Frankenweenie is an unusual film, which is the sort of thing that people always used to say about Tim Burton movies. In this case it is unusual because unlike Burton films such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, which seemed like uncontrollable explosions of the director’s own childhood impulses, Frankenweenie feels like a very calculated trip back down memory lane. It’s less a meander than a guided Star Tour.
To an extent, the calculated feel is pretty typical of Burton’s recent output. It is also an unavoidable byproduct of the stop-motion animation employed to recreate Burton’s early story of a boy who reanimates his fallen dog, Frankenstein-style. Stop-motion, particularly when using models and sets as intricately detailed as those in this film, requires meticulous planning, and while it can create stories that feel spontaneous and uncontrollable (see A Town Called Panic), Frankenweenie simply isn’t that sort of film.
Instead, this is a movie about gaining control. As a return to the story idea that famously saw Burton fired from Disney, Frankenweenie is more than ever a movie about doing things right the second time, whatever the consequences may be. In Burton’s case, the consequences are likely pretty good, as this is his first movie in some time that points directly to what people liked in his films in the first place. Frankenweenie is a pleasing, endearing movie, even when it fails to follow through on some of its own best ideas. Read More »
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I don’t know much about the film The Conspiracy at this point, other than the fact that it is playing at Fantastic Fest. That implies a few things about the film that features a documentary crew that is covering the theories of one seeming conspiracy crackpot. But that “crackpots” disappears, the crew starts to think there might be more to the theories than they’d initially imagined.
While this trailer features some histrionics that are a little difficult to swallow out of context, there are also some very effective, unsettling scenes here. Writer/director Christopher MacBride seems to be using low-fi found-footage and other techniques to good effect, and as the central theorist Terrance, Alan C. Peterson looks like he’s got a juicy, fun role. Read More »
Fantastic Fest has announced its final wave of programming for the 2012 lineup, with the festival set to begin in just over a week. The big inclusions in this wave are Brandon Cronenberg‘s Antiviral, which is the feature debut from David Cronenberg’s son; Berberian Sound Studio, which has been getting raves for Toby Jones‘ portrayal of a sound technician who experiences crazy stuff while working on an Italian horror film; and Wake in Fright, the Australian thriller that wowed audiences at Cannes in 1971 but never got a proper US release. I’ve got an import DVD of this one, and can say that it definitely earns its reputation as an effective knife-twisting thriller. Drafthouse Films will be releasing Wake in Fright properly later this year, but for now this is a good chance to catch it on the big screen.
All the film details are below. Fantastic Fest runs September 20-27 in Austin, TX, and more details about the programming and schedule can be found at the official website. Read More »
We tend to love Fantastic Fest, because it is the film festival that caters to audiences who like movies that are weird, strange, and totally fucked-up, but with a quality that puts the films in a rare category that isn’t just simple schlock or exploitation. Fantastic Fest will take place September 20-27 in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, and a whole bunch of great films have been added to the lineup.
After the break you’ll find info on the great second wave of announcements, which includes Rian Johnson’s Looper, the anthology horror movie The ABCs of Death, and The American Scream, which is the new effort from Best Worst Movie director Michael Paul Stephenson. Then there is Leos Carax’s head-scratcher Holy Motors, which is one of the films I can’t wait to see, and Doomsday Book, the anthology from South Korea that includes new work from Kim Jee-woon. Read More »
I haven’t been to every film festival in the world, but I can’t imagine many being more fun than Fantastic Fest. For one week in Austin, TX the coolest genre films in the world screen along with some of the sickest, most inventive parties all for a passionate, excited audience. The 2012 edition takes place September 20-27 and while we knew Frankenweenie was going to open the fest, now we have the “first wave” of films.
Some of the obvious standouts are: Lionsgate’s awesome action film Dredd 3D; the amazing documentary Room 237 (playing along with The Shining, which is perfect); and Quentin Dupieux’s latest, hilarious film, Wrong. After the jump, read about all the films in the first wave, which also include movies about a sniper attacking a building, a woman resurrecting her dead husband, and killer sushi monsters. Read More »
Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by Angie Han
Now that we’ve all watched (and rewatched, and re-rewatched, if you’re me) the stunning first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, the big question is when we’ll actually get to see the damn thing. A theatrical release date of October 12 has already been set, but it’s bound to hit the festival circuit first.
Most cinephiles have been predicting a Venice Film Festival debut for the film, and it’s still very possible that it could happen. However, American movie lovers may be excited to hear that it looks like Anderson’s also got some interest in returning to Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where he premiered There Will Be Blood five years ago. More details after the jump.
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Now that Dark Shadows has come and gone, Tim Burton fans have another film to look forward to later this year. It’s called Frankenweenie. The 3D black and white stop motion animated film version of one of Burton’s early short films will be released October 5, right in time for Halloween. And, if you’re heading to Fantastic Fest 2012 in Austin, Texas, you can see it there as it has just been officially announced as the opening night film of the awesome festival taking place from September 20-27.
Last month, I was lucky enough to see a large selection of footage from the film and it really impressed. You can click here to read a bit about that and watch a video blog. I also had the pleasure to speak to Burton himself at the event and, along with a handful of other journalists, we discussed the making of this film, his personal connection to it, casting, various types of animation, a slew of rumored upcoming projects (Pinocchio, Beetlejuice 2, Big Eyes, etc.) and more.
With the film appearing at San DiegoComic-Con in a few weeks, a new trailer just released, and the Fantastic Fest opening night screening, now seemed like the perfect time to run our interview. Read More »
No one grows up with hopes and dreams to be a short filmmaker. People who want to make films aspire to make features and it takes time to realize the short subject is one of the best steps to achieving that goal. However, in the case of director Kristoffer Aaron Morgan, writer Eric Vespe and their short film No Way Out, they did things backwards.
Before No Way Out was even conceived, Vespe, best known as Quint from Ain’t It Cool News, and Morgan had already sold Dimension the rights to The Home, their feature length, haunted nursing home movie. But when pre-production on that film was put on hiatus, the pair decided a short might be a good way to practice their craft and simultaneously hang with some of their Austin, Texas film friends.
Two thousand dollars later, they have No Way Out, a 10-minute short starring A.J. Bowen (The Signal, The House of the Devil, You’re Next) as a lost and frightened man stuck in a basement with something unnatural. It played Fantastic Fest in Austin last month and /Film spoke to the writer, director and star of the short about how it came about, the art of the short subject and a collective love of film in general. Read More »
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