by Alex White, Film Festival Correspondent for larry411.com
With only 8 short days, it’s impossible for even the most ambitious film fans to view the nearly four dozen feature films that will grace the screens of Austin’s Fantastic Fest. The genre film festival features films of many genres from all over the world so sometimes the scope of it all can feel overwhelming.
However, with good instincts and even a little bit of research, one can find a pretty reliable path to the best and most enjoyable Fantastic Fest possible. With that in mind, I offer you five recommendations for films that I believe should not be missed over the next week or so. Enjoy!
1. Stand by for Tape Backup
Less a standard film and more a piece of fringe theatre, Ross Sutherland’s Stand by for Tape Backup has toured the UK, played Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and will now grace an Austin audience with infusion of rap and VHS nostalgia. Set against a videotape full of old TV shows recorded by his late grandpa, Sutherland has transformed the tape into a eulogy to his grandfather while blurring the lines between film, theater and pop art.
2. The Witch
A smash at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, The Witch comes to Fantastic Fest with its spine-tingling dose of Puritan horror. Dark, creepy, unsettling and mysterious thoughts come to mind when viewing the expertly edited trailer (see below). This soon-to-be horror classic has maintained its buzz throughout the year and will surely rattle the eager Fantastic Fest crowd.
A story about isolation during winter at a rural boarding school doesn’t sound like a likely case for a beautiful film but February appears to be exactly that. Starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and Emma Roberts, this dark look into teenage relations will both dazzle and emotionally rock those who dare enter its grasp.
Lucile Hadzihalilovic, co-writer of Enter the Void and director of Innocence, returns to Fantastic Fest with a lush and mysterious tale of a young boy trapped on a remote island. Sure to be a beautiful and captivating experience like her previous films, Evolution will give the festival audience both something to marvel at and think about well after the credits roll.
5. Love and Peace
No Fantastic Fest would be complete without a Shion Sono film and luckily this year’s festival features his latest entry Love and Peace. A much more reserved film than his past festival selections like Tokyo Tribe and Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Sono’s Love and Peace will offer a more emotional punch than his previous hits while still providing his fans with the oddities and extravagance they crave.
Fantastic Fest runs from September 24 through October 1 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, Texas.
Stand By for Tape Backup
Love and Peace
For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at Larry411.com
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