The Suicide Squad Fantasia

Fantasia Film Festival to premiere The Suicide Squad in Montreal Aug. 4

The highly anticipated sequel by James Gunn will screen at the Imperial Cinema.

The 25th edition of the Fantasia Film Festival will take place in hybrid format from Aug. 5–25. As previously announced, Brain Freeze by Quebec director Julien Knafo is the official opening film, but the festival is presenting something special on the eve of the kick-off. Fantasia will screen The Suicide Squad at the Imperial Cinema in downtown Montreal on Aug. 4, two days ahead of its theatrical release.

The Suicide Squad is a sequel to the 2016 film of almost-the-same-name (Suicide Squad), and while that first film was considered a bit of a fail, this one is highly anticipated as it’s directed by James Gunn. Gunn has been “a friend of Fantasia” since 1997, and his 2014 film The Guardians of the Galaxy had its Canadian premiere at Fantasia that year. (Gunn will soon begin filming the third installment in the Guardians franchise, to be released in 2023.)

Fantasia Film Festival to premiere The Suicide Squad in Montreal Aug. 4

Also announced today in the second wave of Fantasia programming:

The world premiere of Stanleyville, the debut feature from Canadian filmmaker Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, following his acclaimed shorts Ape Sodom (2016) and Midnight Confessions (2017). It’s the story of a disillusioned office drone (Susanne Wuest, Goodnight Mommy) decides one day to throw her purse and life away and enter an enigmatic contest to win a car. It’s a “competition to probe the very essence of mind-body articulation” led by a curious host (Julian Richings, CUBE). The film is described as “a mesmerizing puzzle à la Satre’s No Exit that will keep you guessing until the very end.”

The Canadian premiere of Jane Schoenbrun’s Sundance hit We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, wherein a lonely teen (Anna Cobb) plays a viral online game that soon takes hold of her increasingly dissociating mind. The “disquieting take on the coming-of-age film harnesses the potent aesthetics of found-footage horror and YouTube culture to craft a quietly devastating look at loneliness and despondency in the Internet age.”

The Suicide Squad Fantasia Festival Montreal
Prisoners of the Ghostland, Canadian premiere at Fantasia 2021

The North American premiere of two films from Japan’s Studio 4C, namely Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko and Poupelle of Chimney Town. The latter was adapted from the picturebook by popular Japanese comedian Akihiro Nishino, and is described as “a heartfelt rollercoaster ride through a nonstop cavalcade of eye-popping animated visual delights.”

The Canadian premiere of Prisoners of the Ghostland, the reportedly “insane” U.S. debut of legendary Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono, starring Nicolas Cage as a notorious criminal who must break an evil curse in order to rescue a girl (Sofia Boutella) who has mysteriously disappeared. The film made the official selection at Sundance.

The North American premiere of Dream on Fire, the debut feature by Quebec filmmaker Philippe McKie, who’s been living in Japan for a decade. It’s the story of a young Japanese woman making her way into the world of dance in Tokyo, contrasting “colourful visuals and spectacular dance scenes” with its depiction of “an environment with no place for the weak.”

The Beta Test by Jim Cummings (Thunder Road, The Wolf of Snow Hollow), said to be “a witty and subversive black comedy/thriller.” The director himself plays the lead role as “a married Hollywood agent who receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity and weaponized digital data.”

And finally the Canadian premiere of Woodland Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, a “definitive,” “groundbreaking” documentary by former Montrealer Kier-La Janisse. The film, which covers British cult classics of the ’70s, folk horror around the world and contemporary cinema by the likes of Ari Aster, won the Midnighter Audience Award at SXSW.

A third wave of Fantasia Festival programming will be announced next month.

For more, please visit the festival’s website.

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