What's so frickin' great about Austin? That's a question I hear all the time -- because I spend a good deal of time there and I love the city allllmost as much as I love Philly. (Yes, Philadelphia. Stop laughing.) Well, you could spend paragraphs talking about Austin's night life, its restaurants, its awesome women and its world-renowned music scene -- but for me it's all about the film festivals. In March it's South By Southwest and in late September it's time for Fantastic Fest, baby, the slickest, screwiest, most user-friendly genre festival this side of the continent. Although only three (3!) years old, FF has already earned a very solid rep among filmmakers, studios and movie nerds.
Although I show up mainly for the scary stuff, FF '06 offered an impressively wide array of cinematic goodies: Abominable, Blood Tea and Red String, Broken, Bug, Edmond, The Fountain, Frostbite, Hatchet, The Host, Isolation, The Living and the Dead, Renaissance, Roman, Severance, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Tideland, Wilderness, The Woods ... plus a surprise screening of Apocalypto with Mel Gibson in attendance. Plus you can drink beer and eat cheese fries while you watch the movie(s)! Sorry but I've been to six Sundances and I never got to eat cheese fries while watching a horror movie. 'Nuff said.
So what does the Alamo Drafthouse have in store for us next month? Well I've only seen a few of the titles, but I did get to offer my .02 to the programmers -- as did SXSW kingpin Matt Dentler and the movielords at Twitch and AICN. So while that's not a promise that you'll love all the flicks, you can rest assured that the slate was constructed by and for the genre junkies. Dig on in...