September, as most cinephiles know, is a month almost entirely lacking in film festivals. What’s that? Something going on in Toronto? A film festival, and it’s happening right now? Well, if you say so. Seriously, though, with TIFF starting in full today, and the New York Film Festival kicking off once again at the end of the month, don’t think for a second that the time in between is lacking in festival selections. In fact, we’re just 2 weeks away from the beginning of Fantastic Fest 2013 in Austin, Texas. And today, the organizers announced the third and final wave of films being unveiled over the eight-day festival, including a fairly big get in the closing-night premiere: Terry Gilliam’s new film The Zero Theorem, starring Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. The Zero Theorem, which is receiving its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest, focuses on a computer genius trying to discover the purpose of existence (like you do) who only achieves such understanding once he falls in love. Loglines, though, almost never do Terry Gilliam films justice, and with a cast that also includes Matt Damon, David Thewlis, and Tilda Swinton, it’s hard to imagine this won’t be a must-see.
The list of genre fare has also expanded to include the long-delayed and much-buzzed about horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, from director Jonathan Levine; Sundance 2013 cult favorite Escape from Tomorrow, a film shot guerilla-style at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks about a family man going mad at the happiest place on Earth; and the new documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, focusing on the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel that never was. And with movies like Detective Downs, a movie about a private investigator who has Down Syndrome, it’s safe to say that Fantastic Fest hasn’t lost its ability to be daring and risky in its selections. So, in case you’ve forgotten from just a paragraph above, in just two weeks, Fantastic Fest 2013 will begin with Robert Rodriguez’s latest, Machete Kills, as the opening-night film. Could the festival organizers have a few more surprise selections and guests up their sleeves? You never know, so make sure to keep watching this space for further updates. Fantastic Fest 2013 will run from September 19 to September 26. More details are available at http://fantasticfest.com.