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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‘Melancholia’ US Trailer

There’s not a whole lot in this first official domestic trailer for Lars von Trier‘s Melancholia that we haven’t seen in previous trailers and clips. (Such as the great UK trailer we just saw a few days ago.) But what the hell, the film is among our most-anticipated of the year, and this trailer offers up a great HD look at the gorgeous and subtle cinematography from Manuel Alberto Claro.

So hit the jump and get one more look at the ways in which sisters played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg deal with the possibility of the impending end of life on Earth. Read More »

It’s been a big, loud year for Lars von Trier, thanks in part to his new film Melancholia, and more so to the Cannes press conference comments that saw the director banned from the festival. But getting beyond that controversy, there’s the fact that Melancholia is one of the best-reviewed films of the director’s career, and remains one of my most-anticipated films of the fall.

We’ve seen one trailer for the film, in which Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters with very different dispositions who are staring down the end of the world on the eve of Dunst’s character’s wedding. Now here’s the UK trailer, which nicely shows off the ensemble cast (which also includes Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier) and opens on a surprisingly upbeat note before settling into the anxious mode that you’d expect from a film about the end of the world. Read More »

If you’re a fan of genre film, you’ve had September 22-29 circled on your calendar for months. That’s when one of the most fun, depraved and intimate film festivals in the country once again invades Austin, Texas. It’s called Fantastic Fest and it features a huge blend of action, horror and sci-fi movies that most people haven’t heard of at the time, but we all hear about after. This year is no different. They announced the first wave of films in July and today we’ve got the second wave. Most of them are new to many of us, but then there are a few that we’ve covered in the past: Nacho Vigalondo‘s Extraterrestrial, Ti West‘s The Innkeepers, Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia and Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next just to name a few. After the jump, read the full breakdown of the second wave of films. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

The Cannes jury, headed by Robert De Niro, has selected the winners of this year’s competition slate, and the results are slightly surprising. In the early days of the fest two films quickly emerged as seeming front-runners for the top prize, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michel Hazanavicius‘ silent black and white film The Artist, but the Palme d’Or went instead to Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life.

The slate of winners was surprisingly tipped towards American films and talent, or films that played very specifically towards American tendencies in a way that isn’t quite typical for a Cannes awards slate. The full list of winners is after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Cannes Bans Lars Von Trier

Early this morning, the Cannes Film Festival declared Lars Von Trier “persona non grata, with effect immediately,” effectively expelling him from this year’s festival. This was in response to Von Trier’s remarks about Nazis, despite the fact that said remarks were made jokingly, specifically intended to provoke, and apologized for after the fact.

It is unclear if the ban will extend to future festivals, or if it will affect the prize-winning chances of Von Trier’s well-received festival film, Melancholia. According to the The New York Times, the film will still be in contention but if it wins any awards, von Trier will not be there to accept them.

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You can say this for Lars Von Trier: he doesn’t believe in treading lightly. If today wasn’t so busy I’d spend a few hours digging up the director’s old comments from Cannes press conferences and correlating their level of pseudo-outrage to the quality of the film he’s promoting. His latest movie, Melancholia, premiered at Cannes today and the reviews are (perhaps predictably) mixed, with some of the most telling comments coming in the form of negative reviews from normally sympathetic fans. (There are also some significant raves.)

‘Sympathetic’ is the byword for LVT today, as the press conference for Melancholia featured the director baiting the press with statements about feeling that he understands Hitler and being a Nazi. Depending on how you look at it, press-baiting may not even have been his goal — it is more like the Nazi comments grew out of an attempt at a joke that, like a poor SNL routine, went on too long and wound down into an awkward sort of ‘oops’ conclusion. (A conclusion that proved perhaps appropriately apocalyptic, given the context of promoting a film about the end of the world.) The discourse about him today is dominated this current provocation, but we’ve also got early reviews of Melancholia and a few more upcoming career details. Read More »

‘Melancholia’ Clip: Life on Earth is Evil

Lars Von Trier‘s new film, Melancholia, premieres soon at Cannes, and the debut of the film sets up a showdown between two sci-fi influenced dramas. On one side you’ve got Another Earth (trailer here) in which the emergence of a second Earth, which may or may not be an exact duplicate of our own world, leads to an exploration of second chances and the idea that our mistakes don’t have to be our sole defining trait.

And then there is Melancholia, in which Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters coming to terms with the impending end of the world. We’ve seen very little footage from Melancholia so far — just one short trailer — but a clip released this week shows Kirsten Dunst’s character proclaiming that life on Earth is evil, seemingly setting up her whole attitude throughout the film in a nutshell. That clip is after the break, along with an effects reel and a short international TV spot. Read More »