Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fantastic Fest Day Four

Today was an early rise day thanks to my hotel mates heading over at 8am to get in line for boarding passes. Glad to have met Adam, Brad & Brian and it's a shame they leave Austin tomorrow. Not a bad day for getting the screenings I wanted. Started my day with Beat Takeshi's Outrage (2010), which is a return to form for him based on his recent output. It's a rather simple yakuza double-cross that escalates. Serious yet very much a black comedy w/plenty of great kills. High on my list of FF films.

My next slot I wanted the retro screening of Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid (1960) a.k.a. Hanyo. This restored print was quite awesome and truly showcases that great South Korean cinema isn't a current phenomenon. It's a simple tale of how one woman entering the lives of a family can cause so much pain and grief. The print isn't perfect which is unfortunate but hopefully it finds a good distributor. Definitely belongs to a Criterion or Kino Lorber home. Hoping I can catch the remake but unlikely according to my schedule.

Wasn't planning on going to Adam Green's Hatchet 2 (2010) premiere but with all the buzz swarming the festival (including an extra screen added) I jumped for it. Plus I figure it'll be easier to just watch this unrated film here then attempt to catch it at 1 of the only 2 theaters in Chicago screening it next weekend. Overall the film is as expected and I think I may like it better than the first Hatchet. Altho that could've been the atmosphere (both Danielle Harris & Kane Hodder were sitting in my screening). Fun kills and in-jokes. Great Q&A afterwards w/Green & the cast moderated by Scott Weinberg. Met Mr. Hodder. Win.

Originally had considered skipping my next slot to go out to dinner with my hotel mates but they decided to stick around. So I went to my scheduled screening of the S.Korean Bedevilled (2010) and I'm soooooooo glad I did. This Fantastic Fest discovery is my favorite film of the fest! First time director Jang Cheol-Su was on hand to introduce the film then provide a heartfelt Q&A afterwards. He was surprised that the audience cheered and laughed during the film, which he took to mean they didn't like it. Quite the contrary, as it was explained to him! The audience LOVED the film. The first two thirds of the film are slow but the final third act is amazing and cathartic. Another film I look forward seeing again. Actress Seo Yeong-Hie is brilliant in this. One of my favorite singular moments of the festival came after this screening when I was able to discuss the film at length with Harry Knowles who shared many of the same feelings.

In my final midnight movie slot I caught up with Gallants (2010), which received good buzz from its first screening at FF. This Hong Kong action comedy is a whimsical throwback film that reminds me of Stephen Chow's work. Very enjoyable flick that managed to entertain and keep me awake! That's really all I could ask for after this long, great day. Festival 50% completed. 19 films seen (counting that TV series as a film).

Next: Fantastic Fest Day Five

Previous: Fantastic Fest Day Three
  • September New: 63
  • September Re-watch: 0
  • September Total: 63
  • 2010 TOTAL: 570

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