The first wave of Fantastic Fest 2017 titles have finally been announced
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The first wave of Fantastic Fest 2017 titles have finally been announced and they’re great

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With the lineup for international film festivals such as TIFF and Venice already announced, the Alamo Drafthouse has unveiled the first wave of titles for its upcoming thirteenth edition of Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States, which will return to Austin next month with quite an impressive selection of programming to choose from.

According to a press release issued this morning, Fantastic Fest will kick off the week-long film festival with the U.S. premiere of writer-director Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. Other notable titles include The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Square, which won Best Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at the 70th Festival de Cannes, respectively.

“I’m proud to say that this is truly lucky thirteen for us,” said Tim League, festival founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO. “We have another ferocious slate celebrating new and returning filmmakers from all over the world. It’s again an honor and privilege to welcome them and their brilliant, brave work.”

Fantastic Fest 2017 will begin on September 21 and runs until September 28 in Austin, Texas. You can check out the complete list of first wave titles playing at this year’s festival below:

1922

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 101 mins

Director – Zak Hilditch

1922 is based on Stephen King’s 131-page story telling of a man’s confession of his wife’s murder. The tale is told from from the perspective of Wilfred James, the story’s unreliable narrator who admits to killing his wife, Arlette, in Nebraska. But after he buries her body, he finds himself terrorized by rats and, as his life begins to unravel, he becomes convinced his wife is haunting him.

78/52

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 91 min

Director – Alexandre O. Philippe

This masterful documentary focuses on a single aspect of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO to demonstrate the master’s technical ability in storytelling. With expert interviews and rollicking analysis, 78/52 sets a new bar in how to examine film overall.

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

Scotland, 2017

World Premiere, 107 min

Director – John McPhail

Anna’s life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical. Yep. Musical.

ANYAB

Egypt, 1981

Repertory, 100 min

Director – Mohammed Shebl

ANYAB (FANGS) is an oddity worth rediscovering! An Egyptian take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, this eye-popping musical of madness manages to cram horror, science fiction and even social commentary together while charming with its outrageous costumes and action.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL

Japan, 2017

US Premiere, 141 min

Director – Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike’s 100th journey is an adaptation of the BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL manga. Manji, a samurai who cannot die, crosses paths with Rin Asano, a young girl whose parents were killed. Manji swears to help Rin Asano avenge her parents’ deaths.

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 132 min

Director – S. Craig Zahler

S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) returns with his sophomore feature, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. An exhilarating exercise in analog violence, CELL BLOCK follows the brutal exploits of a former boxer who finds himself incarcerated after a drug deal goes wrong. Trapped in a maximum security facility, he must fight to stay alive and to protect those he loves.

COLD HELL

Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 91 min

Director – Stefan Ruzowitzsky

A young Turkish woman living in Vienna feels increasingly lonely after she witnesses a murder and finds herself next on the killer’s agenda in this smart and gritty thriller from the director of ANATOMY and the Oscar-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS.

DAN DREAM

Denmark, 2017

US Premiere, 97 min

Director – Jesper Rofelt

KLOWN duo Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam reunite for a true-life tale of epic failure. Witness the non-arrival of the Danish electric car!

THE ENDLESS

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 111 min

Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

When brothers Justin and Aaron return to the cult that they escaped from ten years ago, they encounter a web of secrets and mysteries that threatens to tear them apart.

GENERATION B (GENERATIE B)

Belgium, 2017

ep. 1-4 = North American Premiere; ep. 5-6 = World Premiere, 210 min

Director – Pieter Van Hees

The generation gap has never been wider than it is in Pieter Van Hees’ deliriously absurd satire, pitting old generation money against Millennial apathy — and the occasional naked anarchist — following Belgium’s economic collapse.

GERALD’S GAME

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 103 mins

Director – Mike Flanagan

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Flanagan unites with master of the macabre Stephen King for his cinematic interpretation of King’s beloved GERALD’S GAME. Starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, GERALD’S GAME delivers pitch-perfect performances in a faithful adaptation where the horrors of the mind are much worse than what’s in front of you.

HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN’S CURSE

Germany, 2017

World Premiere, 102 min

Director – Lukas Feigelfeld

Set in the 15th Century in the Austrian Alps, Lukas Feigelfeld’s HAGAZUSSA takes us back to a dark period in which even the remotest parts of Europe suffered from the paranoia and superstition of the time.

JAILBREAK

Cambodia, 2017

US Premiere, 92 min

Director – Jimmy Henderson

Cambodia’s traditional martial art of bokator is unleashed in all its bone crunching fury in this action-packed tale of police trapped in the midst of a raging prison riot.

JUVENILE

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 87 min

Director – Bradley Buecker

The emotionally powerful story of Billy, an angry youth who spends his evenings stealing cars with best friend Mikey while attempting to cultivate a stable relationship with his girlfriend Jules.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Ireland / United Kingdom, 2017

US Premiere, 120 min

Director – Yorgos Lanthimos

The life of a brilliant surgeon is thrown into disarray when his friendship with a bizarre teenager threatens the lives of his entire family. Faced with a frightening choice, the man will be forced to assess all that he’s ever done.

KING COHEN

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 104 min

Director – Steve Mitchell

Featuring interviews from some of the biggest names in genre cinema including Joe Dante, Robert Forster and Fred Williamson, this documentary tells the story of one of the best and hardest working exploitation filmmakers.

MAUS

Spain, 2017

World Premiere, 90 min

Director – Yayo Herrero

Yayo Herrero’s directorial debut is a couple’s nightmare journey into the heart of darkness. A superlative horror parable, this shocking film is an indictment of modern history, war and the difficulties of reconciliation. It is a story for our times.

MY FRIEND DAHMER

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 107 min

Director – Marc Meyers

This is the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, a high school loner whose life would shape up to be something far more frightening than anyone could have imagined.

THE ORIGINALS

Egypt, 2017

International Premiere, 125 mins

Director – Marwan Hamed

Samir works for a bank, provides for his ever-demanding family and dreams of being in an Egyptian talent show. When he’s unexpectedly fired, Samir finds himself recruited to be part of a secret society and finds a darker side to life in Egypt.

RON GOOSSENS: LOW-BUDGET STUNTMAN

The Netherlands, 2017

North American Premiere, 78 min

Directors – Steffen Haars & Flip van der Kuil

The latest from the comedic team behind the NEW KIDS films and BROs BEFORE HOs. Ron Goossens is totally shitfaced. Only by working as a movie stuntman and bedding the hottest actress in the Netherlands can Ron save his marriage.

THE SQUARE

Sweden, 2017

US Premiere, 150 min

Director – Ruben Östlund

An art museum director’s life becomes a comedy of errors when trying to put together his latest exhibit in FORCE MAJEURE director Ruben Ostlund’s latest, which won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes.

SUPER DARK TIMES

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 102 min

Director – Kevin Phillips

A split-second act of violence forever changes the lives of two ‘90s kids. Now they must cope with both the fallout of that moment and the pressures of high school in this clever and bloody coming-of-age thriller.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

USA, 2017

US PREMIERE, 110 min

Director – Martin McDonagh

A grieving mother takes drastic measures in an attempt to catch her daughter’s killer. Challenging the police to solve the case, she posts a series of billboards that threaten the fabric of rural, Missouri.

TIGER GIRL

Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 90 min

Director – Jakob Lass

Failing to crack the ranks as a would-be cop, Maggie begrudgingly settles for a security guard job until she encounters Tiger, a fierce young woman whose rebellious antics leave Maggie questioning which side of the law she truly belongs on.

TOP KNOT DETECTIVE

Australia, 2016

North American Premiere, 87 min

Directors – Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce

Aliens! Ninjas! Robots! Enormous egos! Get ready to enter the world of TOP KNOT DETECTIVE! Possibly the greatest cult TV series you’ve never heard of, TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and its creator Takashi Tawagoto come to life in this gonzo documentary.

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Timothée Chalamet is in final talks to play Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ adaptation

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Timothee Chalamet Dune
CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES

Timothée Chalamet is going from indie to blockbuster as the 21-year-old Oscar-nominee is in final talks to star in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic Dune, an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

According to Deadline, Chalamet will be playing Paul Atreides, the son of a noble family trying to avenge his father’s death while also trying to save a spice planet that he is entrusted to protect with his life. Kyle MacLachlan played the character in the David Lynch-directed 1984 original.

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Villeneuve is directing the long-in-the-works project, which has been in development at Legendary since 2008, from a screenplay written by Oscar-winner Eric Roth. The director will also serve as a producer on the film alongside Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, while Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Thomas Tull, and Kim Herbert are executive producing.

For Chalamet, this is just another step in the right direction for the young actor, who picked up an Oscar-nomination for his outstanding breakout performance in Luca Guadagnino’s gay coming-of-age tale Call Me by Your Name back in January.

Chalamet is likely to garner some awards attention come this October when his latest film, Beautiful Boy, opens in theaters. Felix Van Groeningen directed the upcoming drama, which also stars Steve Carell, and chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

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‘Boy Erased’ trailer finds an Oscar-bound Lucas Hedges attending gay conversion therapy

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Boy Erased
FOCUS FEATURES

Focus Features has released the first trailer for Boy Erased, the coming-of-age and coming-out drama from writer/director Joel Edgerton, based on the memoir of the same name written by Garrard Conley. The film features an impressive ensemble cast which includes Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Edgerton.

The story follows Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town who is outed to his parents (Kidman, Crowe) at age 19 and is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith.

Boy Erased, which is Edgerton’s second feature film as director following the 2015 sleeper hit The Gift, also stars Cherry Jones, Michael “Flea” Balzary, Xavier Dolan, Troye Sivan, Joe Alwyn, Emily Hinkler, Jesse LaTourette, David Joseph Craig, Théodore Pellerin, Madelyn Cline, and Britton Sear.

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“I will always thank Garrard for trusting my passion for his life story,” Edgerton said in a statement last year when it was announced that Focus had acquired worldwide distribution rights to Boy Erased. “I can’t think of a better reason to get behind the camera again.”

Focus is set to release Boy Erased in select theaters just in time for the forthcoming awards season on November 2. You can check out the newly released trailer for the film below.

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‘Downton Abbey’ movie set to begin production in September with the original cast returning

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Downton Abbey
PBS

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski announced Friday morning that the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie is set to begin production this September with the original principal cast from the hit television series returning to reprise their respective roles.

According to a press release, Brian Percival, who directed the Downton Abbey pilot, is directing the film from a script written by Julian Fellowes, who created the award-winning series which picked up 15 Emmy Awards over the span of its six-season run.

Downton Abbey follows the lives of the elite Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country home. Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville all starred in the show.

“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter,” said in a statement. Kujawski.  “We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”

The film will be a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International handling distribution.

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Adds Carnival’s executive chairman Gareth Neame, who is also producing the film: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production.  Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

A release date for the Downton Abbey movie has not been announced, though it seems likely that we’ll see the film hit the big screen towards the backend of next year if production does, in fact, begin this September.

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