British director Ben Wheatley isn't content to make the same kind of film over and over again. His last two films -- 'Kill List' and 'Sightseers' -- offered different tones and delightfully sinister surprises; the only consistency is Wheatley's attraction to dark, subversive material and his ability to capture that material with a particularly keen and appreciative eye. With 'A Field in England,' Wheatley returns with yet another unexpected work: an intense, abstract, and intensely abstract trip (literally and figuratively).
In 'I Declare War,' a pretend game of war between kids goes way too far when one over-zealous boy takes the rules into his own hands. An intense rivalry develops as PK, the general from one camp, tries to adhere to the rules and play an honorable game, while the smarmy Skinner from the opposing camp does the unthinkable and takes a prisoner, throwing the whole game into upheaval.
'I Declare War' is an inventive film that embraces the seriousness of childhood imagination, while affectionately acknowledging the lack of wisdom in adolescence.
Sight and Sound Magazine: it's time for a recount in your decennial poll. 'Miami Connection' is clearly the greatest film ever made -- at least on whatever planet it came from. Hilarious yet oddly touching, goofy yet totally sincere, this is one of the most entertainingly bizarre movies I've ever seen; not so much so-bad-it's-good as so-strange-it's-brilliant. The fight scenes are memorable, the dialogue is quotable, and the rock songs about tae kwon do and ninjas are impossibly catchy. Made and released in the late 1980s and then immediately forgotten, it would have been doomed to eternal obscurity if not for the efforts of Drafthouse Films, who recognized the inspired lunacy that everyone else had somehow missed. For their efforts, they've now got an unmissable cult classic on their hands.
Drafthouse Films may be fine purveyors of schlock, but they also know a thing or two about genuinely great movies. How else do you explain them acquiring the rights to 'Wake in Fright,' a 1971 Cannes Film Festival champion that seemingly vanished off the face of the planet in the decades after its unsuccessful commercial release? The film has not only been discovered and restored, it's playing at Fantastic Fest this week.
And wouldn't you know it: a trailer for this restored masterpiece has hit.
When Drafthouse Films, the Alamo Drafthouse's film distribution branch, started up last year, it became clear fairly quickly that the company would be making some rather bold choices. Given Drafthouse's selections for Fantastic Fest, Drafthouse Films' own roster would surely fall in line with the sort of edgy genre fare hosted at their annual festival every year. So when they announced the acquisition of 'Klown,' based on the Danish television series of the same name, it was fair to assume that the film would be something special -- and special it is, though that may be an understatement.
Last month, the fine folks at the Alamo Drafthouse set up a fantastic experience for a very special screening of the new Danish film 'Klown,' which hits theaters this Friday courtesy of Drafthouse Films. For the event, we took a journey to the Guadalupe river for a canoe trip with the film's creators, and stars Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam, followed by a special outdoor screening and an interview with them the next morning.