Five For The Future!
With this being my last shot at writing a Twitch-o-Meter in 2009 I've decided that rather than looking back - as I normally do with these things - I'm going to look forward. This column is dedicated to five young, up and coming film makers who I believe will make a big impact in 2010. Three of them will be rolling out with their first features, two with their second, none have been widely seen by audiences yet. Where possible I'll be including videos and links to official websites. And so, in alphabetical order, here they are:
Jalmari Helander - RARE EXPORTS
We get things rolling in Finland, where first time feature director Jalmari Helander has just wrapped principal photography on his Rare Exports. An expansion on a pair of earlier, hugely successful short films, Rare Exports posits a devious, underhanded, far-northern plot to conceal the truth about Santa Clause. Yes, the Nordic wave of genre film is continuing in 2010 - we've got another entry in that particular canon below - and Helander looks to be leading the charge this year. And it's not all silliness here, the man has serious technical ability, check the film festival trailer he shot earlier this year for a taste of his style.
Thomas Ikimi - LEGACY
Writer-director Thomas Ikimi first made a splash with his micro budget first feature Limbo - a film financed on the directors' credit cards while he was studying philosophy in New York - back in 2004. And while his second film has been a long time coming it is nearly here with Legacy. Ikimi promises something more akin to Hitchcock than anything you're likely to see in the multiplex today and with the great Idris Elba in the lead I expect fantastic things. Unfortunately there is no video available here but we do have a fantastic series of poster art.
Thomas Malling - NORWEGIAN NINJA
Yep, here's the second of our Nordic-wave films in the form of Thomas Malling's Norwegian Ninja. Put aside the images of the intentional cult film for a moment because while it very much is that, this one is also much more. It blends actual archival footage into a re-envisioning of the life of an actual (very well documented) Norwegian Cold War figure prosecuted as a Russian spy to create an entire, alternate view of actual history. And it's got ninjas communing with Arctic wildlife. Need another reason to get excited? Check the video below. These guys perform as stunt men in the movie. Who needs special effects when you've got people willing to throw themselves off cliffs for you?
Juan Felipe Orozco - SALUDA AL DIABLO DE MI PARTE
As Sam Raimi's recent signing of Panic Attack director Federico Alvarez shows, South America is poised to make some major inroads in the global film scene and my personal pick as far as who will lead the charge in 2010 is Colombia's Juan Felipe Orozco. Orozco's debut feature (At The End Of The Spectrum) had some success on the festival circuit but with production nearing an end on his sophomore effort, the noir tinged Saluda Al Diablo De Mi Parte, interest and expectations are ramping up sky high. And why not, when you're dealing with a director as obviously skilled as Orozco?
Calvin Lee Reeder - THE OREGONIAN
Yes, boys and girls, America's patron saint of the weird has gone and very quietly begun production on his debut feature. Calvin Lee Reeder has become a festival favorite thanks to his bizarre slices of Americana - The Rambler, The Snake Mountain Colada and Little Farm prime among them - and I expect nothing but more of the same with The Oregonian. Reeder is the Lynch of his generation and no, that is NOT over-praise. Check the trailer for The Rambler below.
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