AFI FEST 2012: 28 Films From the Festival We’ve Already Seen

The Hunt


Simon’s Cannes review of the film made me want to see it at AFI FEST. It should do the same for you.

Laurence Anyways

Again at Cannes, Simon didn’t have as much love for Laurence Anyways in his review, writing that it is an “infuriating mix of shattered expectations and self-important artistic masturbation, with the successful elements cruelly washed away in a torrent of messy, ill-conceived artifice. Yes there is accomplishment in the film-making, and Dolan clearly has a strict dedication to his own aesthetic and compositional choices, but there is too little restraint or intellect in most of the film. Perhaps that accounts for the over-bloated running time.” Oof.

Like Someone in Love

At NYFF, Caitlin wrote in her review that Kiarostami’s film is “a powerful meditation on people being disconnected from one another.” Again, BRB, crying.

Paradise: Love

At Cannes, Simon called Paradise: Love many things. Like grotesque, uncomfortable, baffling, and distasteful. His review sounds like more fun than the actual film.

Berberian Sound Studio

One of Allison’s Most Anticipated Films of AFI FEST, Adam checked out Berbarian Sound Studio at Fantastic Fest, writing in his review that, despite some initial confusion about this reaction to the film, he “can recall a lot about it, so it obviously isn’t forgettable or throwaway and a lot of that has to do with Peter Strickland having a vision for what he wanted and executing it well, even though it isn’t directly apparent to me what that is. It’s an obscurely comatose film. It doesn’t noticeably fluctuate in its tone or intensity and I gather that was deliberate, because for a film about the behind-the-scenes of recording film Strickland knows what people put in horror films to make them frightening.”


Both Simon (who reviewed the film at Cannes) and Andrew (who caught the movie at TIFF) found it to be a compelling and entertaining take on the oversaturation of reality television. Certainly better than watching more of those damn Kardashians.

Something In the Air

Caitlin found Olivier Assayas’s Something in the Air to be perhaps too close to its subject matter at NYFF, writing in her review that the 1970s-set film “accurately evokes this time, complete with its youthful yet misguided intensity.”

The Sapphires

The Sapphires AFI FEST

What, Aboriginal Dreamgirls? What more do you need? Chris O’Dowd is in it? If you’re insane and need more convincing, check out Simon’s review from Cannes.


Things got so divisive over at Reject HQ that we felt compelled to review Wrong three times. It’s all so right. Here’s the breakdown: I liked it a lot at Sundance, while both Salisbury and Hunter saddled it with a C- grade at Fantasia and Fantastic Fest, respectively. What can it all mean? Most likely – nothing. And that might be just the way Quentin Dupieux wants it to be.

The ABC’s of Death

There is simply so much to tackle with the short-fest that is ABCs (there are, of course, 26 films encased in its running time) that it’s not surprising that our own Luke Mullen decided to break it down in a fun way out of Fantastic Fest, writing up ten segments he liked and five he didn’t for his review of the film. The other 11? Who knows!

Come Out and Play

Wait, “hordes of psychotic tots”? Pardon? Salisbury took in the film at Fantastic Fest, and despite the promise of a FF film about nutty kiddos, it seemed to miss the mark. In his review, B-Sali did write, however, that “despite the foreknowledge of the pint-sized threat, the script still offers adequate twists and turns, but…it is largely beholden to Who Can Kill a Child? And once more, let us not shy away from the unrelenting truth that kids are in fact fucking terrifying.” Fair enough.

Here Comes the Devil

Doesn’t it feel like Here Comes the Devil should have a super-jaunty theme song? While it doesn’t, Adam wrote in his review from Fantastic Fest that the film “may contain more of its midnight movie roots than its arthouse influences…, the fact that it contains both and weaves them together well enough to not feel too much of either is a testament to a filmmaker and cast that knows when too much gratuity is too much to take seriously; and too little seriousness is not enough to make us care about any of the horrors experienced.” That sounds…kinda great really.

John Dies at the End

One of the most interesting films to hit the festival circuit in ages, Don Coscarelli‘s adaptation of the book of the same name has gone through a number of changes since it premiered as a work-in-progress screening at Sundance. Back then, Allison wrote in her review that the movie “is escapism at its best and, in a time when most films rely on technology and special effects to drive their stories, it was almost refreshing to see the inventive ways Coscarelli achieved his out-there vision.” At SXSW, Jack Giroux saw a slightly tweaked version, which he promised in his review will leave audience members “wanting more of this world.”

For more AFI FEST 2012 coverage, keep it locked right here at Film School Rejects.

What are you seeing at this year’s AFI FEST? Let us know in the comments below.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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