There’s almost too much that’s good about Fantastic Fest: experiencing the Alamo Drafthouse for a week straight; the small, friendly, film fan atmosphere; the parties. Oh yeah, then there’s the insane films. Every year Fantastic Fest is filled with a ton of wild genre flicks that either you’ve never heard of yet or already have a lot of buzz surrounding them. As the 2011 festival is set to kick off this week, /Film will be on the ground telling you about the sickest, most disturbing and exciting films playing in Austin, Texas. Before that though, since there’s so much that’s good about Fantastic Fest, we’ve got three lists to get you as excited:

  • The Top 15 Films I’m Curious About – The true gems of Fantastic Fest, these are the wild cards we’re excited for from description alone.
  • The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films – These are films with familiar names or built in buzz from previous festivals.
  • The Top 5 Films of Fantastic Fest 2011 Already – This is a list of five films playing at the Festival we already know to be winners.

Read all of this after the jump and keep checking /Film from September 22-29 for all your coverage of Fantastic Fest 2011. Read More »

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We’ve all been so mad at someone we wanted to punch them in the face. Some of us might have even gone through with it. But with Knuckle, Ian Palmer‘s documentary about a long lasting family feud between Irish clans, we see where real anger leads. Palmer shot the film over a decade as two families with a deep seeded hatred of each other continually settle the score in illegal bare knuckle boxing matches for huge sums of money. The winners are loved and respected by their family. The losers, shamed for not defending the family name.

The film, which had its world premiere at Sundance in January and was optioned by HBO to be turned into a TV series, will be playing at Fantastic Fest next week before its release date of December 2. Check out the brand new trailer after the jump. Read More »

We’re mere weeks away from the craziest genre films in the world invading Austin, Texas for Fantastic Fest 2011. They’ve already announced not one, but two waves of films that’ll screen at the festival and now the third and final wave has been revealed. It includes the opening night, world premiere of The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence, the closing night U.S. premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, the much anticipated Juan of the Dead, Sundance darling Take Shelter, a 30th anniversary screening of An American Werewolf in London with Rick Baker in person and poster by Olly Moss and more.

Plus, Drafthouse CEO Tim League will be fighting bare-knuckle brawler James Quinn McDonagh to usher in the a screening of the documentary Knuckle.

Read the full third wave of films and see some hype videos for the fight after the jump. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Though Knuckle premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, it didn’t generate quite the same buzz that many of its fellow documentaries did. But well before the film showed up in Park City, several outlets were already interested in purchasing the film so they could remake it. Knuckle, directed by Ian Palmer, follows a real life feud between two families in Ireland. The feud, which has been raging for decades, is documented over the course of 12 years. It fairly regularly culminates in violent bare-knuckle brawls between family members. It’s a riveting and upsetting film that, in the end, sort of loses steam.

HBO acquired the rights to Knuckle at the festival and are now developing it into a new drama series. Irvine Welsh, the writer of the novel Trainspotting, has been hired to write the pilot and Jody Hill, director of Observe & Report and co-creator of Eastbound & Down, will direct. Read more after the break. Read More »

The announcement of the movies playing the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. It’s December and most movie fans are looking back at the last 12 months, picking out award winners, writing top ten lists, and chances are we haven’t even heard of the Sundance films. They’re just titles, people, words on a computer screen. Then in January they unspool on screens across Park City, Utah and become something more. Finally, months later, these are the movies we discuss with our friends and choose on ballots at awards parties. Yet we get to read about them now, a year in advance.

Last year at this time, who had heard of Four Lions, Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Winter’s Bone, Restrepo or Animal Kingdom? Sundance, that’s who. All those films screened at the 2010 festival and now many have become not only personal favorites, but critical darlings and award contenders too.

Wednesday, Sundance announced the 58 films eligible for awards in four categories that will play the 2011 festival, taking place January 20-30. The 57 out-of-competition films in six additional categories will be announced Thursday. After the jump, we’ll give you the full list as well as highlight five in each category that sound particular promising. Read More »

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