Drafthouse Films Picks Up Cannes Premiere 'Borgman' for US Release
by Alex Billington
May 31, 2013
Gotta go Borgman! Late acquisition news from Cannes that's still worth hearing about. Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, announced today the acquisition of North American rights to the bizarro domestic thriller Borgman, directed by Alex van Warmerdam. Drafthouse's Tim League commented on the film: "It's strange, disturbing, hysterical and utterly unique. Borgman is THE quintessential Drafthouse film of Cannes. We can't wait to share it with audiences in North America." The film kept bloggers buzzing with memes like "gotta go Borgman" but didn't pick up an award at the fest.
Alex van Warmerdam's Borgman, starring Jan Bijvoet, premiered early on at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Like Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth and Michael Haneke's Funny Games, Borgman is an allegorical tale exploring the nature of evil in unexpected places. A vagrant enters the lives of an upper-class family, igniting a descent from darkly comic dream to maddening psychological nightmare. "I wanted to show evil through the abnormal behaviour of normal people," says Warmerdam at the film's Cannes press conference, "the kind that you can come across in the street." It definitely sounds like a perfect fit for Drafthouse Films.
The press release states that Borgman will get a US theatrical and VOD/digital release in 2014 (so not this year). We expect it to keep playing the film festival circuit, probably at Fantastic Fest and Toronto, before building up to the theatrical release likely early next year. We'll be keeping an eye on this. From our friend Raffi at The Film Stage: "There is no denying the subtle chiller effect of what unfolds, as Borgman gathers his followers for a ritual to take place at the family's home. The mystery behind Borgman's motivation is what compels the audience to stay glued, even if all the answers are never fully explained by the end."