Friday night’s world premiere of Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec prompted massive queues for the screening.
The Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival may have opened with Olatunde Osunsanmi’s US chiller The Fourth Kind, but it was Friday night’s world premiere of Luc Besson’s new film The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec that was the early highlight of the festival, prompting massive queues for the screening.
The much-anticipated period fantasy romp, based on cartoonist Jacques Tardi’s original stories, is set just before World War I and stars Louise Bourgoin as the fearless journalist tackling a walking mummy and a freshly hatched pterodactyl on the streets of Paris. The film is handled internationally by EuropaCorp, and opens in France and Belgium on April 14.
The festival - or BIFFF as it is known - is now in its 28th year, and has a strong reputation for gathering together a broad range of fantasy films, ranging from hard-core gore movies through to warm-hearted anime. Its audience is also known for their enthusiastic shouting during screenings (screaming ‘it’s behind you’ if a monster/killer stalks the hero, or simply howling if there is a shot of a full moon), but director Luc Besson seemed happy to enter into proceedings.
He and lead actress Louise Bourgoin playfully introduced the film and were more than happy play along with the shouts from the audience, and at one point even sang for the crowd. The fantasy adventure is Besson’s first film as a director since 2005’s Angel-A.
Other films screening during the 13-day festival include Neil Jordan’s Ondine; Park Chan-wook’s Thirst; Michael J Basset’s Solomon Kane; Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me, and Breck Eisner’s The Crazies. BIFFFcloses April 19 with Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass. The festival also features a Japanimation Day and a Zombie parade, as well as the annual Vampire’s Ball.