This is the second year I’ve attended Fantastic Fest. It’s the largest ‘genre’ film fest in the U.S. and is held at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Location in Austin. Here is a link to my post last year which gives a more detailed description of the fest. I really enjoy this fest as it has some great movies from all over the world and many you are not likely to see anywhere else. It also has some great activities going on at The Highball . Here is a link to the schedule (which includes the Highball activities).
Here are some hilights from the first 4 days (this goes for 8 days):
A really cool German film. They made this 2 hour 15 minute movie in a single take as they move through multiple locations in Berlin. The single take was incredibly impressive. The movie follows Victoria as she parties, meets some people and makes some increasingly bad decisions. Very interesting.
Charlie Kaufman’s latest. This is all done in stop motion animation This is an exploration of one man’s psyche and sort of depressing. I think I liked it more for the animation and because of the Q+A with Kaufman. This film was also preceded by Don Hertzfeldt’s latest cartoon which was good (and he was there too).
The Brand New Testament
A French comedy about God’s daughter going off to find her own apostles and writing a new testament. Very funny (although some might be offended).
Son of Saul
This won awards at Cannes and is a great but very sad/depressing film. It takes place in a concentration camp during WWII over a day when one of the Jews that is forced to help the Nazis in the concentration camps finds what he believes is his dead sons body and wants to have a proper Jewish burial. Very powerful.
This is like last years Snowpiercer about class struggles but takes place in a high rise instead of a moving train. Entertaining but too long. See Snowpiercer instead.
Liza the Fox Fairy
I liked this one a lot. A dark comedy about a woman striving for true love. Very unique with a musical ghost.
Man vs. Snake
One of my all time favorite documentaries is ‘King of Kong’. It’s about Steve Wiebe trying to set a world record in Donkey Kong and is both hilarious and moving. Man vs. Snake is a documentary about the quest to get a billion points in a lesser know video game called Nibbler. This is also a funny documentary with lots off twists and turns. It’s good but I’d still recommend King of Kong first.
Schneider vs. Bax
Another good dark comedy. This one is about 2 hit man assigned to kill each other.
This is a sequel to a Borat like comedy that I really loved called Klown. Klown was hilarious, totally inappropriate and unique. The sequel is good, but not as good as the original.