Yesterday besides seeing some great movies and short films we were also able to grab seats for the Fantastic Awards. It was very reminicent of a high school band or athletic banquet with people making silly speeches, being very greatful and lots and lots of drinking. Well maybe we didn’t drink as much in high school but if we were allowed to this is how it would’ve gone. If we’re ever put in charge of an awards ceremony we’re taking a page from Fantastic Fest and making it a requirment to chug a beer if you win. Some poor souls won over three awards, and did not look like they would be walking out of the theater.
Let the Bullets Fly – Director: Wen Jang
This is with out a doubt the best movie I’ve seen here this year. And by movie, I MEAN movie. Incredibly solid directing, Chinese Director Jiang Wen, and acting, Chow Yun Fat, propel this story forward in a simple, lighthearted way. You can see sitting in an theater anywhere in America and munching down on popcorn as the story of this group of golden hearted bandits is relayed to you. Or whatever they eat in China instead of popcorn at the theater. And the dialogue. The dialogue is like if Quintin Tarintino and Joss Whedon had a Chinese baby, and that baby went on to write movies. Honestly, to borrow a line, the dialogue flies almost as fast as the bullets, and it totally worth it. Pay to see it. I believe it is to be released on DVD soon. Check it out.
Beyond the Black Rainbow – Director: Panos Cosmatos
The first offering from Panos Cosmatos, the winner of this year’s Fantastic Fest Boldest Vision Award, is without a doubt the boldest thing I’ve seen this year. It’s a true homage to the sci-fi movies of yesteryear in the vane of Logan’s Run or Omega Man. Long beautifully crafted scenes where very little happens except for heavy character development and world establishment. And the color red, lots of it. I’m not sure I knew what the phrase “uncompromising vision” meant until I saw this film. The story follows an organization in the 1980’s, who’s mandate is to increase the happiness in the world through new-agery and herbal remedy. However, strange things are afoot, as they so often are, when we meet the founder’s protege and his daughter. I would highly suggest keeping on eye on this director, he’s a man who is going places, and knows what he wants to do when he get’s there.
Director: Daniel Zimbler
This is a wonderful short film done for a final MFA project, but from the production and story quality you would never know. It’s based off a short story which lends itself very well to this urban fantasy setting. It’s a simple telling of old vs. new, and how dark magic doesn’t take kindly to mocking. Look for this online and take five minutes from your day to watch it.
SHORT: The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting
Director: Emily Carmichael
This is a cute comedy mythos telling of a hunter and a swan meeting, but only telling it to a few friends over a dinner party. I’m a big fan of urban fantasy and the story telling is right along with the dialgoue. A nice upbeat to a lot of gore in the festival.
Comics Editor of RevolutionSF.com