|Title:||The Last Wave|
|10.09.05||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2005|
My last movie of the festival was showing at Alamo Downtown, not South Lamar. Malefique ended around 11:45. Sure it was Sunday at midnight, but dealing with downtown parking is always an unknown factor when you don't feel like paying. Lucky for the dozen or so of us that made it to the end of the fest alive and still wanted to see The Last Wave instead of Creep or The Birthday, The Alamo Downtown was running late. Yeah, big surprise.
I was treated to a rare few moments of being Mr. Popular, recognizing several people coming out of the Nightmare Before Christmas sing-a-long (with pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, and (presumably) singing). That always makes me feel good... gets me awake and psyched to see more apocalyptic action. Kier-la introduced this one as well, asking how many of us had seen it before (only one raised his hand). Well, she said, we were in for a treat. It's a beautiful trippy movie and they were stoked to get a print of it for this fest since it's not really played around much anymore. With that, we settled into the film.
It was a perfect cap to the weekend for me. It played slow and hypnotic and almost hallucinatory, fitting exactly how I was feeling after so much time in darkened theaters mixed with so little sleep. When the radio starts flooding, it makes perfect sense. When the black rain casually starts dripping down on his windshield, it's like the way all of Cast A Deadly Spell SHOULD have been. David Gulpilil gives a solidly enigmatic performance; the scene where he brings Charlie to dinner at Richard Chamberlain's house is so deliberate and quiet... perfectly creepy. Then the movie makes this grand ramp up to what should be an anticlimax (just a few grainy wide-angle shots of a wave crashing) but feels sweeping and final. I was really captivated by it.
We walked downstairs, out into the world with FantasticFest officially over, and it was raining like a sonofabitch. Then we walked out in it and it stopped.
So that's it. 4 days, 16 films, 10 shorts, 2 panels, and some episodes of anime that I walked out on. Here's a short list of the five films that schedule limitations denied me from seeing:
The Birthday: Barton Fink, Blue Velvet, and Lovecraft were all thrown around in the various reviews and opinions of this film. The thing that kept me away was Corey Feldman doing his Jerry Lewis impersonation through the whole thing. It could've been good though, who knows. The director was around and apparently maybe gave some Q&A after the screenings. Before it, they were showing a short called Oh Mikey, apparently a spoof of '50s sitcoms.
G.O.R.A. which I caught the last half hour of. Most expensive film in Turkish history, epic sci-fi comedy with a character named Bob Marley Farouk. Heard mostly great things about this and enjoyed what I saw.
Marebito: another movie claiming Lovecraftian influence. I was going to see this over P but was persuaded against it. I dunno, the write-ups made it sound good, but having a non-budget and shooting it in 10 days probably tells you something. Oh Mikey showed before this one as well.
1990: Bronx Warriors: I missed the first half of this and am looking forward to filling that in via netflix DVD rental. Good early 80s Italian Post-apocalypse fun (set in the crumbling fallout of NYC).
No Blade of Grass: This is the movie I most regret not seeing. It's not out on DVD or VHS domestically as far as I know, and I love the whole Panic in Year Zero type of film. I really wish I could've seen it.
And finally, why the hell not, here's my Top 5 Favorite Films Seen at FantasticFest 2005!
Epic on a story level and a craftsman level, this film treats marionettes with the most creativity and ingenuity that I've seen in film ever. You really forget they're puppets but KNOW they're puppets at the same time. It's integral yet disregarded; a really fascinating and beautiful movie.
I guess you could describe Hostel as fascinating and beautiful as well, but for completely different reasons. It's stark raving fun with no reservations or qualms about being what it is: a down and dirty grimy tale of the horrors waiting out there for dumb tourists. Of course, my horse!
Transcending the family to be a great film for people of any age, Zathura is a really fun ride with a smart script, excellent kid actors, and some real laughs and thrills. A fascinating story with a beautiful blend of effects work, it's as solid as solid can be. In the words of Jon Favreau: "It's something that parents won't hate when they have to watch it 50 times with their kids."
4. Wolf Creek
A deceptively deliberate and simple horror movie, again, about what can happen to dumb tourists for pretty much no reason. Ok nothing is really fascinating here but the Australian scenery is beautiful. John Jarratt's laugh will probably haunt my dreams for months to come.
5. Miracle Mile
What do you you're given the deadline for the end of the world? You watch this movie! It's all the fun that the Apocalypse should be. Fascinating and beautiful. Ok I'm done.