Fantastic Fest

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Martyrs to screen at Fantastic Fest!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot tell you how long I have personally been laboring, whining and maneuvering to get this film secured for Fantastic Fest. I sat in the first public screening of the film at the Cannes Market back in May alongside Michael Lerman from Indiewire. We looked at each other during the closing credits and agreed without words or movement. We had been hit in the face with a heavy blunt object.

Since then MARTYRS has been causing fragile eggs who have unwittingly wandered into screenings to leave the theater in one of four conditions: fainting, shaking, vomiting or weeping, or some disgusting combination of all four. This movie is hard. That said, it's my favorite genre film of the year, hands down.

I don't want to talk about the film AT ALL, and I recommend that you don't read ANYTHING about it if possible. If your buddies have been trolling the net and start yammering about the plot points, stick your fingers in yours ears, yell "la-la-la-la-la-la" while running away dancing a funny jig. You will look stupid, but this mild humiliation will pay off in spades.

All I will say is that MARTYRS is a controversial film and the violence is very intense, so much so that it's easy to find traditional critics lumping this film in with the mindless "torture porn" aesthetic (a phrase I'm annoyed with myself for sporting). While the violence quotient does support that pigeon-holing, what allows MARTYRS to transcend is the amazingly pure and very inventive philosophical construct behind the film.

I don't know what the HELL they are putting in that fancypants French bottled water, but whatever it is, it's creating some genetically modified super-powered horror-directing mutants. With the likes of Fabrice Du Welz (VINYAN), Pascal Laugier (MARTYRS), Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE) and Julien Maury (INSIDE) pumping out the French horror jams, there is no other explanation than a gene-modification conspiracy that goes all the way to prime minister François Fillon. To you sir, I say, "A votre santé!" Cheers, sir, and keep up the good work.

I was going to place this film into one of our secret screening spots, but we are not receiving the copy until the final day of the festival, which is already a very crowded day. Instead, we decided to schedule MARTYRS in a somewhat non-traditional fashion.

We're scheduling two screenings, both on the 25th of September. One - an early screening around 2 PM. The second at 9:30 PM that night. The closing night film is at 7:00 PM that evening. After that, some of you will be going to the all-night cave dance party. I recommend seeing the 2 PM screening if you want to see MARTYRS and are going to the cave. If you aren't going to the cave, stick around for the 9:30 show. This will be the only film playing at that time, and I can think of no better film than MARTYRS serve as the cherry on top of your festival sundae.

Second-half badge holders, this screening will either justify your purchase entirely, or make you wish you had never heard the seemingly innocuous pairing of "Fantastic" and "Fest." In either case, I will feel that my work is done.

I would like to raise a special Fantastic Fest toast to our friends at the Weinstein Company for making this truly eventful screening happen.

We're now 24 hours until kickoff, my own excitement is now palpable.


  • At 4:33 PM , Blogger 追放マーク said...

    Well, raise my rent. Congratulations and I'm aiming the vomit straight in your direction!

  • At 4:44 PM , Blogger Scott Weinberg said...

    Ah, good for you, Tim. I know you've been pushing to get this film for months. You don't even wanna know what Joe, Adam and Bishop had to say about this flick.

    Can't wait to check it out.

  • At 11:03 PM , Blogger samuraiyao said...

    I'm going to shit my pants, Yes!!!

  • At 1:13 PM , Anonymous Cornman said...

    That chick on the right is HOT!!


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