Recommendations for AFI FEST 2012

This year’s AFI FEST has begun, but before the event kicked off we continued our preview coverage with more anticipated titles and some recommendations (also some negative reminders) of films we’ve already seen, including West of Memphis, which Kate seemed to really be pushing for this week: “One of the most haunting films I’ve seen this year (and I’ve seen it twice), Amy Berg‘s West of Memphis packs a punch. Yes, it’s yet another documentary on the West Memphis Three, but Berg’s comes with new access and interviews, and in my Sundance review for the film, I pointed out that “Berg uses a number of documentary filmmaking techniques to present the story – all are exceedingly well-executed and, despite the film’s vast number of players and Berg’s decision to flit back and forth between time periods, it’s both easy to follow and to engage with.” Also, you’ll cry.”

Other recommended AFI FEST preview posts:
Kate’s 5 Most Anticipated Films
Allison’s 5 Most Anticipated Films
6 Must See Films of AFI FEST 2012
Young Americans and New Auteurs Program
Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings
Full AFI FEST 2012 Lineup

2001: the Most Subversive Year for Film Comedies

Pootie TangIn this week’s Culture Warrior column, Landon looked at six comedies released in 2001, all of which he claims must be seen for their audacity alone. Here is part of his write-up on Louis CK and Chris Rock’s Pootie Tang: “an evident mess to anyone with eyes, was edited heavily by the studio, and flopped at the box office. But, looking at the film over ten years later, it’s clear that these behemoths in the comedy world were attempting something compelling in their dogged pursuit of the anti-movie.”

 

Silly Comedies That Tackle Serious Issues

More audacious comedies can be found in David Christopher Bell’s latest list, which looks at 10 silly comedies that dealt with serious issues. Among those well-known works by Kubrick, Brooks, Smith and the Monty Python players is the less familiar (perhaps because of its subject matter) Four Lions: “I’m surprised I haven’t heard more offense in regards to this film. After all – it’s a comedy about four dim-witted suicide bombers of Muslim faith. That’s kind of a touchy subject for more than a few reasons. However watching the film there really isn’t much to be offended about. In fact, during production the filmmakers consulted heavily with former Guantanamo Bay guest Moazzam Begg in order to determine this very thing. Beggs, along with two other former detainees, apparently loved the film.”

Does Tim Burton Hate Fat People?

Frankenweenie BiggsOne of the directors highlighted by Nathan as a long shot for the next Star Wars is Tim Burton. If the main villain is a Hutt, then this could happen, given Jack’s theory that the filmmaker hatest fat people/characters: “That’s the conclusion I reached from watching Frankenweenie, an otherwise very pleasant return to form for for the director. What isn’t so pleasant is how every paunchy character — the mayor, the gym coach, and the chubby kid whose name doesn’t matter — is cackled at by Burton and turned into a visual punch-line.”

31 Days of Horror Comes to Another End

With the passing of months occurring mid-week, we also got the conclusion of another year of our 31 Days of Horror series, but not before getting at least five more installments. Among the final titles were Planet Terror, Slugs – The Movie, The Fog, Wake in Fright and Frankenweenie (the original — not the new anti-fat one). Robert Fure commented on the last, which seemed an odd choice: “Halloween time isn’t always about scares, boobs, blood, and more boobs and boobs with blood on them. It’s about a feeling. It’s about that change in the seasons, that creeping darkness, that chilled air. Frankenweenie is good family fun that sits a bit further into darkness than some children may be comfortable with, but ultimately it’s a great story about a boy and his dog and the lengths they’ll go for each other. While it isn’t scary, violent, or boner inducing, it does make you feel good to watch it and you’ll have some laughs and feel right at home in the season.”

Other recommended horror and Halloween-themed posts:
10 Terrifying Non-Horror Films From The Criterion Collection
8 Trick-or-Treating Scenes We Love
25 Things We Learned From ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Commentary
Junkfood Horror: Worst Halloween Costumes in B-Horror

 

 

 


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