|09.19.19||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2019|
Ahoy Fantastic Fest! The fifteenth one, fourteenth for me! I didn't write any of these during the fest for the sake of sleep and having fun so unfortunately these will not be immediate reactions but oh well.
So... Opening night film with Waititi and Stephen Merchant as guest. This was really good. I feel like Waititi gets a little better with each film. Here he shows a great balance of humor, pathos, message, and entertainment. Everyone gives great performances (including Scarlett Johansson who was actually asked to act for this, and both the main kid actors). Waititi also gave a charming and funny Q&A, clearly too wild for Evrim Ersoy to handle.
I feel like Fantastic Fest has moved to a new era that more or less began when Tim League stopped being the person to introduce and close the festival. I really like Evrim's personality and his taste in film but it is a tiny bit less crazy, less unique, and i guess less edgy with Evrim and Annick at the helm. I like it a lot better than the years where these crazy Japanese Weird movies would play... certainly most of the logistics of the fest are now in a pretty good place (of course there are slip-ups here or there but for the most part it's been ironed out) and the tenor of the festival feels pretty assured. I like how few secret screenings there are, I like how much repertory programming was in this year, I like the scheduling and boarding process. The lobby still gets clogged and hard to move through - I feel like they should move to keep the back passage behind the press area as a dedicated entrance during boardings - but for the most part I feel like things have gotten into a pretty solid routine. Part of me misses the good old days but probably mostly due to nostalgia and a smaller attendance which afforded more spontaneity... but those days are gone and these are probably better.