Monday, September 25, 2006

B - I - N - G - OW!

I mentioned to Shauna and Fernando that I've been tallying motifs in the Fantastic Fest screenings I've been attending. We came up with the idea of either Fantastic Fest Bingo or Scavenger Hunt, but you have to include obscure items as well to make it more interesting. Here's the tally of what I've seen so far (number in parentheses is film count):

beartraps (4)
chainsaws (4) (sure there are more)
parasites (3) (4 if you count BUG!)
syringes (4)
vomiting men (4)
white rabbits (2)
turkey legs (2)
buildings without exits (2)
cute fluffy poodles meeting nasty deaths (2)

And in conclusion, not recurring but obscure enough to mention -
A rubber chicken and Osama Bin Laden (but not in the same film!). And then there's death by Gnome.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Day 4: What kind of business are you in?

What a loooooong day. Here's a quick synopsis:

Isolation - One of my favorite films of the festival, which brings up the controversy of genetic manipulation. One question, though - If a breeding experiment is supposed to be so secretive, why drive around in a company vehicle that has a picture of a cow on the side and the words "Bovine Genetic Technology"?

Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
- As one filmmaker said to me "I'm not SMRT enough to get this movie". Lovely to look at, and the automatons are fascinating - Although I was convinced that either spuds or the creatures from "I Love the Moon" were rowing the boat in one creation. It wasn't until much later that I realized they were severed hands.

Inside - Another favorite, with an interesting twist to a young man with voyeuristic intentions. A rather funny moment occurred when during a crucial scene a character was throwing pottery on the ground. I think most viewers were on the edge of their seat - and a server outside the theatre accidentally dropped a plate! I was one of many who jumped and laughed.

Simon Says - What can I say? The only reason anyone should see this is to see Crispin Glover whacked out. All I could do was laugh, and I don't think I jumped out of my skin even once.

Frostbite - Wicked dark humor, I didn't expect the amount of comedy this movie had but I truly enjoyed it. Best death scene and dying line in this movie. The director was available for the Q & A, and he joked that it had been so cold during the filming, that he decided the sequel would be called "Sunstroke". To be filmed in the Bahamas, sipping pina coladas.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 3: In an inescapable house, who does the grocery shopping?

Shinobi: Heart Under Blade - I hesitate to describe this film as "visually stunning" only because recent films such as "House of Flying Daggers" tend to push the upper limits of visual stimulation. With that said, Shinobi is simply beautiful, with much use of mise en scene to pull the viewer into the scene. I love the superpowers of the ninjas, and the special effects are understated enough not to distract from the plot.

Lie Still - one of the two motifs that are my ultimate terror - an inescapable dwelling. My main question though - how does someone who's resigned to live there have a never ending bottle of gin?

The District - Interesting animation, the songs were wickedly humorous. My only complaint was that the subtitles should have been outlined in black. We sat a little too close not to avoid having to look quickly up and down to catch everything. And two things I knew after leaving the theatre - where Osama Bin Hiden and the difference between Budapest and Bucharest!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fantastic Fest

Total geek-out for me this week, and it feels GREAT!! The Fantastic Fest started yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse, and the first night was a blast. I quickly made some new friends, but also ran into old ones. In a lovely twist of fate, I saw a fabulous film, a psychological thriller written and directed by Simon Rumsley. Simon's flight from London was delayed so he didn't make it in time for the introduction, but was present for the Q & A. We chatted at the Film Opening party later, and it dawned on me why he looked so familiar - he's good friends with Thoma and the rest of the crew from Ovie Productions, who presented Darkon at this year's SXSW!

Reviews and observations of films to come...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I proudly proclaim my sci-fi nerdiness, and share this fix with Battlestar Galactica junkies -

Get ready for Season Three of Battlestar Galactica with TEN exclusive prequel webisodes. The first webisode is

"The Resistance" chronicles the events that follows the Season Two finale and lead directly into the Season Three premiere on October 6th. New webisodes posted every Tuesday and Thursday.