By Harris Dang
2020 has a dumpster fire of a year so far; especially for those who love to attend film festivals. Thankfully, one of the silver linings of 2020 is that filmgoers are still able to attend film festivals virtually and this is where Nightstream comes in.
The Collaborative Virtual Festival From Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights Festival to run October 8-11th, with select films available until the 14th.
With so many to choose from; here is a small selection of films that we personally cannot wait to see.
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
The opening film of Nightstream; Aneesh Chaganty’s sophomore effort after his acclaimed feature-length debut, “Searching”; about a wheelchair-bound teenager whose fragile, isolated existence with her doting mother is threatened when she begins to notice strange occurrences around her house. Sarah Paulson working with Chaganty? Sold! A Hulu Original Film.
Director: Quentin Dupieux
The closing film of Nightstream; visionary director Quentin Dupieux returns with his most accessible and hilarious film to date, a tale of two simple-minded friends who find a giant fly stuck in the trunk of a car and set themselves up to train it to earn money with it. Described by critics as “Dumb and Dumber made by Kafka”, that is a saying that has us hyped. A Magnolia Pictures Release.
FRANK & ZED (2020)
Director: Jesse Blanchard
Films involving hand-puppetry are a rare breed but how often do you hear about a hand-puppetry film involving zombies and demons? That sounds awesome and bonkers in the best of ways and the film is making its world premiere on Nightstream! Cannot wait to see this!
Director: Natasha Kermani
Actress/co-writer Brea Grant has been having a successful period these past few years with her sophomore directorial effort “12 Hour Shift” and her great performance in the creature feature “After Midnight”. Now she leads the latest film from Natasha Kermani, whom last made the acclaimed sci-fi existential drama “Imitation Child” . With these talents in tow and an appealing home invasion premise; I’m starting to feeling lucky.
PELICAN BLOOD (2020)
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Writer/director Katrin Gebbe is a filmmaker I became interested in since I saw her feature-length directorial debut “Nothing Bad Can Happen”; a striking, fascinating and difficult-to-watch drama about faith, forgiveness and the conflict of good and evil. Now with “Pelican Blood”; she returns with a horror-drama about the love and struggles of motherhood and with the horror trope of pedophobia that promises to be memorable in the best of ways.
THE DOORMAN (2020)
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
The title of the film may sound ordinary but with director Ryuhei Kitamura involved, it is bound to be anything but. Ruby Rose stars as a former Marine turned doorman at a luxury New York City high-rise who must outsmart and battle a group of art thieves and their ruthless leader, played by Jean Reno — while struggling to protect her sister’s family. We expect lots of action and gore that only Kitamura can deliver.
And here are a selection of films showing at the Nightstream Festival that we at In Their Own League have covered with positive acclaim:
Director: Zoe Wittock
Fresh off the success of the acclaimed international hit, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, Noemie Merlant returns with another romance with a premise that sounds utterly bizarre, wondrously imaginative and that had me instantly intrigued. With potential to unravel new cinematic ways of romantic expression, it looks like it’s going be a wild (theme park) ride.
Read Caz’s Berlinale review here: https://intheirownleague.com/2020/03/05/berlinale-exclusive-review-jumbo/
DINNER IN AMERICA (2020)
Director: Adam Rehmeier
A punk rocker arsonist on the run (Kyle Gallner, Veronica Mars) and his number one fan embark on a series of misadventures through suburbia, finding unexpected love along the way in this absolutely electric, thoroughly anarchic, misfit stoner rom-com you didn’t know you needed.
Read Mique’s Fantasia review here: https://intheirownleague.com/2020/08/22/fantasia-film-festival-review-dinner-in-america/
Director: Vincent Paronnaud
Director Vincent Paronnaud returns to the screen with an exhilaratingly ferocious survival horror flick that follows Eve, a woman who encounters a seemingly charming man at a bar, only to uncover that his true sociopathic nature will spark a dire, life-or-death chase through the wilderness. Coming from the co-director of “Persepolis” expect something way out of the norm. A Shudder Original Film.
Read my Fantasia review: https://intheirownleague.com/2020/08/23/fantasia-festival-review-hunted/
BLEED WITH ME (2020)
Director: Amelia Moses
A lo-fi and subtly creepy chamber piece, Amelia Moses’ debut “Bleed With Me” follows Rowan, an insecure girl spending a wintery retreat at a remote cabin with her best friend, Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan. When Rowan’s anxiety around being an unwanted guest starts to get to her, mounting paranoia gives way to hallucinations, making this trip into something chillingly sinister. An Epic Pictures release.
Read my Fantasia review: https://intheirownleague.com/2020/08/27/fantasia-festival-review-bleed-with-me/
CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER (2020)
Director: Mickey Reece
Prolific underground director Mickey Reece’s oddball humor and otherworldly retro flair are on full display in this delightful tale of two sisters whose love-hate relationship is stirred up when they reunite with a childhood friend who they suspect may or may not be a vampire. A Dark Star Pictures release.
Read Tom’s review here: https://intheirownleague.com/2020/08/23/fantasia-festival-review-climate-of-the-hunter/
See more of their line-up here: https://nightstream.org/lineup-announcement/