Fantastic Fest 2010 Halfway Point Wrap-up

by George Hickman on September 27, 2010

in Blogs

Fantastic Fest 2010 is now at the halfway point. Most films have already played once, and the award ceremony will be held tonight. There will be a livestream of the ceremony here for those interested. So far there’s been a lot of great films, and a lot of amazing events and insanity in general. It’s pretty clear why “Chaos reigns” became the unofficial slogan of Fantastic Fest. For up-to-date coverage, follow me @chinesedentist on Twitter.

Day 1 – Thursday, 9/23/10

As posted in my more in-depth coverage, day one brought gala screenings of “Let Me In” and “Buried” with cast and filmmakers in attendance. Of the films I have yet to see, “Golden Slumber,” from the director of “Fish Story” and the anime “Redline” garnered the most positive word of mouth.

Below is video from the red carpet for “Let Me In” and “Buried,” respectively.

Below is video from the opening ceremony:

And here is video of the Texas Boys Choir performing a selection from the score of “Let Me In”:

Here is an excerpt from the hilarious “Buried” Q&A:

I wasn’t able to catch the premiere of “Mother’s Day,” but here is video from that event:

Because review excerpts are boring, along with my quick ratings, I have written haikus for all the films I’ve seen so far.

14 Blades – minor rock fist up
Chinese History:
May contain eighty percent
Kung Fu by volume

Let Me In – minor rock fist up
Fifteen Minutes In
And you completely forget
You’ve seen this before

Buried – solid rock fist up
Fast, fresh, and frantic
Buried delivers more than
Reynolds in a box

Day 2 – Friday, 9/24/10

The second day brought the first secret screening, the Korean thriller “I Saw the Devil.” At the same time over at the Paramount was the gala premiere of “Stone” with star Edward Norton and others in attendance. After the “Stone” event, “Not Quite Hollywood” director Mark Hartley presented his follow up about exploitation films made in the Philippines, “Machete Maidens Unleashed.” During the Q&A after the screening, they brought the legendary Roger Corman and his wife and producing partner Julie on stage. After a few questions and much applause, film critic Elvis Mitchell walked on stage carrying a sword, which he referred to as a “Detroit butter knife.” The sword he bestowed upon Roger and Julie Corman is their Fantastic Fest lifetime achievement award:

After the ceremony, the SyFy original movie “Sharktopus” had its world premiere. It is probably the one and only time that film will play theatrically anywhere, let alone in a venue the size of the Paramount.

Of the films I have yet to see, “Rubber,” “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” “A Somewhat Gentle Man,” “Fatso,” and “Summer Wars” all went over very well.

Here is video from the “Stone” event:

Gallants – minor rock fist up
Better title is
“Grumpy Old Kung Fu Masters”
Or just “Goodbye Mao”

I Saw the Devil – solid rock fist up
Vengeance is a dish
Best served unexpectedly
And repeatedly

Machete Maidens Unleashed – solid rock fist up
In the Phillippines
Exploitation cinema
Made crazy for cheap

Sharktopus – swiss fist
Cheap, dumb, but still fun
A Syfy original
Nothing more or less

Click here to see my summary of Days 3 and 4, with more haiku!

George Hickman

George Hickman is the first child conceived and raised by a sentient television and an anthropomorphic video store. He is a true Texan, in the sense that it is true that he lives in Texas. He spends his days making the Internet work and his nights surviving on the sustenance that only flickering lights and moving pictures can bring. There were no survivors.

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