Fantastic Fest has been over for a week, and it’s taken me this long to recover well enough to finish up my posts about it. I already posted about some of the final day’s shenanigans; here are the rest.
Dir. Michael Noer
I’m usually cold toward films that don’t show me something new. However, every once in a while, there’s a film that does a well-traveled tale so well that it’s hard to fault the film for a lack of originality.
Northwest is one of those films. The story holds no real surprises: it’s about two young brothers who become embroiled in a crime ring — cue the “crime doesn’t pay” theme. All the standard beats are there. The only thing really different about the film is that it happens to be Danish. However, the film is truly well executed: fine acting, well paced, nuanced characters. Even though I could predict where the film was going from the opening few scenes, I was constantly interested enough to follow it through.
Dir. Nacho Vigalondo
Even though Timecrimes first debuted at Fantastic Fest six years ago, and even though I’ve seen it four or five times already, I happily attended this year’s screening. See, this year’s screening commemorated a Mondo vinyl release of the film’s soundtrack (by Grand Piano‘s director, Eugenio Mira), and both Eugenio and Nacho were there to talk about the film.
If you haven’t seen Timecrimes before, you owe it to yourself. It’s a smart, low-budget sci-fi thriller, centered about a man who bumbles into a time machine. It proves that you don’t need a lot of money to make really good sci-fi. I hesitate to say more about it, as the film is a joy to discover out of the blue. You can easily find the film on Netflix Streaming and other such channels.
DANGER GODS! PANEL
I opted out of the closing night film (Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorem), choosing instead to watch five legendary stuntmen tell stories for an hour or two. I don’t care how good Zero Theorem is… I can always catch it later. There was only one chance to be in the audience to hear tales from guys who risk their lives to entertain us. WORTH IT.
Best line of the evening: “We had 300 chickens in that truck and some of them gave their lives for the film.”