Alexander Panye’s ‘Downsizing’ to close Fantastic Fest

12:51 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 Austin360 Home

“Election” director Alexander Payne’s "Downsizing” will close the 2017 Fantastic Fest.

The festival announced its final wave of films Tuesday afternoon.

Look for a mess of world premieres including:

* Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow Episode 2: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts,” the sequel to Hetzfeldt’s brilliant 2015 short film “World of Tomorrow.”

"World of Tomorrow Episode 2"

*Frank “Crossbones” Grillo’s thriller “Wheelman”

*Bradford Baruh’s “Applecart, which features over forty minutes of zero gravity footage;

* The documentary “Haunters: The Art of the Scare,” about the world’s most terrifying haunted houses.

I’m also looking forward to Angela Robinson’s "Professor Marston & the Wonder Women,” a feature-ization of the true story of William Moulton Marston and the creation of Wonder Woman.

As for repertory content, look for a screening of “Bat Pussy,”  the world’s first X-rated parody, the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of “Ichi the Killer” and Jean Rollin’s “The Nude Vampire,” presented by former Austinite/Alamo programmer Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book “Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.”

FINAL WAVE BELOW:

 AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

 LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse

THE NUDE VAMPIRE

France, 1970

Repertory, 88 min

Director - Jean Rollin

Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book's publisher Kier-La Janisse.

 3FT BALL & SOULS

Japan, 2017

International Premiere, 93 min

Director - Yoshio Kato

Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

 APPLECART

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 86 min

Director - Bradford Baruh

An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

 BAASHA

India, 1995

Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min

Director - Suresh Krissna

Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

 BAD GENIUS

Thailand, 2017

Texas Premiere, 130 min

Director - Nattawut Poonpiriya

A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

 BEFORE WE VANISH

Japan, 2017

North American Premiere, 129 min

Director - Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion — most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

 BLUE MY MIND

Switzerland, 2017

North American Premiere, 97 min

Director - Lisa Brühlmann

BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

 BRIMSTONE & GLORY

Mexico, USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 67 min

Director - Viktor Jakovleski

Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

 THE CURED

Ireland, UK, France, 2017

US Premiere, 95 min

Director - David Freyne

A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

 DARKLAND

Denmark, 2017

US Premiere, 113 min

Director - Fenar Ahmad

An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

 DOWNSIZING

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 135 min

Director - Alexander Payne

Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire. 

FIRSTBORN

Latvia, 2017

North American Premiere, 90 min

Director - Aik Karapetian

Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

 FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES

South Africa, 2017

US Premiere, 120 min

Director - Michael Matthews

A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Xhosa language western.

 GEMINI

USA, 2017

Special Screening, 93 min

Director - Aaron Katz

Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

 GILBERT

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 99 min

Director - Neil Berkeley

GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

 GOOD MANNERS

Brazil, France, 2017

North American Premiere, 135 min

Directors - Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra

When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

 HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 88 min

Director - Jon Schnitzer

Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences that range from the traditional to the controversial.

 ICHI THE KILLER - 4K RESTORATION

Japan, 2001

Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min

Director - Takashi Miike

The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city's most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

 JUNK HEAD

Japan, 2017

US Premiere, 114 min

Director - Takahide Hori

Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

 JUPITER’S MOON

Hungary, Germany , 2017

North American Premiere, 123 min

Director - Kornél Mundruczó

The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

 LES AFFAMES

Canada, 2017

US Premiere, 100 min

Director - Robin Aubert

In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

 LET THE CORPSES TAN

Belgium, France, 2017

US Premiere, 92 min

Directors - Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani

On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

 LETTERKENNY

Canada, 2016

US Premiere, 151 min

Director - Jacob Tierney

The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

 THE LINE

Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017

North American Premiere, 112 min

Director - Peter Bebjak

One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

 LOVE AND SAUCERS

USA/Canada, 2017

Texas Premiere, 67 min

Director - Brad Abrahams

David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

 MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER

Japan, 2017

North American Premiere, 102 min

Director - Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

 THE MERCILESS

South Korea, 2017

North American Premiere, 117 min

Director - Byun Sung-hyun

Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun's hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses... and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

 MOM AND DAD

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 83 min

Director - Brian Taylor

Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town's adults to murder their offspring. 

 MON MON MON MONSTERS

Taiwan, 2017

Regional Premiere, 112 min

Director - Giddens Ko

A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

 THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

France, Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 85 min

Director - Sonia Kronlund

Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

 PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 108 min

Director - Angela Robinson

In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

 RABBIT

Australia, 2017

International Premiere, 99 min

Director - Luke Shanahan

After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo's kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

 RADIUS

Canada, 2017

US Premiere, 91 min

Directors - Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard

When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

 REVENGE

France, 2017

US Premiere, 108 min

Director - Coralie Fargeat

Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn't the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they — and we — won’t soon forget.

 RIFT

Iceland, 2017

Texas Premiere, 111 min

Director - Erlingur Thoroddsen

After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

 SALYUT-7

Russia, 2017

World Premiere, 119 min

Director - Klim Shipenko

Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

 THELMA

Norway, 2017

Texas Premiere, 116 min

Director - Joachim Trier

A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

 THOROUGHBRED

USA, 2017

Austin Premiere, 92 min

Director - Cory Finley

Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

 TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

Mexico, 2017

World Premiere, 83 min

Director - Issa López

When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

 UNDER THE TREE

Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 89 min

Director - Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

 V.I.P.

South Korea, 2017

International Premiere, 128 min

Director - Hoon-jung Park

A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

 VAMPIRE CLAY

Japan, 2017

US Premiere, 80 min

Director - Soichi Umezawa

A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

 VIDAR THE VAMPIRE

Norway, 2017

Texas Premiere, 82 min

Directors - Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland

Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

 WHEELMAN

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 82 min

Director - Jeremy Rush

Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust... his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

 WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 23 min

Director - Don Hertzfeldt

The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt's Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who's on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt's five-year-old niece.

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