Fantastic Fest

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Special offer for Fantastic Fest badge holders

We have a special screening offer for Fantastic Fest badge holders only. If you have a Fantastic Fest badge, you can RSVP for you and a guest to attend this screening. There may be additional seats available at the door. This is just one in a LONG list of special offers to Fantastic Fest badge holders. Get yours today and stop missing out.

About the film:
Among the classic high-school rebels of American movies, there have been truants, delinquents, pranksters and con artists – but there has never been anyone quite like Charlie Bartlett. An optimist, a truth-teller and a fearless schemer, when Charlie slyly positions himself as his new school’s resident “psychiatrist,” dishing out both honest advice and powerful prescriptions, he has no idea the ways in which he will transform his classmates, the school principal and the potential of his own life.

We've been showing the trailer to Charlie Bartlett for some time now, mainly due to my own personal excitement about the film. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and has gotten rave reviews ever since. While there's still a part of me that responds in some primal male way to to a boob-infested-romp style of teen comedy, Charlie Bartlett looks to be a refreshing change in the genre, smart, well scripted and well acted. You will most certainly see me front and center at Saturday's screening.

RSVP by joining our Fantastic Fest Facebook group and click on the Charlie Bartlett Event Page

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A double helping of Nachos...

I'm sitting in the Salt Lake City airport still reeling from the maelstrom that was VIVA LA KARAOKE, the party we co-hosted celebrating the Sundance debut of Nacho Vigalondo's TIMECRIMES.

On Friday, January 18, within the usually tranquil confines of a north Park City condo development, 300 Sundance attendees partied with a fury until nearly 5 AM. Alamo executive chef John Bullington and I flew out from Austin at 6:30 AM, John with a suitcase full of cheese, knives and pots, me with a suitcases full of scotch, fog machines and 6000 karaoke hits.

We arrived at the condo at 1 PM; met our partners in crime, Jeff, Matt and Arianna from Magnolia who pitched in and helped ready the condo for the upcoming frenzy. We set up the disco lights, karaoke machine and fog, while John started prepping the hand-made chips, roasted ducks and grilled shrimp and crab.

By 10:30 PM, the stream of taxis were starting to arrive, but mayhem didn't really ensue until the incomparable Nacho Vigalondo arrived on the scene with his supercharged Spanish posse. He was clearly energized; coming straight from an amazing reception to his 1st Sundance screening which was just on the heels of the American remake rights sale of Timecrimes to United Artists (with a rumor of Tom Cruise to play the lead).

A mere 15 minutes into the party, Nacho had found the controls of the fog machine and did not let go for the entire duration of his first time at the mic. As if on cue, during the last refrain, the house smoke detectors were activated and the fire trucks arrived 10 minutes later.

For the bulk of the party, John was trapped in the kitchen furiously pounding out nachos and opening beers (Stella Artois is not a twist-off, and the house only had one bottle opener). I was similarly trapped behind the karaoke console. At about 2:30 AM, John said "screw it" and switched from hand-crafted individual nachos to the giant nacho pile, thus giving him a chance to join the party.

20 cases of beer, a case of scotch, 50 pounds of nachos, one split lip and about 100 karaoke songs later, we all finally collapsed at about 5 AM, some 24 hours since boarding the plane to Utah.

Next stop on the Fantastic Fest world Karaoke Tour: we're teaming up with the Film Fest Mafia to produce "Ich bin immer noch ein Berliner," AKA I am still a jelly doughnut: the Americans return to Sing. Details can be found on the Fantastic Fest Facebook Group.

You can also check out a full photo album from the party there, including some very odd photographs of Nacho and my stomach.

Thanks to Stella Artois, Dewar's Scotch, Magnolia Pictures, the Austin Chronicle's Dan Hardick for the karaoke gear, John Bullington for the nachos, and especially Nacho for being the inspiration for it all.

Links from the Fantastic Fest/Magnolia party:

Austin 360 Coverage
Cinematical Coverage
Austin American Statesman Coverage
Indiewire coverage

Thursday, January 17, 2008

See Rambo for free plus fun with fire!

Anyone who says Stallone is too old to kick ass as John Rambo is a liar and a sinner.

RAMBO, with out a doubt, will shoot a razor-tipped arrow straight through your soul and set your spirit aflame!

Join Ain't It Cool News and Fantastic Fest for yet another free evening of badass cinema with a free advance screening of RAMBO on Tuesday, January 22 at 9:45 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village!

Not that we don't think this film can stand on it's own legs- because even if it couldn't, it would just cut off your legs and sew them to its stumps using animal sinews and a blunt, modified rifle hammer- but we've decided to heat things up a bit with some fun and surprises after the show!

Controlled irresponsibility- the real John Rambo would be so proud.

And you, Fantastic Fest 2008 badge holders have first dibs on tickets!

Simply RSVP! But please only RSVP if you are absolutely sure you can attend. We don't want someone less flaky than you missing out because you were more about the hunt than the kill. And you must show up by 9:00PM if you want to ensure your seat!


This offer for tickets is only for Fantastic Fest badge holders; the remainder of seats will be opened up to the general public after Friday at 5:00 PM. To RSVP for the screening, please become a member of the Fantastic Fest Facebook group
and RSVP to the Rambo event there.

Rambo opens at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Thursday, Jan 24. Tell your friends in the academy, there's a dark horse candidate for best picture 2008!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sundance interview: Nacho Vigalondo

Our pal Scott Weinberg sat down with Fantastic Fest 2007 fave Nacho Vigalondo as he prepares for his debut at Sundance this weekend. Check out the whole story and find out more information on his new project (about a guy trying to jump into a UFO with a car... with a zombie twist) and his thoughts on the American 2 AM bar closing time.

If you happen to be in Park City, come see us! Nacho, Scott Weinberg, Matt Dentler, Michael Lerman and I will be recreating Fantastic Fest karaoke magic at Viva la Karaoke, Nacho's Sundance debut celebration.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FREE!! VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW with star Sebastian Maniscalo live!!!

True, it's not a genre film, but Fantastic Fest is nonetheless proud to present an Ain't It Cool News free screening of VINCE VAUGHN'S WILD WEST COMEDY SHOW: 30 DAYS AND 30 NIGHTS - FROM HOLLYWOOD TO THE HEARTLAND this Thursday, January 17th at the Alamo South Lamar. Star Sebastian Maniscalco will be live in person at this screening and will conduct a Q&A following the show!

In the spirit of the old west variety shows, Vaughn plays host to the ensemble of comedians and performs improvisational sketches with surprise celebrity and musical guests. Hand picked by Vaughn to perform on the tour, from the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, are national comedians Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst, and Sebastian Maniscalco.

The film provides audiences a rare opportunity to experience Vaughn and his team as they travel over 6,000 miles across the heartland of America and perform 30 shows in 30 days. Traveling to cities that don't ordinarily attract this type of entertainment, Vaughn and his team bring their unique styles and perspectives to regional audiences throughout Western, Southern and Midwestern states.

Through rousing onstage performances and behind-the-scenes interviews, the engaging film breaks down the true essence of each comedian's life altering experiences and the personal and professional challenges that will unite four comics, one movie star and legions of fans from Hollywood to the Heartland.

This event starts at 7:30PM on Thursday, January 17th and it's free! You can reserve a seat by pre-purchasing a $10 food and drink voucher here.

The remainder of the seats (if any) will be first come first serve at the door.

Ain't It Cool News, as always, you make happiness happen. Thank you!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ain't It Cool News and Fantastic Fest present: TEETH with director Mitchell Lichtenstein live in person! And it's free!!!

The Ain't It Cool News crew offer up this celebratory super- screening to give thanks to those who have helped support the greatest film festival in the world- FANTASTIC FEST!!!

At 7:00PM on Thursday, January 17th, at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, past and future Fantastic Fest Badge-Holders are invited to join us (for free!) to experience all the horror, humor and general disturbia of the highly anticipated dentata-rama TEETH. And director Mitchell Lichtenstein will be there live in person to answer all your questions after the show! We haven't even seen the film yet, but we can already think of a few good questions to ask...can you? Comment below with some questions you'd like to ask Mitchell Lichtenstein!

Tickets are available now to Fantastic Fest Badge-holders. Badge-holders whose email addresses are confirmed to receive the Alamo Newsletter have already received an email with instructions. Come Monday, January 14th, any remaining tickets will be up for grabs. If you'd like to see the show, send a message (on Monday!) to with the word 'TOOTHY' in the subject line and your name. Remaining reservations will be distributed on a first sent, first served basis.

However, if you don't receive confirmation of your reservation, don't panic!

As history has proven, people reserve tickets and, for some lame reason or another, they don't show up. To compensate for this no-show factor, we will have a stand-by line for folks who want it bad enough. If you have the desire and the will, absolutely consider the stand-by line as a viable solution to your otherwise toothless evening. Seriously, a good bet for the brave.

Join the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for yet another Ain't It Cool News and Fantastic Fest event to honor…you, the pure-of-heart cinephiles who eat, breathe and dream movies. If you haven't yet picked up your Fantastic Fest 2008 badge, there are still a few left. But not for long!

High school student Dawn works hard at suppressing her budding sexuality by being the local chastity group's most active participant. Her task is made even more difficult by her bad-boy stepbrother Brad's increasingly provocative behavior at home. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn discovers she has a toothed vagina when she becomes the subject of violence. As she struggles to comprehend her anatomical uniqueness, Dawn experiences both the pitfalls and the power of being a living example of the vagina dentata myth.

See ya there!