Is ‘The Master’ Headed to Fantastic Fest?

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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As the debate about texting in theaters rages on, TheWrap‘s Chris Davison has proposed one possible compromise between the two sides: Designate screenings as either “texting” or “non-texting,” and deal with glowing screens accordingly. That way, movie theater purists can be assured an experience free of those disruptive lights, those who don’t mind them can Tweet / email / text to their hearts’ content, and industry folks can rake in the dollars from both types of viewers.

However, at least one guy in the business is adamantly against the suggestion, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it’s Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League. The Austin-based chain is renown among cinephiles for (among other things) its hard-line stance against talkers and texters, and League’s now put out a letter expressing how “horrified” he is by the idea of introducing text-friendly showings. Read about his stance after the jump.

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Earlier this week we told you that plans seem to be afoot for the Austin Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to purchase and restore the New Mission Theater in San Francisco. The theater is a registered landmark that closed for business in 1993.

And, yes, Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League recently made a deal to restore the theater and operate the reinvigorated space as an Alamo Drafthouse location. Read on for details on the renovation plan, direct from League. Read More »

Where do you stand on World of Warcraft? If you’re a fan of it, you’re in Dominic Monaghan‘s corner. If you hate it, you’re in Elijah Wood‘s corner. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about you probably aren’t the only one.

One of the signature events at Fantastic Fest every year is the Fantastic Debates. This is where various actors, writers, and general well-known movie people verbally debate over an issue, then really settle the matter with their fists in a legitimate boxing match. This year’s Fantastic Debates was presented by the documentary Knuckle and the main event featured Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League fighting the star of the film, James Quinn McDonagh. The undercard featured the two Lord of the Rings co-stars debating on the merits of World of Warcraft before slugging it out in front of a packed house.

Watch highlights from both fights and more after the jump. Read More »

The 2011 edition of the most insane and disturbing film festival imaginable, Fantastic Fest, begins on Thursday. For a week straight some of the most violent, disgusting and frightening films from across the world will descend on the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, Texas and while we’ve already told you what films we’re most excited for, there’s only one man who knows about them all: Tim League. League is not only the CEO of the Drafthouse, he’s the co-creator of Fantastic Fest and its Creative Director, meaning almost every film and event that’s schedule has to go through his unique filter.

After the jump is our interview with League in which he discusses some of this year’s wild parties, five films he think we’ll all be talking about after the festival, why Universal’s The Thing and Toronto Midnight Madness winner The Raid (most likely) won’t be screening, his frightening fight with Knuckle star James Quinn McDonagh, the expansion of the Alamo and Mondo brands and much more. 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 »

Often considered one of, if not the, best movie theater chains in the United States, the Alamo Drafthouse has just signed a deal to keep their empire expanding. They’ve partnered with the number one online ticket seller, Fandango, to sell tickets for all of their screenings both online and through mobile devices. The theater will also continue their current method of online sales, through their own site. In the press release for the announcement, which you can read in full below the jump, Alamo CEO Tim League (who was recently on the /Filmcast) mentioned that plans to expand to Los Angeles, New York and “other markets across the country” are still continuing. Read More »

What Is It Like To Start a Film Distribution Company?

Not too long ago, we learned that the superlative Alamo Drafthouse theaters would be launching a film distribution arm. This evening, Drafthouse founder Tim League was in Boston, along with director Chris Morris, to promote Drafthouse Films’ first movie, Four Lions. My extensive interview with Morris will go live on the site on Friday, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a conversation I had with League about his new distribution business. We discuss what motivated him to start distributing films in the first place and what his biggest challenges have been so far. Feel free to check out the website for Drafthouse Films and follow Tim on Twitter. Four Lions opens on Friday, November 5th in limited release.

Hit the jump for the audio of our conversation. Note: This was a completely impromptu interview, so the audio quality is not great and we were interrupted halfway through by an urgent cell phone message. Still, I hope you’ll derive some value from it.
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Fantastic Fest 2010 began with a bang. Matt Reeves’ Let Me In served as the opening night film at the Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. You can watch my previously recorded review/reaction to the film here.

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Who wants to see Michelle Rodriguez beat up Tim League? Well, it’s probably going to happen at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas this week (which Tuesday announced that 13 Assassins would be its closing night film). Rodriguez vs. League is the main event of the annual Fantastic Debates party, where film journalists and filmmakers debate over an issue, and then get into a boxing ring to really settle the score. In previous years, well known journos such as Devin Faraci, formerly of CHUD, and Scott Weinberg of Cinematical duke it out over such topics as “Does Michael Bay Deserve an Oscar or the Death Penalty?” and “Are Vampires Gay?” In last year’s main event, League famously fought Uwe Boll over the state of independent films.

The topic League and Rodriguez will be debating this year? “Should Avatar have won the Oscar for Best Picture?”

Hit the jump to check out some videos from previous Fantastic Debates and, of course, to debate amongst yourselves. Read More »