This week, we're picking out the standouts from Fantasiafest 2009, including Canary (a film about futuristic organ market), a retro astronaut picture and a new clone feature.
Fantasia has already started in Montreal with a load of fascinating new shorts. I'm quite interested in the modern day fairytale White Radishes amongst others but, for now, let's focus on the big feature films which will either be premiering in North America for the first time or for the first time anywhere.
In the near future, we'll be killing children to replace our faulty organs. Better them than me, I always say. Okay, the movie seems to be a lot more complicated than just that, and reads a bit more like Repo The Genetic Opera without the singing... which could be a good thing, depending on your taste in goth rock opera.
Here is the long synopsis:
Anyone out there need an organ transplant? If you answered "yes," we're here to help you! Canary Industries is a new medical company totally dedicated to the wellbeing of those in need. Every day since its inception, our dynamic team of devoted professionals improves the lives of their clients by providing the organ they need to rebuild their lives. All they must do is respect the agreement in the contract they've signed. You see, at Canary Industries, we strongly believe that health is first and foremost a responsibility. Should a patient abuse the organ so generously provided, we reserve the right to reclaim it.
In the near future, the employees of an organ-redistribution agency go about their uneventful daily duties. Between meetings with patients and small talk in the office, they bask in the easygoing happiness brought by the success of their young business. One of them, however, doesn't seem to share the general enthusiasm. Always at the margins of the team, the secretive young woman handles an unusual task for the company. She tails passersby in the street, sometimes even entering their homes. Ever silent, she observes them and nothing more. During these surveillance sessions, she keeps her eye on a family of European immigrants, a teenaged couple, a single mother and her daughter, among others. These folks all seem entirely unaware of the Canary Industries agent's presence-and of the dire, clandestine designs she represents.
Possibility of an Island
Clones are the wave of the future, or at least that's what this movie's scientist wanted his son to believe. But, as all movie sons sadly do, he turns his back on his Papa only to meet him (or a copy of him) on a lonely island many years in the future:
Daniel has a hard time taking his father very seriously. The old man, leader of a sect that believes the key to immortality lies in cloning, drags his son through the French suburbs in search of potential converts. It doesn't take too long for Daniel to turn his back on his father and pursue an ordinary life. Many years later, however, he's invited to reconnect with the prophet he calls dad on a tropical island, where he discovers a laboratory replete with cutting-edge technology and an legion of disciples ready to follow their guru in his ambitious project. Daniel is starting to get concerned-could it be that this bizarre project is on the verge of success? The only one who can truly answer that question is Daniel's clone, confined to a secretive grotto to protect him from the ravages of the apocalypse, who breaks his solitude by reading the story of the man he replicates while preparing himself to eventually explore the planet as it will be once humanity is extinguished.
Spaceman On Earth
I love the look of Shant Hamassian's little retro short (I'm a sucker for globe-headed spacemen) in Spaceman On Earth. Sorry that I couldn't find a trailer, but here's a hilarious little clip of the director in an interview (which shows some footage). The basic premise is such:
In 1950's America, a little green alien frames a superhero, Spaceman, as a communist. Spaceman must fight his way through car chases, shoot outs, jet packs, and monster fights to prove his innocence!