This year Continent B focuses on villains. Of course, seven films are not enough to even touch on the subject. Yet, this programme will give viewers an opportunity to see most interesting films and have a glimpse of the theme.
To start with, two films by Fernando Mendez, made up of the stuff of nightmares: El Vampiro, a classic which heralds the sensual and calm (hence even more frightening) villain played by Christopher Lee a year later in Terence Fisher’s Dracula; and the much less known, yet remarkable Misterios de ultratumba, in which a doctor gone astray tries to find out what happens after death — a bad idea, as he unleashes forces which greatly overwhelm his own.
Then, a brand new horror film from Thailand: Thanit Jitnukul’s Art of the Devil, which meets the criteria of the genre, including an ability to imagine really horrifying situations. There is no shortage of horrifie and cruel predicaments in Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer, a film presented in partnership with the Katorza cinema’s “Absurde séance”.
Chaalbaaz was a huge success in India. This is a delightful comedy, a perfect Bollywood piece of candy, as sweet as the characterisation is sour, with cupid, violent and sly adoptive parents whose wickedness is the driving force of the film.
The Japanese chambara, The Great Killing, is a dark, tense and violent film. It is an opportunity to shed light on the gifted, though largely unknown here, director Kudo Eiichi.
Finally, Chinese Odyssey 2002, a knight’s adventure where women are men and vice versa, is part of the programme for the sake of contrast (and for the viewer’s relief), as the film contains only traces of villain characters and even seems to refuse to allow them in its plot.
Special thanks to Marie Suzuki (Japan Foundation) and Pankuj Parashar.