In a few weeks, Austin, Texas will be host to one of the most incredible genre film festivals in the world. While we sadly won’t be able to attend this year’s Fantastic Fest, we are having a blast covering it from afar. The fine programmers are slowly teasing out the incredible line-up of films, and special guests.
Just yesterday it was announced that Roger Corman and his lovely wife Julie will be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the festival, and I couldn’t be happier for all involved. I know this year has been tremendous for Roger, with all of the DVDs and Blu-rays that Shout! Factory have been releasing, the Comic Con panel that Shout helped organize, and now this award from Fantastic Fest, the Corman’s must be riding an incredible wave of joy. We’ve written about several of the Corman Collection releases over the past few months, and Shout! Factory doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Along with the award, Fantastic Fest will be hosting a Corman double feature in the form of Machete Maidens Unleashed and Sharktopus & at the Paramount (doors open at 9, show starts at 10).
Last week it was also announced that the director / choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping will be receiving a lifetime achievement award as well, in conjuction with the release of his latest work, True Legend. Tickets for the event went on sale this morning, so I’d hurry and order yours sooner rather than later, as this will be a highlight of the festival. The True Legend gala event will be at the Paramount Theater in Austin (one of my favorites while at SXSW), Saturday, September 25th
Doors @ 6:00pm / Show @ 7:00pm.
A few weeks back we brought you the second wave of films, and today the list got even longer with their third wave. Of all the films on the list below, without even reading too deeply into the plots or watching the trailers, I have to say that I’m realy interested in catching Agnosia when it hits Portland, as I love all of the filmmakers involved, and their past work on the Orphanage. I’m also really curious to see what Naan Kadavul has to offer. While I am interested in seeing the graphic novel adaptation of RED, I don’t think it’s high on my list, when there are so many rare, independent, and foreign movies that will be screening at the festival. Finally, I have to mention the most fantastic piece of news hidden in this press release: a Spaceballs quote-along with Lonestar himself, Bill Pullman. Spaceballs is one of those movies that I can fall asleep watching, wake up at any random point in the movie, and start speaking the dialogue in unison with the characters. It’s one movie that still cracks me up for the stupidest lines. It’s also a movie that I know I’m going to share one day with my children, to preserve this irreverent movie into the ages. While they are also showing Independence Day, and planning on making fun of the movie along with Bill Pullman, I’d have to imagine that Spaceballs will be so much more fun.
In total, I’ve heard that there will be something close to 75 films screening at the festival, which means that it is going to be an adventure for those lucky enough to land a full week’s film badge. If you haven’t picked up your tickets yet, don’t worry as there are still individual days left, and I believe you can still pick up passes for the second half of the festival. No matter how you slice it, the dollars per film that you’ll be paying for this festival is far less expensive than any other film festival around, let alone just going out to the movies in Anytown, USA.
Are you heading to Austin for Fantastic Fest? What are you most excited about? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
PREMIERE SCREENINGS Agnosia (2010)
Director: Eugenio Mira, Spain, World Premiere
The producers of Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage present a truly unique romantic thriller from Fantastic Fest veteran Eugenio Mira (The Birthday). ‘I’ve read few screenplays in my life that have impressed me as much as Agnosia,’ said director Guillermo del Toro. Director Eugenio Mira will be live in person.
Director: Guy Moshe, USA, US Premiere
In a world with no guns, a mysterious drifter (Josh Hartnett), a young samurai and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) plot revenge against a ruthless leader (Ron Perlman) and his army of thugs, headed by nine diverse and deadly assassins. This visually stunning film is filled with uniquely choreographed action sequences of a new style that melds east with west and old school with new. Director Guy Moshe will be live in person.
Mother’s Day (2010)
Director Darren Bousman, USA, Sneak Preview
After a botched robbery, three brothers, one severely injured, burst into their mother’s house, only to find that she lost it months earlier in a foreclosure. The new owners (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers’ unwitting hostages. With the situation quickly devolving, the brothers have only one choice: call Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) to mastermind their escape. Director Darren Bousman, Rebecca DeMornay & Jaime King will be live in person.
Director: Robert Schwentke, USA, Sneak Preview
Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels RED is an explosive action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Frank, Joe, Marvin and Victoria used to be the CIA’s top agents ‘“ but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history. Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings) will be live in person.
SPECIAL EVENT SCREENINGS Class of 1984
Special screening to celebrate the debut of new book ‘DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film’ edited by Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly. More info on the book here.
The year is 1984. A rabid pack of rampaging punk teens run our schools, our drugs and our prostitutes. Brutality and decadence are everywhere. Enter first-year teacher Andrew Norris (Perry King), who’s forced to violently turn the tables on the bloodthirsty gang before their trashwave swallows the town alive. Writer/director Mark L. Lester’s reckless masterpiece debuted at Cannes Film Festival to severely divided reviews.
What detractors and many thrill-seeking fans both sadly overlooked was the fact that the movie had been done exactly right. Each actor turns in a memorable, convincing performance amid knifings and punk slam pits. Beloved ham Roddy McDowall pulls off what may have been his best scene of the decade. The film moves constantly forward at full speed, with humor and intelligent dialogue balancing out the horrors perpetrated by the vicious teens. Class of 1984 is a perfect exploitation film. It’s relentlessly seedy, overflowing with assault, suicide, racism, drug use and crime crime crime, all of which is perpetrated by minors! The tension of victimization and vengeance create some of the most stirring scenes of violent retribution on record. But beyond all this, there’s a bitterly absorbing air of human helplessness and leather-clad heartlessness that makes this movie the flat-out best in its genre.
Master Pancake Theater ‘“ Independence Day
During Fantastic Fest 6, the boys of Master pancake will be skewering the It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World of sci-fi disaster flicks. Featuring a massive cast of pretty good A-listers (Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum) and awesome B-listers (Judd Hirsch, Harry Connick Jr., and Brent ‘Data’ Spiner) in the fight of their lives against a horde of invading aliens. Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle called ID4: ‘A gasping, bloated roller-coaster ride that veers from scenes of truly awesome destruction to stretches of numbingly bad melodrama and back again.’ The president himself, Bill Pullman, will be joining the Pancake team to mock the hell out of this bloated rollercoaster.
Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody is soooo much more than just a parody film, bursting with the sorts of jokes that the writers of all the recently-made and vastly inferior ‘spoof films’ only wish they could dream up. If your Schwartz is as big as mine, you’re probably uncomfortably excited with just the prospect of this show happening. Somewhere in space, Dot Matrix’s virgin alarm is ringing loudly. For this special voyage of the Eagle V, Lone Star himself (Bill Pullman) will be live in person to kick off the fun.
The Intergalactic Nemesis
The year is 1933. Pulitzer-winner Molly Sloan and her assistant Timmy Mendez are on the trail of a story so big, it’s impossible to believe. The Intergalactic Nemesis is a truly unique live show. Imagine a modern spin on the radio serial that combines projections of 1250 hand-drawn comic illustrations, 3 voice actors performing a wide array of characters, a foley artist performing 100s of sound effects and an award winning pianist performing a riveting live score. You’ve never experienced anything like it!
ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILM OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 14 Blades (2010)
Director Daniel Lee, Hong Kong, Regional Premiere
Betrayed by his fellow Imperial bodyguard soldiers, Qinglong (Donny Yen) must seek out and rally the loyalists to rise and restore the Emperor to power. In his way are the deadliest assassins in the land, his former brethren, the Jinyiwei.
Bibliotheque Pascal (2010)
Director Szabolcs Hajdu, Hungary/France, Regional Premiere
In order to regain custody of her daughter, Mona sets off on a surreal journey that will take her to the shadowy world of sexual slavery in Bibliotheque Pascal, the strangest brothel you could ever conceive.
Cold Fish (2010)
Director: Sion Sono, Japan, Regional Premiere
Equal parts black humor and bloody dementia in this true crime portrait of a Japanese tropical fish dealer responsible for over forty murders.
A Horrible Way To Die (2010)
Director: Adam Wingard, USA, US Premiere
When a serial killer escapes from prison, the dangerous past of a young woman dealing with alcoholic rehab quickly begins to catch up with her. Director Adam Wingard will be live in person.
In the Attic (2009)
Director: Jiri Barta, Czech Republic, Regional Premiere
Courageous toys from an old suitcase undertake a dangerous journey through a forsaken attic to rescue their friend, Buttercup a beautiful doll who finds herself in the clutches of the all-powerful plaster Head, ruler of the Empire of Evil.
The Last Circus (Balada Triste) (2010)
Director: Ãlex de la Iglesia, Spain, US Premiere
Ãlex de la Iglesia’s genius for dark humor is at its most eloquent in his latest parody about the Spanish Civil War. Two clowns attack and disfigure one another in jealous rages over a beautiful dancer. In the name of love, they destroy the very object of their affection. Director Ãlex de la Iglesia will be live in person.
Mutant Girl Squad (2010)
Directors: Tak Sakaguchi, Noburu Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Japan, Regional Premiere
In 2009, Tak Sakaguchi (Be A Man! Samurai School), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and Noboru Iguchi (Robogeisha), got drunk and vowed to make a movie together. One year later, here it is. This splatter-ific, fetishy, hyperactive take on the X-Men is going to shock, horrify and delight you. Director Yoshihiro Nishimura live in person.
Naan Kadavul (2009)
Director: Bala, India, North American Premiere
Naan Kadavul is like an Alejandro Jodorowsky version of a Bollywood movie. A long haired Vedic ubermensch burns corpses, lives in graveyards, smokes dope, beats up people, and proclaims himself to be God before eventually become the savior to a collective of severely deformed beggars. Do not miss this film.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
Director: Jalmari Helander, Finland, US Premiere
Santa Claus is somewhat less than jolly ‘“ in fact, he’s the stuff nightmares are made of ‘“ in Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports, an atmospheric and witty re-working of a cherished folk tale. Co-writer and co-creator Juuso Helander will be live in person.
Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission (2010)
Director: Mike Woolf, USA, Encore screening
Last year Richard Garriott became the first son of an astronaut to go to space, but this is no millionaire’s joy ride, he pioneered private space travel to make his dream come true: from his training in Russia to his launch in Kazahkstan to the dramatic, never before seen footage inside the capsule during fiery re-entry, this is a historic moment in human space travel. Richard Garriott live in person.
Summer Wars (2009)
Director: Mamoru Hosoda, Japan, Austin Premiere
When an online social networking community gets attacked by a piece of sentient malware that threatens to deliver a denial of service attack to the entire world, one girl and her massive extended family unites to restore peace to cyberspace. Gorgeously animated with tons of heart and soul to boot, SUMMER WARS is one of our favorite anime titles in recent years.
Director: Damir Lukacevic, France, North American Premiere
Herman and Anna, a wealthy aging couple decides to extend their lives by leasing the bodies of two young Africans. For one million euros, the Africans signed away their lives for 20 hours a day, but in the 4 hours a day they have back in their own bodies, they begin to regret the arrangement.