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Fantastic Fest's 2nd programming wave showcases Villenueve, Amirpour, more

08.25.2016by: Brennan Klein
Fantastic Fest Denis Villenueve Arrival Ana Lily Amirpour The Bad Batch

Alamo Drafthouse's Fantastic Fest has always been a repository for great genre filmmaking, but this year is just incomprehensibly jam-packed. They've just announced their second wave of programming, and it's chock-full of titles we've been following for some time.

The opening night film will be ARRIVAL, Denis Villenueve's sci-fi epic starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, which will mark the SICARIO director's first film at the festival. The world cinema crowd will be represented by Park Chan-wook in attendance for the US premiere of his film THE HANDMAIDEN, Paul Verhoeven's comedic rape-revenge thriller ELLE, and more, and the female directors being showcased include Ana Lily Amirpour with her A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT follow-up THE BAD BATCH.

Says Fantastic Fest founder Tim League: “I’m proud of the creative tension we’ve asserted with this year’s program. Established, award-winning veterans are celebrated on the same stage as first-time filmmakers. This dynamic speaks to the strong diversity and rich body of talent that is challenging cinema today. It’s an honor to share their work with our global audience.”

Other films that we're excited about include GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, SADAKO VS. KAYAKO, and Chris Peckover's SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD. The fest will also feature an explosive musical performance by returning 32-member sonic assault band Itchy-O.

Here is the full list of movies announced in the second wave:

AALAVANDHALAN
India, 2001
International Premiere, 178 min
Director - Suresh Krissna
Kamal Hassan stars in this ridiculously entertaining tale of an Indian commando pitted against his own serial killer twin brother in a deadly race to save the beautiful Tejaswini from certain death.


ARRIVAL
United States, 2016
Opening Film, 116 min
Director - Denis Villeneuve
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.


ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM - GRADUATION
Japan, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 118 min
Director - Eiichiro Hasumi
This conclusion to last year’s hit finds Class-E running out of time in their efforts to assassinate Koro-sensei, their yellow octopus smiley-faced teacher who is about to destroy Earth.


THE BAD BATCH
United States, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 115 min
Director - Ana Lily Amirpour
Ana Lily Amirpour follows up her alt-cult sensation A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE with her highly anticipated dystopian cannibal desert trip.


DOG EAT DOG
United States, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 93 min
Director - Paul Schrader
From the brilliant minds of Edward Bunker and Paul Schrader comes this unhinged pulp comedy at a million miles an hour; the story of three hardened criminals and the final, simple crime which will bring them all down.


ELLE
France, 2016
US Premiere, 131 min
Director - Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven’s debut in French cinema highlights an incredible Isabelle Huppert in a dramedy that first subverts then transgresses the rape-revenge narrative. 


EYES OF MY MOTHER
United States, 2016
Regional Premiere, 77 min
Director - Nick Pesce
After a traumatic event, a young girl begins to associate pain and death with love and friendship in increasingly dangerous ways.


GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
United Kingdom, United States, 2016
US Premiere, 111 min
Director - COLM MCCARTHY
In a dystopian future, young Melanie must go on a trip with the soldier who needs to kill her, the doctor who wants to use her and the teacher who wants to help.


GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL - PRESENTED BY AGFA
Japan, 1968
Special Screening, 84 min
Director - Hajime Satô’s
An airplane crashes under mysterious circumstances and the survivors find themselves stalked by an evil blobby presence bent on world domination.


THE HANDMAIDEN
South Korea, 2016
U.S Premiere, 145 min
Director - Park Chan-Wook
In the 1930s, country girl Sook-Hee is hired as a handmaiden to Japanese heiress Lady Hideko, who lives a secluded life with her uncle. However Sook-Hee is not what she seems... and neither is Lady Hideko, Count Fujiwara or Uncle Kouziki.


HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR
Austria, France, Italy, 2015
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director - Andreas Horvath
Filmmaker Andreas Horvath (EARTH’S GOLDEN PLAYGROUND) offers a deeply personal and unblinking portrait of Helmut Berger, the Austrian film star of the ‘60s and ‘70s best known for his work with director Luchino Visconti. 


THE HIGH FRONTIER
Poland, 2016
International Premiere, 97 min
Director - Wojciech Kasperski
Father/son bonding time takes an extraordinarily dark turn when a former guard and his two teen boys receive an unexpected guest in their remote cabin along the Poland-Ukraine border.


KAMMATTIPADAM
India, 2016
North American Premiere, 240 min
Director - Rajeev Raji
Aging gangster Krishnan returns to his hometown after receiving a distressing phone call from a friend, only to find that he’s picking up the pieces after thirty years of bloody gang war.


NOVA SEED
Japan, Canada, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 64 min
Director - Nick DiLiberto
Painstakingly hand-drawn by a single animator over four years, this saturated slice of lo-fi sci-fi pulp recalls both Moebius and Miyazaki as it ambitiously realizes an eclectic post-apocalyptic future populated by lion-men, brain-leeching slugs and Saturday Morning Cartoon villainy, the latter most memorably personified by the sublimely named Dr. Mindskull.


RAW
France, 2016
US Premiere, 98 min
Director - Julia Ducournau
Part sister bonding, part coming-of-age story, part gross-out horror flick, Julia Ducournau’s debut feature is the terror discovery of 2016.


THE RED TURTLE
France, 2017
North American Premiere, 81 min
Director - Michaël Dudok De Wit
A castaway ekes out an existence on a deserted tropical island guarded by an enigmatic red tortoise in this magnificent animated fable from the imagination of acclaimed Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit (FATHER AND DAUGHTER) and produced in part by the legendary Studio Ghibli.


SADAKO VS KAYAKO
Japan, 2016
US Premiere, 98 min
Director - Kôji Shiraishi
The showdown of the century is about to begin and no one in Tokyo will be spared: Ring’s Sadako vs The Grudge’s Kayako in a fight to determine the future of humanity.


SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD
Australia, United States, 2016
World Premiere, 85 min
Director - Chris Peckover
Chris Peckover, director of 2010’s UNDOCUMENTED, returns to Fantastic Fest with this playfully twisted suburban Christmas thriller in which babysitter Ashley must protect twelve-year-old Luke during an unusual home invasion.


SHIMAUMA
Japan, 2016
International Premiere, 103 min
Director - Hajime Hashimoto
Dora is a lowlife con man who runs a marriage scam with his associates. But a badly timed encounter with a yakuza will plunge Dora into a new, deep world of darkness, both ugly and enticing!


SWEET, SWEET LONELY GIRL
United States, 2016
World Premiere, 76 min
Director - A.D. Calvo
Adele is a friendless young woman living with her wealthy but agoraphobic aunt. She meets Beth and the two become fast friends, but Adele may be drawn to a darkness within her new companion, a darkness that threatens to overtake everything.


TERRY TEO
New Zealand, 2016
International Premiere, 92 min
Director - Gerard Johnstone
Teenaged cat burglar Terry Teo turns crime fighter when his estranged father is killed by local gangsters in this revival of the classic New Zealand character.


TONI ERDMAN
Germany, 2016
U.S. Premiere, 162 min
Director - Maren Ade
A father tries to reconnect with his repressed, career-driven daughter in the funniest movie to ever come out of Germany.


THEY CALL ME JEEG ROBOT
Italy, 2015
Texas Premiere, 118 min
Director - Gabriele Mainetti
A lowlife thug finds his grimy, pornography-filled existence disrupted when he accidentally acquires superpowers that force him to become a better man against his will.


YOUNG OFFENDERS
Ireland, 2015
International Premiere, 84 min
Director - Peter Foott
The day after the largest drug bust in Irish history, with massive packages of cocaine washing up along the shoreline, two go-nowhere teens make a most sensible decision: They will ride to the coast on stolen bicycles and claim a bundle of that wondrous cocaine for themselves.


THE ZODIAC KILLER - Presented by AGFA and SOMETHING WEIRD
United States, 1971
World Premiere, 85 min
Director - Tom Hanson
AGFA and Something Weird present a brand new 4K transfer of this sanity-defying, tabloid-horror vortex that was produced with one goal in mind: to capture the real-life Zodiac Killer.

Fantastic Fest takes place in Austin, Texas from September 22nd - 29th. For more information, visit their web site.

A still from Denis Villenueve's ARRIVAL
Extra Tidbit: Which movie would you be most interested in seeing?
Source: Fantastic Fest

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