Fantastic Fest 2011 – Thursday Recap

Unlike last year the ticketing system work liked a charm at Fantastic Fest. In the past the system has had major problems causing un-needed stress for staff and patrons of the festival. But this year all the pieces fell perfectly and online ticketing has saved us the hours of lost sleep and anxiety of getting to the Drafthouse at 7 am to hope and pray that we get the tickets we want. There’s still hope and praying involved, with online queues, but you get to do it from the comfort of your home or hotel room. Although, the would-be-helpful mini schedules that came with each badge are so wrong when it comes to show times, they are completely useless.  

Here’s a run down of the movies we saw Thursday! 

Michael (2011) –

Director: Markus Schleinzer 

Michael is an Austrian film about a typical guy with a typical job who keeps a kid locked up in his basement. So maybe not so normal?  This slow paced movie is not one to take your mother to see. It relies heavily on mood and is sparse on dialogue and action but the tension is what keeps this movie going till the very end. The audience is kept guessing when will be the moment that Michael is found out, his dirty little secret uncovered. He seems to have all his bases covered, keeps everyone at arm’s length and even has automatic shades in his home so no one in the neighborhood ever sees him with young Wolfgang. Unlike the typical (whatever typical is in this situation) pedophile he is very careful to still be social, not hang out with kids too much and on occasion sleep with women. If you’re looking for a subtle movie to turn your stomach and drag you into the plot even if you don’t really want to; this movie is for you. 

[Sarah Arnold]




Borderline (2010)
Director: Alexandre Coffre

I have to say, that when I first signed up to see this movie, I was hoping it would have more to do with the seminal Madonna breakthru hit, Borderline. Unfortunately, it does not.
Once I got over this initial let down, the movie went on to catch me completely off guard. Borderline, by French Director Alexandre Coffre, is an expertly crafted Black Comedy, while also taking a lot of it’s cues from American movies like Raising Arizona. The story follows a married couple, who, like so many, are bored with the lot that life has given them. And also like so many, they choose to alleviate their boredom by selling cocaine. You know, after some hilarious circumstances make that possible.
Thrill as it all comes down around their ears. However, keep in mind that it is still a French movie, and in places the movie will go minutes without a joke. But that’s alright, because when the laugh comes, it is so much more satisfying.
[John Shields]

Human Centipede 2

Director: Tom Six

When on Earth do I start with this movie? Do you really want to be grossed out, to a level that you didn’t even think possible? Than this movie is for you. If you want a movie that has a solid plot that is not just held together by violence, meta humor that isn’t really that funny, and doesn’t have rape that will physically make you ill, then maybe this isn’t for you. This sequel this directed to those who have seen the first, and not just by a slight tongue-in-cheek moment or two, but the director Tom Six literally said that people kept asking him if he was concerned real people would start making human centipedes and he took that and made a movie. A mentally handicapped parking attendant in London is obsessed with the movie and starts to abduct people to make his own 12 person human centipede. I’m not going to go into details of what he puts these 12 people through since some of you might be fans and this is something you will see, since the types of gore is integral into the enjoyment of this kind of movie. I will warn fans though that if you liked this movie for the sterile environment and “scientific” background (who the hell doesn’t like slightly creepy Nazi-esk doctors) this movie doesn’t have that theme anymore and from what the director says it’s on purpose. 

[Sarah Arnold]

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