(Click on the image above to head straight to Cinematical's Fantastic Fest 2007 photo gallery)
I just spent the last seven days at the 3rd annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas ... and I think I need to start seeing a therapist. There's just no freakin' way that a person should be able to call this "work." But let's be honest: I'm lucky enough to attend festivals like Sundance, Toronto and SXSW -- and I do work my ass off during those weeks. But the Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest is more of a ... working vacation. Yeah, that's it.
How to explain the ceaseless deluge of movie-geek fun that was had at this year's event ... I have no idea. I suppose we could start with the people:
Fantastic Fest is the pulsating brainchild of Alamo Capo Tim League and his crack(-smoking) staff of hardcore movie geeks. Were it not for the passion, the knowledge, and the non-stop nerdiness of Zach Carlson, Lars Nilssen, Keir-La Janisse, Henri Mazza and the wonderful Karrie League, Fantastic Fest would be more like Mildly Diverting Fest. (And that's just not worth a trip across the country.) The Alamofos also have a stellar programming crew that includes the likes of Harry Knowles, Matt Dentler, Blake Ethridge, Todd Brown, and a small handful of people I'm forgetting right now but will definitely add in later once the emails start rolling in. But the bottom line is this: Call it a genre fest or call it a "geek mecca," but I can assure you that Fantastic Fest is programmed by grade-A, die-hard, 6-movie-a-day maniacs. Everything else is just gravy.