Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Farewell for Now, Sweet Vanguarders!

Here, Joe Swanberg represents the Muse Calliope.

On the occasion of closing of the Vanguard Programme Blog for the time being, we commissioned our own Sian Melton to write a series of interlinked haiku. ~The Editor

We had a great time
This TIFF was one of the best
Countless memories

We made friends in line
 We all said "arrrr" like pirates
And we skipped on sleep

So many good films
Especially from Vanguard
 Duh, obviously

This year, Joe Swanberg
our unofficial mascot
Yeah, he's really cool

 So until next year
These bloggers say "bye!"
 Broccoli hammer.

"Broccoli hammer," indeed. Thank you all and see you soon!

Vanguard, Sketched!

Jodorowsky's Dune

At his Tumblr page, Sketchy Musings, Francis Foster sketched images from films he saw at TIFF this year, including these four from the Vanguard Programme. Click through images from (and reviews of) all the films he saw at TIFF, as well as daily sketches.


The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

The Fake

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Acquired Vanguard Films, High Five!

So TIFF is officially over. Womp, womp, womp. Yesterday was spent in denial--either sleeping or cleaning apartments or tying up any festival loose ends. But today, Tuesday, we all have to face the harsh reality that it's really over. Colin even cleaned his fridge; what is the world coming too?!

It's always bitter sweet when the Festival comes to an end, but we're quick to get excited again at the prospect of seeing some of our favourite Festival films out there in the world. So far, four of our Vanguard films were acquired either before or during the festival. Fingers crossed we won't have to wait too long before these ones hit the big (or small, depending on their distribution deal) screen.

Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin was acquired by Radius - TWC for North American distribution after its premiere at Cannes and we couldn't be more excited for the rest of everyone see this deft, tense revenge story.

Alex van Warmerdam's Borgman was also picked up after Cannes by the always awesome Drafthouse Films for U.S. distribution--a perfect fit for the disturbingly dark and hilarious film, if we do say so ourselves.

Magnolia Pictures was wise to snatch up U.S. rights to Ti West's The Sacrament--news that we're sure had Ti West fans around the world rejoicing.

And if a terrifying docu-style movie about a cult isn't enough for you, IFC Midnight acquired the North American rights to Zack Parker's Proxy--a chilling, powerful thriller centred on a pregnant woman. (Best idea ever, but maybe also the scariest: screening a double feature of The Sacrament and Proxy.)

Lastly, even though it was technically in the Wavelengths Programme, we'll always love Ben Wheatley and we were pleased as punch to hear the psychedelic mind-trip A Field In England was also picked up for US distribution by Drafthouse Films last spring.

Congratulations to all of these Vanguard films and the rest of the films that were purchased during the Festival. There are still many films we're hoping gain distribution and we're sure you feel the same. We'll keep our fingers crossed if you do too.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SAPI: Filipino Supernatural Threats!

With the last screening of Sapi today, you might want to brush up on your supernatural threats of the Philippines. Sure it might be all a media hoax, but still, who wants to be licked to death?

First up, spirit possession and soul loss. If you are placed in a frightening or startling situation, your soul could be knocked right out of you. Even more, if you have been rude or thoughtless or malicious or have just run across the wrong mangkukulam or bruha, (practitioner of black magic), you can get the whammy put on you and end up possessed. Spirit possession is a big problem.

In 2011, 56 students were possessed at Compostela National High School in the Philippines. (And this CNN article reporting on it is really asking for some whammy). In June, 2013, 22 elementary school students exhibited signs of spirit possession.

School administrators have suspended  classes in an elementary school in Mandaluyong City on Thursday after "evil spirits" possessed 20 students.
Report said some of the female students of Isaac Lopez Elementary  School on Barangay Vergara began yelling while others fainted inside the classroom.
Teachers rushed to the scene and tried to restrain the "possessed" students from hurting themselves, the report added.
After calming down, four of the students told the teachers that they saw images of a mother and a child. They also saw an image of a man in black clothes.
Due to the commotion, school officials decided to suspend classes for the whole day.
They had apparently been playing a divination game beforehand, but school principal Loida Matic reports that they were faking possession. Still, even if you feel you have a good hold on your soul,  be careful out there. The spirits of the jealous dead and malicious spirits (Hantu Demon) might just be thinking of moving in. Of course, there are several other supernatural threats to be aware of.

Manananggal in flight via here.

Dila:  A dila won't possess you, but it will lick you to death. Yes, to death. It is a tongue spirit and you know where it comes from? Through the floor. Possession isn't looking so bad, now, is it?

Membabarang: Female black magic practitioner who will make insects come out of you. (Note: Do not annoy a membabarang).

Manananggal: Sometimes also called or considered an aswang, a manananggal is a spirit, usually of a woman who died in childbirth, whose upper body flies around on wings, with viscera dangling, while her lower body remains in place as a roost. Manananggal hide out on the roofs of women in childbirth or pregnant women and try to eat the babies/fetuses by sticking their very long tongues through chinks in the roof and into the woman. Then they suck out the baby/fetus. So, ladies, keep your roofs patched!

Tiyanak: And also, you should probably not investigate any baby's crying you might here. Tiayanak are ghosts of dead babies who pretend to be cute, helpless babies left behind in the forest. Then they eat you. Of course, if you can't resist the pitiful cries of a baby, always keep a silver spike on hand for dealing with any tiyanak you encounter.

So, yeah. Be careful out there!
SAPI Final Screening:
Sunday, Sept 15th, 3:00 PM SCOTIABANK 14

The 2013 Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to: ASPHALT WATCHES

Asphalt Watches wins the 2013 Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and we at Vanguard couldn't be happier. Congratulations to Seth Scriver and Shayne Ehman!

FINAL SCREENING: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Today is the last screening of Simon and Zeke Hawkins, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. 

My goodness, that was intense.
Sunday, Sept 15th, 9:00 PM SCOTIABANK 10


Missed the premiere of Brillante Ma Mendoza's Sapi? You still have a chance to catch this deft mix of satire and horror today!

From Steve Gravestock's notes:
One of the masters of contemporary Philippine cinema, Brillante Ma Mendoza embarks on a very different course with his most recent film, the alternately hilarious and terrifying Sapi, a caustic media satire and horror film about the lengths news services will go to capture and capitalize on a story.
The film follows two competing television news teams as they chase a variety of leads, gradually zeroing in on an impending and possibly apocalyptic storm, and a middle-aged teacher who may or may not be possessed by a demon. Writer and actress Raquel Villavicencio plays the ruthless head of the top-rated network, coming off as a Tagalog variation on Faye Dunaway's fabled character in Network. Her team has eschewed covering politics in favour of triedand- true tabloid fodder: demonic possession.

SAPI Final Screening:
Sunday, Sept 15th, 3:00 PM SCOTIABANK 14