Hey folks, Harry here with the latest BNAT review rundown. Still waiting on Moriarty, Quint, Capone and the rest of the crew to send in their takes. The more the merrier. Miyazaki here is a BNAT worrier. He worries all year long, systematically - that he won't be getting in, but as a local always tends to do a great job to get in. The biggest disappointment this year was that we wound up with so many people that we had to turn away this year in the stand-by line. There were easily 50 or so folks from what I hear. A full 30 went home empty handed. Such a shame. Anyway -here's Miya. Also if you want to see other coverage check out Robogeek.Com and then on Matt Dentler's Programming Stud Website on IndieWire - he had the following 3 reports.... BNAT 7 report 1, Then this was report 2, Lastly - here are some rare photos from BNAT's aftermath.
Hey Harry, thought I'd sent in a BNAT response. Thanks again, had an absolute
blast, of course, great lineup. Alyssa sends her thanks and happy birthday
wishes as well.
Hey there to all those wondering what happened behind the closed doors of the Alamo Draft House this weekend, I thought I'd give my BNAT 7 response before I pass out of physical and emotional exhaustion. Anyway, here goes.
1)The Most Dangerous Game- Loved the short story when I read it at around 12 or 13, thought the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror take with Monty Burns was pretty fun, the movie was outstanding. Joel McCrea is top-notch, Leslie Banks is a fucking perfect antagonist. Check it out.
2)King Kong- Harry didn't waste any time getting this one out, and, although the fest top to bottom was damn fun, there's no denying that Kong was most definitely the king of BNAT this year. Props to Peter Jackson for the great intro. I honestly don't know how to describe the joy of watching this film. It hits you right where that childlike sense of wonder lies, and doesn't let up. The build to Skull Island and, ultimately, the 8th wonder himself is spot on. To say that the entire audience went enthralled fucking crazy-ass nuts for the action sequences, and hell, the whole damn film, would be putting it very softly. Naomi Watts is a goddess, and she and Serkis (and WETA) have pulled off the improbable, a completely true and affecting relationship between Darrow and Kong. Don't want to give any spoilers at all, because it would be just plain cruel, just go see it. Tuesday, midnight, I'll be there again. The film really puts you through the wringer emotionally. God, I'll say no more. It's a fantastic film that me and my inner child just love, love, and love till it hurts. I'm welling up a bit just thinking about it.
-By the way, go to Thepitandthependulumshortfilm.com, see what nifty stuff Ray Harryhausen is up to.
3)Footlight Parade- James Cagney, great dance sequences, more Cagney, nuff said. Good stuff.
4)Masters of Horror: Lucky McKee's "Sick Girl"- The first of two Masters of Horror episiodes we were treated to. Lucky and star Angela Bettis ("May") were on hand for the screening, and really, it was fun. Didn't blow my mind by any stretch of the imagination, but McKee's sense of the genre was definitely intact and Bettis gave a lovely kooky performance. If you have Showtime, check it out.
5)Sympathy for Lady Vengeance- There's a ton of us out there that adore OldBoy, so I was really psyched for this one from Chan-Wook Park. It took a little patience, started out very methodically, but when it picks up, it really picks up, and all the pieces seem to fall together just right. Great camera-work, wonderful performances. Has one moment that probably falls into top 5 most disturbing things I've ever seen on film, and you'll know it when you get there.
6)The Professionals- Badass western with god-among-men Lee Marvin, the great Burt Lancaster, and....oh, yeah.... Jack f'ing Palance. Yeehaw. Agree with Harry, it's definitely on-par with even some of Leone's best work. And, almost forgot, when you have Conrad Hall behind the camera, you know it'll look real purdy.
7)District B13- Described beforehand as the French Ong-Bak, and it delivers on many levels. Definitely more than a few "holy fuck" moments that would impress Thai warrior Tony Jaa himself, but the action could have been a little more varied at times (there's a lot of jumping from roof to roof, ledge to ledge). This one, however, has two badass leads that get their respective turns to do some damage. It's quick too, in and out at 85 minutes or so, and pretty frantic throughout. Will be at SXSW in March, so if you're in Austin, check it out.
8)Masters of Horror: John Carpenter's "Cigarette Burns"- If you haven't been reading the site lately, this is the Masters of Horror written by Moriarty and Swan, and they did a knockout job with it. It's got creepy as hell Udo Kier, a great premise (especially for the BNAT audience), and a movie-within-the movie that completely creeped me out the way The Ring should have.
9)The Descent- A Brit horror flick, and a pretty decent one at that, not to mention the reason the girlfriend is finding it hard to get her post BNAT sleep. Although it features characters I don't really care too much about (or could even, oftentimes, discern from each other), and some over-done jump cutting, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's basically this group of female friends, go spelunking in an Appalachian cave, get trapped in, and encounter....something, or somethings. Needless to say, shit goes down, and while it doesn't break a whole lot of new ground, it really puts you in the atmosphere of this claustrophobic cave, so it's more about seeing yourself stuck in the dark than it is concerning yourself with some relatively one-dimensional characters and odd plot-devices that seem to go nowhere. Worth a shot, for sure (especially if you can make it pitch black).
10)Stunt Rock- The trailer has been seen at many a BNAT (including earlier in the fest at this one), a print was finally tracked down. And, honestly, it loses much, or all, of its wonderful mystique when viewed in full. Not without its moments, but..next.
11)Drum- Some really offensive stuff in this one, slave story starring Ken Norton, Warren Oates, an under-utilized Pam Grier, and Yaphet Kotto (who really gave I think the strongest performance in the film). Nevertheless, other than a few tasty one-liners, this one didn't quite do it for me. Definitely fits right at home for the Alamo's Weird Wednesday series. If the "n" word hits the wrong button for you, better steer clear.
And finally, what's the last film going to be.... It took a 26 hour trip from Australia, the only print in existence at this point, Superman Returns? The Fountain? Had to get clearance from the Berlin Film Festival (which was supposed to premiere the flick) to even get it to BNAT, and it's...
12)V for Vendetta- Pleasantly surprised by this one, wasn't sure quite what to expect. Donald Duck as a Nazi in "Der Fuerher's Face" (complete with audience quacking) was a high point leading into the film. Hugo Weaving, first of all, did an excellent job as V, physically committed to the role at all times, and that great voice of his really allows him to overcome the inability to use his face at all, giving a really great performance. Natalie Portman does well with the Evey role, but Stephen Fry was the standout for me as Gordon Dietrich. The start of the film was also met with the sad news of the death of cinematographer Adrian Biddle, whose stylistic approach gave the film an always good, often great, and unique feel. Interested to see how this film performs when it's released.
Well, it's over, and I'm sad, and exhausted, but it was a damn fine time as always. Can't wait to see Kong again. Whew... I guess, till next year, sayonara. If you need me, I'll be in hibernation until mid-day Monday. Do not disturb. Peace.