Jette Kernion's blog

'You're Next' Sweeps Fantastic Fest Awards


Fantastic Fest Awards

It's amusing to me that the movie that won the most awards at Fantastic Fest during the Monday night ceremony is one that screened the least. Because You're Next has just been picked up for theatrical distribution by Lionsgate, the studio cut the number of times the Adam Wingard-directed film would play the fest down to one, a screening that proved very popular even up against Fantastic Debates. The movie picked up jury awards for Best Horror Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress. It was also a runner-up for the Audience Award.

I was pleased to see the delightful movie A Boy and His Samurai won the Audience Award -- look for a review from me soon. Bullhead won three awards in the Next Wave competition -- Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor -- and if you're at Fantastic Fest, a screening has been added for this film on Thursday at 12:45 pm. And as I mentioned in my review of Milocrorze, A Love Story, the movie won Best Picture in the Fantastic Features category.

A full list of awards is after the jump, along with some video footage, but I want to mention the one Austin-connected winner, who wasn't on the list. The Best Fantastic Fest Bumper award this year went to Nick Robinson, a former Austinite who occasionally contributed to Slackerwood when he lived here. Nick's bumper was one I watched with my fingers over my eyes, and I know I'm not the only one ... it's the one that played opening night and showed vasectomy surgery. You can watch it on YouTube but it is not for the squeamish (or even the unsqueamish, really) and probably not something you want to watch in public either. However, I'm happy to share a completely work-safe photo below of Nick getting his award.

AFF Updates: TV-Related Events, Film and Food Gala


Marfa Film Fest 2010

In the middle of one film festival, it's challenging to switch gears and write about another big festival that will engulf my filmgoing life in October. But Austin Film Festival has just announced its television-related programming for this year's fest, and I didn't want to wait to share the info. Several of the TV writers and showrunners who will screen and discuss select episodes of their shows have Austin ties, too. You can get all of the details via the fest's full panel schedule, which has just been published.

Here are the TV screening events announced for AFF:

  • Local writer Kyle Killen (The Beaver) will talk about and show an episode from his new TV series, Awake.
  • Native Texan and Former King of the Hill writer/producer Jim Dauterive will be at the fest with Loren Bouchard to show an episode of the animated show Bob's Burgers, followed by a Q&A.

Fantastic Fest Review: Milocrorze, A Love Story


Milocrorze, A Love Story

Sometimes my favorite Fantastic Fest movies are the ones I pick on a whim because the description sounds interesting and contains no words that worry my squeamish self like "torture" or "bloody violence." Milocrorze, A Love Story (Mirokuroze) was one of those movies, and I didn't even realize that its lead actor was Takayuki Yamada, whose performance I enjoyed so much in my unexpected favorite film from Fantastic Fest 2010, 13 Assassins. (He played nephew Shinrouko.) It's a delightfully surreal and even downright silly movie, a great upbeat alternative if you spent a previous festival day watching some of the more downbeat selections. Apparently I'm not alone in liking this movie, as it won the Fantastic Features award at the fest this week.

Yamada plays three roles in Milocrorze, A Love Story, which is divided into four acts that are more or less connected. He's not in the first part, which stars a very cute child in a fairytale-like story about the title character. The child is actually portraying a grown-up man -- kind of -- whose mundane life is transformed when he encounters the beautiful Milocrorze. Yamada first turns up in the second act, playing a bizarre and obnoxious world-famous "youth counselor" who shouts incredible advice over to the phone to love-struck teenagers, and who travels (and dances) with an entourage of scantily clad women. This is the goofiest part of the film -- it's almost jarring in contrast to the other sequences -- but it works beautifully. The audience could not stop laughing, at least not after they picked their jaws up from the floor.

Fantastic Fest 2011, Day Three: Fight Fiercely, Hobbits


Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood

While I know many film-festgoers who pack five movies into a day plus parties and declare "Sleep is the enemy!" I'm not one of them. I'm a two-flick-a-day woman, maybe three if I don't have any writing assigments due. I almost never go to midnight movies or late parties and am generally Cinderella-like about my evenings.

Saturday was an exception: I went to four Fantastic Fest screenings -- two were shorts collections so technically I saw nearly two dozen films -- and attended a midnight event after that. And now I'm up at 9 am on a Sunday morning so I can get my tickets for the day and write this dispatch. I'm not sure I could do this every day for a week; I admire the stamina of those who do.

I had an amazing stroke of good luck getting tickets Saturday morning -- everything I wanted, including the famous Fantastic Debates, which are so popular I've never been able to attend. It was in fact too good to be true, as I found out later that day that a ticketing glitch massively overbooked the Debates and any ticket over #150 would be invalid. I had #271. Fortunately, I was able to land a spot in the photographers' pen, but more on that later.

Review: Moneyball



Sports movies ought not to be talky. We could argue that Moneyball isn't really a sports movie -- it happens to take place in the world of sports, but its true focus is the growing battle between science and tradition. Even so, a movie with so much baseball in it ought to have a little more zip.

Fortunately, the talkiness is often snappy dialogue, well-written by Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian. The movie's dialogue seems to be written for a lighter-toned movie than the occasionally sluggish Moneyball, based on real-life people and events.

Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is the general manager of the Oakland A's, a major-league baseball team trying to compete successfully with teams that have far larger budgets. It's impossible for Beane to attract top-drawer players with third-tier salaries. He needs to find another way to improve his team, and believes he has the answer after meeting Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). Brand, a disciple of Bill James, believes that he can use a certain set of statistics to find the players who will bring them the most runs ... and many of those players are bargains because they look funny when they pitch, or get most of their runs on walks.

Fantastic Fest 2011, Day One: A Vasectomy and a Porcine Centipede


Fantastic Fest crowd

Sometimes Fantastic Fest feels less like a film festival and more like a big cocktail party where you know almost everyone there (which never happens at cocktail parties I attend) and oh yes, you can leave the party at any time and go watch some pretty good movies. If only we'd had martini glasses in the tent set up outside Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, the illusion would have been complete.

I arrived at Alamo around 4 pm, too late for the first round of movies but not too late to socialize. So many people have been returning to this fest year after year after year (since 2005) that it really does start to feel like I know everyone. And that unfamiliar guy over there? Turns out he's that film blogger I've been chatting with via Twitter, here for his first Fantastic Fest. The only problem with this situation is that I have to be careful when writing so I don't sound too "inside baseball" and bore all of you who weren't there.

After more socializing than I normally do in three months, I slipped into a screening of Boys on the Run just to watch the short playing before it, Family Unit. Austin filmmaker Thomas Humphries, the man behind the Blackmagic Rollercoaster production company, directed the film. Blackmagic Rollercoaster has brought us some might strange Fantastic Fest bumpers (the short shorts that "advertise" the fest before each screening). Family Unit is about a family outing in Mayfield Park (I noticed a peacock) and it is, um, not what you would expect. On the other hand, I kind of did expect to be simultaneously bemused and slightly stunned, so I suppose you could call it predictable in that sense.

Photo Essay: 'Bernie' and Jack Black Sneak into Austin

Bernie red carpet

Last Sunday at the Paramount, Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater opened up what was originally a cast-and-crew screening of his latest movie, Bernie, to the public as a sneak-peek fundraiser for Bastrop wildfire relief. The dark comedy was shot in Central Texas, including Bastrop and Austin. At last count, I heard that the event raised more than $70,000.

I was on the red carpet to catch a few photos of Linklater and one of the film's stars, Jack Black, who attended the screening. I probably don't need to tell you that's Black in the above photo. A lot of fans showed up with items for Jack Black to sign, ranging from posters to shirts to guitars. He was very accommodating, as you can see below.

Quick Snaps: Help Bastrop and Get a Peek at 'Bernie'


If you're not planning to spend the weekend ACL Fest-ing (or hiding from ACL Fest in another city), local filmmaker Richard Linklater is offering you the chance to see his latest movie as a benefit for groups helping with the Bastrop wildfire disaster.

Linklater's movie Bernie was partially shot in Bastrop, and in fact Linklater owns some property there himself. As the Austin Chronicle reports, he decided to turn what was originally a private cast-and-crew screening of Bernie into a fundraiser to help fire relief efforts in Bastrop. He enlisted Austin Film Society and j.k. livin (Matthew McConaughey's production company) to co-host this event, which will take place on Sunday at the Paramount.

Linklater and one of the film's stars, Jack Black, will be at the Bernie screening on Sunday. I hope to be on the red carpet to get a few photos of them. Linklater and Black were last at the Paramount together about 8 years ago -- the Austin premiere of The School of Rock was in September 2003. The above photo is from that event. I've posted a few more fun pictures from that premiere after the jump, including one with Roky Erickson. Austin Film Society has a Flickr set you can view.

Join Us for 'My Sucky Teen Romance'


SXSW Film Festival 2011

One of the Austin movies at SXSW this year was My Sucky Teen Romance, a comedy about real vampires who blend in perfectly at a science-fiction convention where everyone is in costume. Filmmaker Emily Hagins shot the movie while she was still in high school ... and this was her third feature film. Jenn interviewed Hagins before the movie premiered, then Don reviewed My Sucky Teen Romance after its premiere at the Paramount, calling it "campy, escapist fun."

My Sucky Teen Romance will return to Austin this week for its first local screening since SXSW. Austin Film Society will screen the movie on Wednesday at Alamo Drafthouse Village as part of its "Best of the Fests" series. And now I have even better news about the screening: Slackerwood contributor Rod Paddock will moderate the Q&A after the movie. Hagins will be there ... and I wouldn't be surprised if other cast members turned up. Rod is the perfect choice for a moderator, since he was an extra in the film.

Tickets are available online right now through Austin Film Society, with a discount for AFS members. I've embedded the trailer below. And I just remembered that Slackerwood contributor Mike Saulters also appears as an extra ... there he is in the trailer.

'Slacker 2011' Delivers the Weirdest Red Carpet in Austin


Slacker 2011 red carpet

I've worked a number of local red carpets since that fateful first one with Kevin Smith for Clerks 2 in 2008. Sometimes celebrities sneak past, jam up into mobs, or bring family and friends who block the cameras' view and start taking their own pictures. At the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, everyone entering the event walks on the red carpet and it's often difficult to figure out whom to photograph. (I take pictures of everyone and sort it out later. That handsome unfamiliar gent might turn out to be Adam Yauch.)

The red carpet for the Slacker 2011 premiere at the Paramount last week was one of the strangest I've encountered so far. The movie was divided into 24 scenes, each of which had its own separate cast and crew. That's a lot of people. And about 80 percent of them walked the red carpet that night, sometimes in groups, sometimes straggling behind. I have no idea who the kids are in the above photo, although I did spot them when I saw Slacker 2011 later that evening.

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