Michael Bergeron
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Fantastic Fest preview

Fantastic Fest preview
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Fantastic Fest is now in its 10th year. That’s a decade of discovering films of distinction: sci-fi, horror, fantasy, action, exploitation, Asian and a few other genres that are currently being debated about by scientists as to what exact category they represent.

Fantastic Fest has evolved as a film festival to the point where it has its own unique identity. One that makes the fall scheduled film festival a contender along with Venice, Toronto, New York and Telluride. There are films that might encompass the latest Norwegian directorial sensation back to back with agitprop Turkish B-movies from the early 1970s.

Some of the high profile screenings – like a sneak of Crimson Peak, The Witch, The Martian, The Lobster, Son of Saul – will attract a ton of social media. But just about every other film has its own temperament and milieu. This isn’t a festival all about future award winning films. Fantastic Fest exists to enable mavens of cinema to perpetuate an entirely justified world-view of sensation and imagery conquering normal reality.NWRFAB-Witch

Then there are titles like Klown Forever, Man vs. Snake (a doc about the first gamer to score a billion points), Lazer Team, and Men and Chicken (with Mads Milkkensen as a chronic masturbator). There are social events; some with separate paid tickets that include visits to a shooting range or a boxing gym.

Fantastic Fest refuses to be typecast. A screening of the 1971 Farewell Uncle Tom, hosted by Nicolas Refn and Alan Jones highlights Sunday, September 27, sched. Refn and Jones are also hosting a book signing and seminar during FF for their poster book “The Act of Seeing.” The book contains around 300 posters that cover the gamut of specialty theaters and adult fare that was released between the ‘40s and ‘70s.

Fantastic Fest is currently unwinding at the Alamo Drafthouse, located at 1120 S. Lamar in Austin. The fest concludes on Thursday, October 1.

— Michael Bergeron