The European Fantastic Film Festival takes place in Strasbourg cinemas from September 23 to October 2. With nearly 80 films, the program offers nuggets for all those who like the strange, whether fantastic or not.
The guest of honor of the 2022 edition of the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival (FEFFS), from Friday September 23 to Sunday October 2 in all Strasbourg cinemas, is Christopher Gans. Creator of starfix magazinehe became a director and will give a masterclass on Sunday September 25 followed by the screening of his masterpiece to five million admissions, The Pact of Wolves (2001)which has just been remastered.
80 films, including 60 feature films
Created in 2006 under the name of Hammer Festival, the FEFFS is spread over ten days, which makes it possible to present sixty feature films and twenty shorts on the screens of Strasbourg cinemas, divided into selections or offered during special events.
The best known remains “The Eccentric Night” which takes advantage of the nocturnal discretion to host the worst films from the collections of the Cinémathèque française. 1er October, from midnight, the naturist comedy The island of naked womenan erotic vampire film, and finally a Hong Kong martial arts nanar will follow one another until breakfast.
Fantasy without trauma: mainstream events
We have the right to love the fantastic without wanting to be too afraid. If only to wish you a good night’s sleep after the screenings, or simply because we’re not yet old enough to see a serial killer slice his prey into slices with a butter knife. The animated film competition therefore offers eight films with very clear-cut visual identities and sometimes whimsical stories.
Accessible to everyone, the musical movie The Island, by Anca Damian, revisits the story of a Robinson Crusoe who would have met the sole survivor of a migrant boat. Presented as “a punchy film that has the sweetness of a caress”, Nayola, directed by José Miguel Ribeiro follows a rebellious teenager in the war-torn Angola of 2011.
The choice of the film for the traditional open-air screening, Tuesday September 27, Place du Château, has – this year – stopped on Flash Gordon. This space opera known for its kitsch costumes will resonate with its soundtrack composed and performed by Queen between the walls of the cathedral and the Palais Rohan. An opportunity to share this cult film between generations.
For a session with toddlers, favor the ecological tale The Secret of the Perlimpsdirected by Ale Abreu, who has already come to present The Boy and the World at the festival in 2014. This pretty colorful film tells the story of two particularly cute secret agents, who will have to cooperate in the face of the threat of the giants to flood their valley.
Thrills and cinema: short films and retrospectives
The FEFFS is also a hymn to the cinema, and even more so when it proves to be audacious and unpredictable. short film competitions are often well placed to reveal the talents of tomorrow who have been given the freedom to play with their cameras – small formats being economically less risky.
Each selection – international, French and animated shorts – comprises seven films, therefore seven proposals and seven worlds to discover per screening. Watch out for surprises though. This year, the animation competition is not recommended for children under sixteen. Which story(s), between that of a secret police agent during the military dictatorship in Chile, the young drug addict Will or the astonishing search for a corpse in South America have earned this limit of age ?
As for feature films, the animated film for adults Unicorn Wars, by the Spaniard Alberto Vazquez surprises as soon as you read the pitch. Cubs and unicorns are waging a fierce war in the heart of the Magic Forest. A completely barred story that nevertheless denounces the destructive madness of men.
In international competition, Sissy, by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, tackles the subject of moral harassment by bringing together, 12 years after high school, a group of friends for a bachelor party for young girls in the woods. But these stories of harassment, both real and virtual, resurface, triggering a strange game of massacre.
Film buffs will also be happy to discover this year’s retrospectives, dedicated to the “French Touch”“. Of The beauty and the Beast from Jean Cocteau (1946) to Devil’s Beauty by René Clair, to the world premiere of the restored version of The City of Lost Children by the Jeunet-Caro duo, there will be enough to immerse yourself in a journey through French genre cinema.
From cinema to fire and blood: Midnight movies and Crossovers competition
The FEFFS dedicates its “Midnight movies” selection to horror for nightmarish, but sometimes very funny evenings. This will certainly be the case for Mad Heidi by Johannes Hartmann and Sandro Klofstein.
As the title suggests, the kind Heidi of the mountains is back… but for revenge in a particularly bloody way. Another massacre will take place in Kids VS. Alien of the American Jason Eisener, then in X by Ti West. A tribute to Chainsaw Massacre which is set in a Texas farm setting, taken over by the crew for a pornographic film shoot.
Other horrific and particularly disturbing works have crept into the Crossover competition. Gourmet Feed traces the story of a journalist who went to meet a trio of artists specializing in acoustic cuisine, who witnessed the rise of their disagreements. In a completely different atmosphere, Zalava takes place in a small Kurdish village, on the eve of the Iranian revolution of 1978, when a young woman is suspected of being possessed by a demon.
European Fantastic Film Festival, from Friday September 23 to Sunday October 2, in the Star, Star St-Ex, UGC Ciné Cité and Vox cinemas. The prices per screening are those in force in each cinema. However, a nominative Festival Pass at €12 allows you to switch to a price of €6 for all screenings.