Fantastic Fest Unleashes Final Wave
New films from Charlie Kaufman and Owen Egerton join fest
By Richard Whittaker,
12:00PM, Wed. Sep. 9, 2015
More veterans and new, yet familiar faces fill out the final list of announced titles for Fantastic Fest 2015. Today's list adds 21 new titles and repertory screenings, from cutting-edge dramas to historical oddities, and highly touted critical darlings that could dominate next year's awards season.
The festival has already announced a slew of high-profile and eagerly awaited titles, including Ridley Scott's The Martian, Patrick Stewart vehicle Green Room, the long-gestating adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise, and period horror The Witch.
Topping the list this time around is Anomalisa, the newest title from writer/director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York). Festival co-founder and Alamo Drafthouse boss Tim League called it "fabulous. It's stop-motion animation, and all the voices except for one character are done by Tom Noonan. You're like, 'Why is this happening?' For the first five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and then you're, 'Ah, I get it, and it's beautiful.'" He added, "It's not the first puppet movie to have explicit sex, but it follows a nice tradition."
While the festival is best known for genre films, League was most excited about a critically lauded historical tale. Holocaust drama Son of Saul won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year, and League said he thinks it's a strong contender for the Best Foreign Language Oscar next year. He said, "Fantastic Fest has built this reputation for showing films that aren't necessarily seen as genre films, but this is just heavy and dark and intense that I think the genre audiences are really going to respond to it."
Beyond the screenings, the third wave adds a second book signing. First, Nicolas Winding Refn will be showing off his book of classic exploitation posters. Now, former Drafthouse booker Kier-La Janisse brings her new volume Satanic Panic to a special screening of cult classic Evilspeak. She's not the only locally connected author joining the roster: Kudos to Owen Egerton, whose feature adaptation of his 2013 short "Follow" makes the cut.
AnomalisaD: Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson
United States, 2015, 90 min
Charlie Kaufman’s newest story, a revolutionary and emotional stop-motion animation, follows an unhappy customer service guru looking for an escape from the monotony of his life.
The AssassinD: Hou Hsiao-hsien
Taiwan, 2015, 104 min
After failing to dispatch a corrupt government official, an assassin is disciplined by her master with a mission to murder her cousin (and former betrothed) in order to steel her heart against sentimentality. An immaculate and arresting romantic wu-xia from Taiwan's chief art-house auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
The Boy and the BeastD: Mamoru Hosoda
Japan, 2015, 119 min
In the latest breathtaking animation by Fantastic Fest veteran Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), nine-year-old Ren becomes the apprentice to beast warrior Kumatetsu and finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime in the beast world Jutengal.
CaminoD: Josh C. Waller
United States, 2015, 104 min
A photojournalist gets more than she bargained for when she snaps a photo of a shadowy religious figure in the jungles of Colombia, triggering a flight – and fight – for her life.
Come Drink With MeD: King Hu
Hong Kong, 1966, 95 min
One of the foundational classics on which all martial arts cinema is built, Come Drink With Me stars the incomparably talented Chang Pei-Pei as an avenging warrior, Golden Swallow, on a mission to save the local governor's son from the Jade-Faced Tiger's gang.
DagD: Oystein Karlsen
Norway, 2015, 92 min
A misanthropic relationship counselor, his (mostly) reformed hippy girlfriend, and his sex addict best friend drive this hugely popular Norwegian TV comedy from the creators of previous fest hit Fuck Up.
Daniel's WorldD: Veronika Lišková
Czech Republic, 2015, 75 min
North American Premiere
Veronika’s Lisková’s brave documentary from the Czech Republic takes a very open, unflinching and non-emotional view of the most despised, misunderstood, and taboo trait: pedophilia.
The Devil's CandyD: Sean Byrne
United States, 2015, 90 min
A struggling painter, his wife, and his young daughter move into their dream house in rural Austin, Texas, but soon find themselves targeted by both satanic forces and the house’s previous occupants.
DoglegsD: Heath Cozens
Japan/ USA, 2015, 89 min
A look inside one of the world’s oddest wrestling leagues, where disabled fighters take on able-bodied opponents in brutal and bloody fights for their own dignity and self-respect. From where else but Japan?
The Eight Diagram Pole FighterD: Chia-Liang Liu
Hong Kong, 1984, 98 min
The great martial arts choreographer Lau Kar-Leung directs this dark tale of betrayal, vengeance, and honor, starring Gordon Liu and Alexander Fu Sheng (in his final screen role) as the sole surviving sons of a powerful family massacred in an act of brutal treachery.
FollowD: Owen Egerton
United States, 2015, 74 min
When he blacks out after receiving a strange Christmas gift from his girlfriend, Quinn (Noah Segan) wakes the next morning to find his whole world crumbling around him.
The Glorious Works of G.G. ZwaenD: Max Porcelijn
The Netherlands, 2015, 110 min
A struggling writer turns to his accountant for help and instead discovers a trio of corpses and a bag of money. Could this be help of a different sort, or just a whole new world of trouble?
Evilspeak plus Satanic Panic Book LaunchD: Eric Weston
United States, 1981, 97 min
The hysteria known as the “Satanic Panic” made its way through every pop-culture pathway in the Eighties. Relive the era with the launch of Satanic Panic: Pop Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s and a rare 35mm screening of occult fave Evilspeak.
Schneider vs. BaxD: Alex van Warmerdam
The Netherlands/Belgium, 2015, 96 min
A contract killer’s birthday plans are disrupted when he’s sent to dispatch a drunken writer in this delightfully dark comedy from Dutch auteur Alex van Warmerdam (Borgman).
Son of SaulD: László Nemes
Hungary, 2015, 107 min
Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the dead body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: Save the child's body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish, and offer the boy a proper burial.
SouthboundD: Radio Silence, Roxanne Benjamin, Patrick Horvath and David Bruckner
United States, 2015, 87 min
Somewhere on a stretch of desert highway, five groups of travelers will find themselves confronting an ever-changing feeling of dread through five interlocking, horrific stories.
Tale of TalesD: Matteo Garrone
France, 2015, 125 min
Monsters, magic, and mayhem abound in the incredible stories of three royal families from nearby kingdoms in this ambitious fairy tale epic from acclaimed Italian auteur Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah, Reality).
TikkunD: Avishai Sivan
Israel, 2015, 120 min
God’s plan for a Yeshiva student is disrupted when CPR saves his life. He is reborn into a surreal, sexual, and disturbing new existence that tests his faith and his father’s mercy.
The TreacherousD: Kyu-dong Min
South Korea, 2015, 131 min
North American Premiere
Considered the worst tyrant in the long and rather oppressive history of Korea, King Yeonsan enslaved a thousand women to serve his carnal desires. This bawdy, unexpurgated and almost surely exaggerated tale of his sexual exploits is the heir apparent to the notorious 1980s-era Hong Kong CAT III classics.
The WaveD: Roar Uthaug
Norway, 2015, 105 min
A Norwegian geologist and his family fight for their lives after the Akneset mountain pass crumbles into the fjord below, creating a huge tsunami that threatens to wipe out their town.
ZoomD: Pedro Morelli
Canada/ Brazil, 2015, 96 min
Three very different people – an aspiring comic book artist with body image issues, an action director trying to make a more meaningful film, and a model struggling with her first novel – find their stories intersect in earth-shaking ways.