Fantastic Fest Unleashes Wave Two
Alumni Adam Wingard, Nacho Vigalondo, Ti West return, and more
By Richard Whittaker,
11:00AM, Thu. Aug. 18, 2011
Fantastic Fest loves its alumni: The second wave for 2011 just escaped, with veterans Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die) and Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) on the bill. Plus there's China's highest grossing movie, the regional premier of Lars Von Trier's Melancholia and a retrospective on Ti West (The Innkeepers.)
On top of that, there will be a bunch of world and US premieres and Grady Hendrix of the New York Asian Film Festival will be on hand to introduce Movies on Fire: Hong Kong Action Classics, a secret selection of four supergonzo action hits from the golden age of Hong Kong exploitation cinema.
The fearless FF crew announced round one of their films back in July (including several eagerly-awaited restored prints and super-anthology ABCs of Death) and we've been given the (severed) head's up that there will be more big announcements yet to come. So what else will be unfurling its black wings over Austin screens across Sept. 22-29?
D: Kitao Sakurai (live in person) Japan, 80 minutes
Larry (Aardvark’s blind-since-birth protagonist) has an innate curiosity that lands him smack in the middle of a bizarre criminal underworld replete with mixed martial arts, intrigue, murder and pillow humping.
D: Ahn Sang-hoon, Korea, 111 minutes
A blind woman narrowly escapes from the clutches of a serial killer. When he circles back to get rid of any witnesses, the woman must rely on her other acute senses to identify and outwit the killer.
Calibre 9 (2011)
D: Jean-Christian Tassy (Tassy and producer Axel Guyot live in person), France, 84 minutes
A city planner becomes strangely linked to a gun possessed by the soul of a dead hooker.
The Corridor (2010)
D: Evan Kelly (live in person), Canada, 100 minutes
Five friends stay in a remote cabin for the weekend and uncover a supernatural anomaly in the woods.
D: Nacho Vigalondo (Vigalondo and producer Nahikari Ipiña live in person), Spain, 90 minutes
A man wakes in a strange apartment after a long night of drinking. When his unfamiliar bedmate tries to usher him out, they both discover that spaceships are hovering over Madrid.
D: Morten Tyldum, Norway, 100 Minutes Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is good at two things: hiring people and stealing from them. He'll risk it all when he meets a former mercenary who owns a painting worth millions.
The Innkeepers (2010)
D: Ti West (live in person), USA, 101 Minutes
Luke and Claire work the desk at a quaint, failing hotel. On their last night, these two amateur ghost-hunters try to capture definitive proof that their workplace is haunted. The Innkeepers kicks off a Ti West retrospective at the Alamo Drafthouse sponsored by the Austin Film Society.
Let The Bullets Fly (2010)
D: Jiang Wen, Hong Kong, 132 minutes
The highest grossing domestic Chinese release ever, Let the Bullets Fly features the hilarious and bloody antics of a band of thieves traveling by train in this 1920s-set western satire. Writer/Director Jiang Wen stars opposite screen legend Chow Yun-Fat.
D: Lars von Trier, Denmark, 130 minutes
The man who brought us Fantastic Fest hit Antichrist creates a very different type of genre film – an incredibly personal science fiction story about the end of the world.
D: Markus Schleinzer, 96 minutes
Setting the record for the darkest of character studies, Markus Schleinzer’s compelling and surprisingly humorous directorial debut follows five months in the lives of a pedophile and the ten-year-old boy he keeps in the basement.
Pastorela: A Christmas Play (2011)
D: Emilio Portes Castro, Mexico, 90 minutes
Fantastic Fest again hosts another untraditional Christmas movie; this time Santa Claus is out and Satan is in. When Chucho (Joaquín Cosio) loses the beloved role of Satan in the town’s Christmas play and tries to reclaim the part, all hell breaks loose and an epic battle between good and evil begins.
D: Adrian Garcia Bogliano and Ramiro Garcia Bogliano (Bogliano and producer Andre Quiroz live in person), Argentina, 85 minutes
A beautiful young woman is trapped in her apartment with a nervous realtor and an expanding cast of unsettling characters in the latest from the director of Cold Sweat.
Sleep Tight (2011)
D: Jaume Balagueró (life in person), Spain, 102 minutes
The location is familiar (a vertical shaft Barcelona apartment building) but the story is markedly different in Jaume Balagueros' (Rec; Rec 2) solo feature debut. Lonely doorman Cesar must do whatever is necessary to keep the neighbors from uncovering his dark, disturbing obsession for his favorite resident Clara.
Snowman's Land (2011)
D: Tomasz Thomson, Germany, 95 minutes
Tomasz Thomson's Snowman's Land is a bleak comedic thriller from Germany about an over-the-hill hit man who gets sent to the remote snow-covered wilderness to handle a job that may be his last.
D: Jaime Osorio, Columbia, 107 minutes
Haunted by memories of their last mission, a feuding special ops unit is tasked to uncover the mystery of what happened at a desolate military base in this tense and claustrophobic South American thriller.
North American Premiere D: Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 85 minutes
Oscar and Lara have an entirely normal family other than the fact that Oscar runs a haunted house in their basement and Lara speaks with elves.
You're Next (2011)
D: Adam Wingard (live in person), USA, 95 minutes
From the team behind the Fantastic Fest award-winning film A Horrible Way to Die, You're Next traps a family inside secluded mansion in the middle of nowhere. Outside the home is a group of animal-masked killers who take a stab at making sure none of them leave alive.