If you have previously read Andy’s picks, then you will notice we share similar picks. Yes, we do talk quite a bit about this kind of stuff on a regular basis, but I feel the similarities between our lists have more to do with the fact that many film writers and bloggers expect certain things at this point based on film festivals or buzz around specific genre films. As with guesses, some of my picks are based on specifics where others are based purely on gut reaction. And regardless of what you may have heard about my gut and its love affair with beer and Mexican food, I can usually say that I can trust it.
I’m also going with this one based on the fact that There Will Be Blood premiered at FF in 2007. Given the fact that the film is getting a limited release beginning in November, it also has a greater chance than some film getting released in 2013. Also, I did the same photo of Greenwood meeting with Tim League which could be evidence even if this meeting may have happened in March when Radiohead was in town for Austin City Limits (which some analyzers of the photo have begun to now speculate). Considering Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite directors (there’s few films that I’ve actually seen in theaters three times during its run, and There Will Be Blood is one of them), nothing would make me happier than to see this in a room full of fellow cinephiles.
I know this sounds like bullshit, but if you are good friends with Tim League and attend the festival year after year and you have an upcoming film that need a little buzz behind it, there’s a good chance you will get your film shown. This isn’t to say Maniac is complete shit. I haven’t seen it and haven’t read anything about it other than seeing the leaked Cannes trailers earlier this year. Another indicator of this film showing might be that Alamo Drafthouse’s neighbors Mondo released the original 1980 soundtrack on vinyl during last year’s festival. All that considered, I think this is a sure bet.
This French film depicts a man who travels between parallel lives, including a monster, a murderer, a CEO and a family man. It made a huge splash at Cannes this past year and even caused a minor controversy when Haneke’s Amour was honored the top award over this ambitious piece of cinema. From everything I have read it sounds beyond weird. Watching the trailer alone will introduce you to the David Lynch like visuals on display. It’s off-kilter sense of humor reminds me also of a French film that played at last year’s Fantastic Fest which ended up being my personal favorite of the fest: Kill Me Please.
This is a 100% complete guess. More importantly – if Tim League is reading this – it is a personal hope for me that this does play. In Bruges is one of the most surprisingly bizarre experiences I have ever had in a theater and revisiting the film each time on DVD reveals even more layers to the deep emotional story of two hit-men in hiding. Seven Psychopaths finds the director combining equal parts violence and comedy once again into a madcap story. A few test screenings have occurred this past June with many saying it’s a little all over the place but still hilarious and extremely violent. If McDonagh can edit the film a bit, it sounds like it would be perfect for the fest especially considering it has yet to show at any festivals yet. The only other thing that might prevent it from showing at FF is if the Venice Film Festival gets it instead.
The Man with the Iron Fists
Like Andy, I honestly can’t imagine this not playing the fest. Attendees of the festival are huge fans of kung-fu cinema and I can’t imagine a more appropriate audience to introduce this to. Not to mention it again, but RZA has showed up before to the festival as well.
The Austin festival loves horror just as much as we do at Destroy the Brain. Not only do they love horror, but they love independent horror flicks. Last year attendees were treated to Livid, The Innkeepers, You’re Next, Juan of the Dead, Sleep Tight, and Retreat, just to name a few of the indie horror titles that were screened. American Mary, directed by The Soska Twins seems to fit nicely with this bunch. Not to mention the fact that the medical subtext of the film might hark back to the opening night film of last year’s fest: Human Centipede 2.
It had a surprise screening at SXSW to mostly positive reviews earlier this year. Like last year’s The Innkeepers – a horror film people loved at SXSW which ended up being one of the closing night films of last year’s FF- this might be another repeat for those living in Austin. For the rest of us, it’s easily one of most anticipated horror films coming out this fall.
Tai Chi O
Outside of Man with the Iron Fists, this may well be the most anticipated kung-fu film to be released this year. Stunning visuals and gravity defying stunts permeate the trailer for this Hong Kong flick. Tiff 2012 just announced it will be screening the film and that festival and the Fantasia Film Festival are two signs of what’s sometimes to come for this fest. Plus, it will be getting a limited release the weekend after FF. Another sign of what maybe to come.
Killing Them Softly
This little gem got nothing but positive reviews for its brutal realism at Cannes in May. Starring Brad Pitt and Ray Liotta, Killing Them Softly was originally titled Cogan’s Trade and stems from a book by George V. Higgins. I’m kind of surprised that this isn’t making an appearance at TIFF this year since the director’s last two films – Chopper and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford -both premiered there. It does get a limited release the Friday that FF begins, but I still think it may be one of the films screened.
Usually if a Hollywood genre film is getting released soon and the studio behind it has confidence in it, there’s a good chance it may play the fest. Looper not only is coming out the Friday that the fest ends, but it’s getting nothing but positive buzz. Last fall/winter a screening was held to test it for some critics who couldn’t stop praising it (Devin Faraci being one of them). This also seems like a safe bet if I was a gambling man.
The Lords of Salem
This is a completely wild guess. They usually do two secret screenings every year. Normally, both are large films and only screen once due to studios not wanting to have many fanboys potentially ruining the film. Last year was Paranormal Activity 3 and The Skin I Live In. If Rob Zombie gets his shit together in time for a showing, I could see this happening. Unless the film sucks, then Tim League will no doubt not show it. One of the rumors circling last year was that The Thing remake didn’t screen because the film sucked. I really hope that isn’t the reason holding back The Lords of Salem.
Knights of Badassdom
Even though this film has been finished and is simply sitting on a shelf collecting dust somewhere it doesn’t mean that it sucks. Case in point: Cabin in the Woods. Maybe with Peter Dinklage’s fame rising due to Game of Thrones, the studio will want to finally release this larping/ fantasy/ comedy. It’s a tough genre-mashing pill to swallow but I have confidence that the FF attendees can stomach it. Of all the films on this list, this is probably the one that would benefit the most from genre fans getting a peak at it.
Just based on this director, it seems like a give-in. I’ve never been a big fan of The Machine Girl and Mutant Girls Squad or any of the other twisted creations by the Japanese madman Noboru Iguchi. Like Andy stated, he’s had three films in a row play the fest. Why not continue the tradition.
The ABC’s of Death
If the fact that Drafthouse Films is co-producing it and that last year we were all given free t-shirt for the film doesn’t convince you it’ll play then I really don’t have anything else to say. The only thing that would prevent it from screening is if in fact the film isn’t completed. After all, there are 26 separate films that need to be edited together to create this horror anthology. But I honestly would be shocked if it doesn’t show.
I’m betting at least one other 3D film will screen at the fest besides the already announced Frankenweenie. Last year there was Julia X and the re-release of Comin’ At Ya!, and I have a feeling that Nurse 3D might be this year’s other 3D feature. The subject of 3D continues to be a topic of discourse for many filmmakers and writers. So it’s no surprise to me that the Alamo Drafthouse wants to still encourage the current trend while also not overloading many critics who loathe the format.