Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Talking the NZIFF's Incredibly Strange 2018 with Ant Timpson

Talking the NZIFF's Incredibly Strange 2018 with Ant Timpson

The world of the Incredibly Strange returns to the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival - and with it, a chance to settle some scores with director curator Ant Timpson.

So, let's get into it.

We have a combative approach to these Q&As Ant - are you feeling more mellow in 2018 as we roll this dice again?
I am as mellow as the recommended dosage on the box allows me to be.

So, The Field Guide To Evil has a "Ant Timpson" credit - any relation, and how is this film worthy of inclusion?
Field Guide To Evil

The Strange side-bar this year has been "NEPOTASTIC" by myself this year to ward off any accusations that I use the festival as my own vehicle to screen films I have made or am associated to
the filmmakers in some form.  THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL is a global anthology film about dark folklore from each country. We hand selected some phenomenal filmmakers that we felt were perfect for the project. It's very much in the arthouse horror vein - and a long way away from the anarchy of the other series I did -THE ABCS OF DEATH. 

Climax seems like Gaspar Noe's reputation continues - why should this escape the censor?Well the only hubbub at Cannes about Noe's new film CLIMAX was really about how brilliant it was and a real return to form for the provocateur behind IRREVERSIBLE and ENTER THE VOID.


Anyone who saw those at the CIVIC can remember them being experiences first and foremost and that's what you get with Noe on form. The censor or classification office are probably too busy
watching CAPTURED BY EWOKS 11 to worry about CLIMAX.  
It is the only film I have programmed sight and unseen - that is how confident I am in the filmmaker delivering.

I'll hold my hands up and say Mega Time Squad is the best thing I've seen at the NZIFF this year - sell it to those who don't care about my opinion (not many people in that bracket, I can tell you,)
Well anyone who just gets off their arse and goes and makes an entire feature in NZ without waiting for a handout deserves some applause first and foremost. And its even worth celebrating more when the actual film is good.
I've known Tim Van Dammen for awhile and at one stage he was bouncing some wild ideas for a low budget feature that maybe we could make together - it didn't happen but he did get to Thames for a bit and managed to work and knock out a feature there. And it's very much all TVD - he's a natural visual filmmaker - he has a good ear for the vernacular and he manages to pull in solid folks to help out. The film is a deliriously low-fi loopy crime comedy with the added attraction of featuring some time-loop hijinks - which I think audiences love seeing played with in films. 

This is going to win over local audiences very easily but I also see its small time parochial charms
playing offshore just as well. It's a love letter to small town NZ in many ways... it's mad and anarchic and silly and everything you want from a filmmaker throwing everything they had at it - everything except a shitload of money which probably would have resulted in a film with better FX but a lot emptier in spirit.
Mega Time Squad

Liquid Sky - nice to have something from the past in there?Well this was a seminal film for our fest director Bill - it was the film that kind of caused a shift in the structure of the festival. That would be enough on its own for inclusion. It was also a film that cinephile cult heads like myself were drawn to around that period. I saw the film on a late show as it played many times after its premiere. It's hard to describe how other-worldly it seemed at the time. The incredible thing is that it still does feel a bit like that - it's dated, but it's also dated so much that it now feels timely.

Psycho and Psychotropic, Mandy seems to have real appeal for the Hollywood Theatre crowd - why should we see Nic in his tighty whities?

Mandy for some will be one of those films experiences that you will remember exactly when and  how you saw it for a long time. Especially if you take any edibles before arriving. Actually don't do that - the Hollywood staff don't want to deal with morons leaping off the balcony screaming CAGE IS CHRIST!

I don't have to hard sell this demonic ride into instant cult stardom - those who know about it have booked already and those who miss out - were never supposed to see it in the first place.

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn seems destined for cult appeal - and a certain Conchord's there too - why's it the best?

This is the follow-up film from the wonderful Jim Hosking who I made The Greasy Strangler with.  His sophomore film is nothing like Greasy and yet it still could easily inhabit an area of the same universe. It may also play divisively like his first which is a shame but just the nature of someone
uninterested in making films to appeal to mass audiences - he makes things that he thinks are funny. Unlike his debut film, this is chockfull of memorable faces and yes there's Jemaine Clement stealing the film from Aubrey Plaza, Craig Robinson and Emilie Hirsch.  It's a peculiar love story much like Greasy was as well but I think more accessible - the comedy not as grotesque and there are a few surprising touching moments to boot. 

Blue My Mind, Let the Corpses Tan - are these pieces of prestige premier Incredibly Strange?
You do realise all your questions could be pretty much crunched into one question - tell me about this year's lineup - yet you insist on dragging this thing out so much longer than necessary. 

It's just lazy - you don't even try to ask anything more indepth than tell me about 'X' film - I should just put wiki links next to each question. Actually I am going to do that but use RT which is basically if Satan operated a review aggregation site it would be Rotten Tomatoes. 
That's giving it as much effort as you have so far. I really tried to be positive with my responses to you but fuck me man - how do you even call yourself a film writer in any capacity?  
The only way this interview could be lazier is if you got the fest PR team to write your inane
questions and email it through.. oh wait - you DID DO THAT.??
What Keeps you Alive
I am so busy overseas - I've had to leave the NZFF for work this year and it's painful but nowhere near as painful as having to respond to this garbage interview.
I am looking at the hotel window right now and seriously thinking.....thinking about THROWING YOU OUT OF IT..

BLUE MY MIND - 100% 

My old friends Bruno and Helene who made LET THE CORPSES TAN - they are truly special people. Incredibly talented filmmakers who will be in NZ to do Q&As...  Darren if you want to live - make sure everyone know about their visit and their film.  Or else.

Piercing, Terrified, What Keeps You alive - I've got a gun to your head, tell me which of these you choose as your death row film and why?
Remember I have tossed you out of the 22nd floor of this hotel we're in so the gun is hitting the ground just as your brains splatter and slither across to the curb below.


TERRIFIED - no one knows about this film. Just go see it. It's something quite special in a demented way. 

What's been your favourite question this year in the Q&A - and the one you wish I'd asked?

10) Would you be happy if I was thrown out of the 22nd floor of a hotel?

Generally, how has the IS genre been for choices this year?Generally brilliantly curated on all accounts.

You're in Canada now, I believe, any chance you could pick me up some duty free?
Let me guess.  A giant Toblerone right ?

You can get even more information on the Incredibly Strange section at nziff.co.nz.

Thanks, Ant Timpson for your time from abroad; very much appreciated - and the police will be in touch about your violent tendencies toward me.

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