fantastic Cinema : 5 documentaries to discover them

The film is not only a work of the filmmakers, the audience will also have their role to play in the erection of the cult film. I propose you a selection of five documentaries where the movie-goers, we face the object of their fascination.


directed by Fabien Delage, with Christophe Gans, Philippe Rouyer and Pauline Méliès.

Among all the functions that you assign to the cinema, to the documentary by Fabien Delage questions the place that has pioneered the media in a narrow zone between dream and nightmare. The Rage of the devil is the title of a short film dated 1897 by different historians, and assigned most of them to the great Georges Méliès, a pioneer of the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror on the big screen.

The only example on film of the short disappears mysteriously in 1939, only to reappear just as mysteriously, in 2012; and when the work is to be found surrounded by a fascinating aura. A myth cinéphilique that can be seen with distance as the precipitate of a variety of cultures, the gothic spiritualism, through the conjuring. Recall that this latter discipline was the first pitch of game of Méliès and that throughout his film career, he experimented with the techniques of framing, editing and special effects, in order to transpose to the screen the magic that was, until then, a scenic art.

If one lifts regularly an eyebrow puzzled by hearing the testimonies suckers of different stakeholders, there is no question of making, in the end, the difference between the various degrees of credibility. No, let’s keep in mind that it is a tribute to the master Méliès as well as his long line of magicians of the seventh art, and let us be carried by the story of this film haunted, as one accepts to be the spectators of an illusion, a dreamlike journey, a waking dream, a nightmare tasty.

Theatrical release march 29, 2017


produced by Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso, with Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante and John Landis

Subtitled The Frankenstein Complex, the documentary by Alexandre Poncet and Gilles Penso brings together the testimonials of the big names in entertainment, hollywood, referring to each their experience as it was to imagine a creature and then entrust the development to the great teachers in the field. And Creature Designers retraces the major hours of the pratical effect, by paying homage to these artisans combines multiple know-how, from sculpture to mechanical, passing by the makeup and the marionnetisme, in order to give life to as many monsters as wonders.

The viewer could almost be fun to build a genealogical tree of this family of technicians/artists. Willis O’brienpioneered the stop-motion King Kong in 1934 was the mentor of Ray Harryhausen , which led to the discipline up to the visual poetry with Jason and the Argonauts in 1963. Phil Tippett, a child in california will remain amazed by the work of these two masters, to the point of becoming an expert of the animation frame-by-frame in the 70’s and 80’s, including Star Wars and RoboCop on his card. In the seventies, Rick Baker made a name for himself in the field of masks, make-up and prosthetics, is an additional point to be the first artist to be credited to the special makeup effects in a generic. 1981 will remain the year of the clash between Baker and his former assistant, became his rival, Rob Bottin; Baker is in charge of the dramatic changes in the Werewolf of London, Bottin will issue a work just as impressive to Howl.

The documentary does not avoid the painful period of transition between the pratical effect, and the synthetic image, which made believe to the audience a more emotional, that this world of latex, wires, and hair pieces which had illumined their childhood, was on the brink of extinction buried on a tsunami of pixels. Fortunately, today there are still filmmakers like Guillermo Del Toro or J. J. Abrams quick to defend the different know-how within a single production. Remains a ghost hovering over the film of Poncet and Penso, Rob Bottin, disappeared from the screens-radar for the last twenty years, after having definitively left the hollywood industry. Despite his physical absence during the testimonies, the Book manages to install its aura of a cult artist, in the words of the other stakeholders. Bottin, everyone gets off your creations in The Thing, Legend or Seven; seriously, it does not need that you play the rock-stars, to recognize your genius.

Soon to be available in DVD and Blu-ray from Carlotta


directed by Frank Pavichwith Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux and Nicolas Winding-Refn

The loop is closed for the exuberant Alejandro Jodorowsky; after having fuelled the fantasies of movie-goers for forty years, he became the storyteller of his own legend in front of the camera of Frank Pavich. “Jodo” tells the story with passion and excess, his project aborted adaptation of the cult novel by Frank Herbert, Dune, which he hoped to convey on the big screen psychotronique and metaphysics “chéper in chéper”, so say the purists.

The ambition of the man is not thin, but the idea is in phase with the experiments of madness of the 70’s; also two French producers, Michel Seydoux and Jean-Paul Gihon, believe keep enough there to mount a production grand, a space opera without common measure with what has already been done at this time (we are four years before the release of Star Wars). The filmmaker chilean has already demonstrated its potential in the field of visual delirium with El Topo and The holy Mountain, and despite his ego and his temperament is exalted, it is no doubt that the representation of the universe of Dune is going to ask him for a huge amount of work. It is for this reason that Jodo is surrounded by a pool of artists coming from different backgrounds, and yet able to incorporate their style in this creative madness. Moebius to storyboard, Christopher Foss for the design of vessels, H. R Giger to the civilization Harkonnen and Dan O’bannon for special effects.

Adding to it that Jodorowsky will spend months courting the various personalities of the era to compose his cast, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali; the project seemed to become more and more strong at the same time that he gained ambition. Alas, our world is cruel, money is his only master, and none of the rich decision-makers to whom was presented the project cannot be risked to invest a single dollar on this blockbuster alternative. The documentary by Frank Pavich doesn’t give the right response to these great wicked financial; so we need to settle for the version of the producers, who assume today, that the pedigree of Jodo (all except that of a yes man to the studio) and the abundance of hand-made artistic were taken for a form of irresponsibility by these decision-makers gun-shy.

Available on DVD and Blu-ray in Nour Films


produced by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, with Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb

Fetishists, I admit, sometimes it can make you freak out; but those of them that are close to everything to fully enjoy their delirium, it commands respect. In the pool of movie-goers, fetish stand out three strong fine-bred specimens to entertainment eighties of Papa Spielberg. Chris, Eric and Jayson were barely eleven years old when they decide to occupy their summer of 1982 to return to plan by plan, at the bottom of the garden or the garage, the film that has so fascinated them, they like most americans of their age : The Raiders of the lost ark.

Personally, I confess myself to be frequently mistaken for Indiana Jones when I was a kid, and I see that I was not the only one. But here, where this should be confined to a funny game supposed to relieve boredom in a small town in Mississippi, a bit of madness transforms the project into a real shooting, a real desire to make films. The makers of the film are Chris, Eric and Jayson, the three protagonists of this adventure cinéphilique out of the ordinary in 2016, when the last scene should be rotated so that the copy of the original film to be compliant. Become adults, in their forties, parents to some, the former accomplices as well as their entourage who participated in the filming, testify in front of the camera for two documentary makers, and do not seem to have themselves figured out how to a project as crazy was able to see the light of day.

For seven consecutive summers, Chris, Eric and Jayson are dedicated to this homage, this celebration of an object of worship, what need to do to enter an energy larger than life in the normalcy of everyday life. And year after year, the techniques, the visual effects, the stunts became more and more elaborate as the three children became teenagers more and more sure of themselves and finally conclude this dream of a kid at forty years past, in order not to disappoint the children they were and that they hope even today have retained the ability to adventure and wonder. Difficult to understand how these three fans have been able to demonstrate both determination between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age, especially in this period of the life of the most turbulent. Some of the stories are trying to connect the icon Indiana Jones to the figure of surrogate father, in order to explain that a generation of children of divorced and has specifically chose this work as your playground. An interesting track, which lacks the comment of some experts, child psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, theorists of the cinema; that would have been very relevant to speak of the dramatic effect of a work of pop culture on the lives of some of the spectators are particularly responsive to it.

Available on Netflix

ROOM 237

Directed by Rodney Ascher, with Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks and Juli Kearns.

Rarely has a documentary had seemed as close of an experience of LSD. The viewer enters Room 237 as in a closed universe, which modulates the flow over time and space of its image and its sound design, so that all the paths takes the visitor back tirelessly to the charm troubling Shining, the cult movie of Stanley Kubrick. In this closed universe, where time is of the Shining, the space is Shining, and God and the devil are two sides of Shining, the documentary filmmaker Rodney Ascher lives, or rather suspended his life for an indefinite period of time, in order to be able to comprehend all the secrets of the film that fascinated.

For Room 237, Ascher has interviewed other viewers that they no longer seem to have never recovered from their encounter with the famous film; and each of them tries to explain why he has made it an object of fascination. The theories follow one another, as shown in the screen by extracts are adequate, which the comments we constantly call upon to collect hidden symbols, the sub-text more-or-less pulled by the hair, thus adding to the confusion in our minds. In some cases, the images were slowed to allow better distinguishing the element of the decor of the famous Overlook Hotel is supposed to be the key to all the mysteries. Images in slow-motion, a music, while also dissenting, a poster or a box of yeast on which we rest secure as if you were in front of an artifact demonic; and I’ve warned you, if you don’t like the LSD, it is better to keep you out of the universe strange Room 237.

And then, gradually, they let themselves be carried by the slow and hypnotic vortex of images that make up the project delusional. After a theory paranoid about the links between Kubrick and the Apollo 11 moon landing, after much other discourse on the massacre of the indians, or on a sacrifice inca (yes, there’s something for all tastes), there is a moment of visual poetry where Shining not only reveal to us the secrets contained in the form that we know him: the film adopts a sudden a new form when Ascher experiences an effect of montage, overlapping the beginning of the film to its end. Then, the image in which the server in the bar made a few confessions to Jack in the toilet, is superimposed on the image of Danny looking at the têle. It would be more prudent for Jack that about it exchange with the server remain between the two men, but by the effect of superposition, their mouths end up in the screen of the television. In the end, the viewer does not need to take drugs, the film in his place.

Available on Netflix, and on DVD and Blu-ray at Wild Bunch Distribution



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