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Court Métrange 2019

 

EDITORIAL
Ghosts: Aghast at the past and the Unseen-ema

We are chock full up to our necks in narratives of ill-boding speculation and ghouls that rule popular traditions from around the world. Who hasn’t heard of paranormal activity in homes and freestyle phantoms marking their territory in the most frightful of ways? Stories bestirring poltergeist, ectoplasm and haunted houses (featuring intruders of the demoniac kind) are the culturally-creepy cor(ps)es behind the gore and horror.

Urges from out of nowhere prod us to spark dialogue with the departed even though spiritism conjures up scenarios of waspishly-humiliating dimensions. No one dreams of falling prey to the shady plans of a shameless shaman (warranting a virtual kick or two in the a…hem). So, what are we to do?

For starters, we ought to distance ourselves from kooky clairvoyants and their arcane practices. Once that done, we can opt for a seemingly more down-to-earth strategy combining fiction and the means with which (or witch?) to communicate it.

Movies, series, literature and other forms of artistic expression coalesce. Only when the lights go down and darkness will have prevailed in the theater or our mind will we truly have what it takes to reach out to those in the afterlife.

This year, Court Métrange’s focus is on phantoms (you probably got that much). It ghost-s without saying that it’s gonna be a scream.

For mind-numbing accomplishments, a few names emerge, including: videographer Jean-François Robic, writer and sound engineer Daniel Deshays, philosopher Kévin Cappelli, series master Pacôme Thiellement, screenwriter and director Hubert Blanchard, and writer and editor Guy Astic.

When it comes to eye candy, the Naïa Museum has concocted, yet again, a holy host of mercenaries hailing from the world of Fantastic Art with a hair-raising handle on those who have returned from the dead. Should you still be longing for more, you can feast your eyes on two Fantastic feature films, satisfying the most rapacious of audiences and their appetites, prior to the start of competition. To top it all off is a spellbinding JournÉtrange (Fien’Day) open to the general public.

The festival wouldn’t be complete if its wicked line-up of short films hand-picked by our special programming team were not part of it. Although the themes of some may deviate from that of the festival (and understandably so), the line-up, nonetheless, has the Fantastic community worldwide and its mortal vigor (not to mention rigor mortis) to thank for the breadth and variety it is able to propose at this year’s festival.

Presiding over this year’s 16th edition and official jury is one of today’s most illustrious film directors: Pascal Laugier.

Light years from your everyday, Sci Fi-ecrypting guru, this man knows his stuff, inside and out, and has a stranglehold on anything, or anyone while we’re at it, macabre. Armed with an insatiable appetite for evil and whose filmmaking decadence has sunken its fangs ruthlessly into unsuspecting subjects in order to churn out the epitome of sinister, he probes deeper and deeper, at his own risk, into the twisted confines of his tormented self, as well as the alarming state of affairs the world over (and puts all to use, in moderation, of course). The result is a riveting cinematographic track record of nerve-wracking, nail-biting, and adrenalin-pumping proportions (to put things lightly). Praiseworthy, his films boast dimensions of both desire and despair, magnetism and melancholy, and wherein we never once feel a lack of compassion or profound respect on behalf of the filmmaker for his wounded heroines.

Blown away by the mastermind behind the gruesome Martyrs and dizzying Ghostland, among others, we realize to what extent the act of filming is not one to be taken lightly. Its volcanic mix merges stirring, subjective and stark means, whose monstrously-endearing mucilage leaves spectators both engrossed and grossed out.

Viscerally-rooted elements mirroring his character, Pascal Laugier’s films speak volumes, and are a reel source of inspiration for filmmakers in the making.

So, without further ado, and with spine-tingling enthusiasm, may we just say what a monstrous privilege it is for us, and for you, truth be told, to roll out the blood red carpet for him at Court Métrange!
 

STEVEN PRAVONG
PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER