it’s all about the story, about fresh ideas and perspectives; we focus on filmmakers reinvigorating the horror genre with vibrant, unique films.

Dead by Dawn Festival Director Adele Hartley said, “In 24 years Dead by Dawn has grown from a one-night indulgence of genre classics into a four day festival devoted to shining a light on debut and emerging film-makers.  We’re proud to have introduced so many amazing directors to Scottish audiences – the likes of Neil Marshall, Jim Mickle, Alexandre Aja, Jaume Balaguero, Mike Flanagan – and this year’s selection showcases yet more exceptional talent.”

Here’s a look at the premieres at Dead by Dawn 2017:

UK Premiere of ACCIDENTAL EXORCIST / Director Daniel Falicki in attendance

UK Premiere of DIG TWO GRAVES / Director Hunter Adams in attendance

UK Premiere of THE EVIL WITHIN / Producer Michael Luceri in attendance (pictured above)

UK Preview of ALWAYS SHINE / Tribeca Film Festival and IFF Boston Award Winner

UK Premiere of DRY BLOOD

UK Premiere of THE NIGHT WATCHMEN

Scottish Premiere of THE VOID

WITHOUT NAME / director Lorcan Finnegan in attendance

And check out their stunning classics line-up:

Dario Argento’s PHENOMENA and Steve Miner’s HOUSE, courtesy of Arrow Films

Fred Dekker’s THE MONSTER SQUAD

David Cronenberg double bill of SCANNERS and THE DEAD ZONE

Vincent Price double bill of SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN and MADHOUSE

For more on the fest (including the complete list of short films) visit the official Dead by Dawn site.

 

 

 

 

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Streets of SXSW: See the Fest in Pictures

If you missed SXSW this year, don’t worry. You can join Team No Film School on the ground via our photo essay.

Team No Film School brought you lots of filmmaker interviews and panels from SXSW 2017, and we’ve even got a podcast that argues that this was the festival for fearless filmmakers, but what is it actually like on the ground in Austin? Our photos will give you a virtual tour of our time in town.

Where it all happens

The Austin Convention Center is the bustling, official hub of all the SXSW action.

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