Friday, October 07, 2005

Fantastic Fest report #3: Hagukei, Narnia, Wild Blue Yonder

The weather turned from romantically cool to chilly and damp, so my plans to sneak out to the wireless connection were foiled somewhat. The full skinny on Zathura will have to wait until I get some time at home to write, but here are a few quick thoughts on the day so far. I'll write more extensively on each in future installments.

The day started with the first four episodes of Hagukei: The Legend of the Moby Dick (sic), which is an anime series that retells the story of Moby Dick in space. It's a charming piece but it's awfully slow to get started - it wasn't until the end of the fourth episode that the plot really started to take shape. Still, considering that it's based on one of the most notoriously impenetrable novels in history, that's not inappropriate.

A short called Herman the Legal Labrador preceded Hagukei. I'd seen it as a screener when it was submitted to the Austin Film Festival, but it was even more enjoyable on the big screen. Herman is making the festival rounds; if you get a chance to see it, don't miss out.

The high point of the day was an hour-long look into the practical effects of the upcoming feature The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe with "the B in KNB EFX," Howard Berger. Just this for now: even if you've seen the trailer or various stills online, it is nothing compared to the opulence of the five (ten?) minute trailer we saw on the big screen today. Narnia fans will be fighting back tears when they see the reverence with which C.S. Lewis' fantasy world has been recreated.

Brad Dourif is the highlight of Werner Herzog's new science-fiction film crafted from documentary footage, Wild Blue Yonder. Some will find it fascinating, others will fall asleep. I was somewhere in between.

Night of the Living Dorks is another flick I've seen most of on DVD, but I enjoyed it enough to return tonight for a 10:00 screening -- in German, with subtitles. If I can stay awake for it, I'll catch the midnight screening of Wolf Creek as well. Horror films right before bed? Why not?


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