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Must See Films at Ithaca Fantastik 2018

This years ITHACA FANTASTIK has one its strongest lineups to date. With that in mind, I've been tasked with compiling a list of the "must see" films. 

Directed by Joel Potrykus 
Sat October 27th 2:00pm

Settle in for 91 minutes of action set entirely on a sofa as our hero Abbie (Joshua Burge) attempts to beat all 256 levels of Pac-Man before the world ends. Berated by his brother and a slew of off-kilter friends, Abbie must stick to his mission at any cost. He’ll have to stay focused in the midst of hilarious antics. Will he beat the game? Will the world as we know it be lost for eternity? Will he ever get off the couch?

Directed by Christopher Caldwell
Sat. Oct. 27  8:00pm

In a working-class future (in space!), a father and daughter mining team (Jay Duplass and Sophie Thatcher) struggle to make a living on an alien moon with worn out space suits and a barely functional spacecraft. When they learn about a large haul of the rare, valuable crystals they’ve been tracking, they decide to risk confrontations with their lawless competition.

Adapted from a short film of the same name, PROSPECT has a blue collar sci-fi atmosphere that evokes the highlights of the genre and follows the lead of films like Alien (1979) and Silent Running (1972).

Directed by Aaron Schimberg
Sun. Oct. 28th 6:00pm

Mabel, a beautiful actress, is cast as the lead in a schlocky horror film. Her co-star and most members of the supporting cast are actors with disabilities and physical differences. She connects with her peers off-screen, building friendships—and more—as filming goes on. Mabel begins to consider whether their treatment on set is exploitational.

This film within a film brings up important questions of inclusion vs. exploitation. Are current standards of representation in modern film as equal as we would like to believe?

Directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt
Fri. Nov. 2nd 4:00pm

Every time star footballer Diamantino (Carloto Cotta) makes a shot on goal, a pack of giant, happy, floppy dogs romps onto the pitch in a sparkly cloud. That is, until he misses the game-deciding penalty shot at the World Cup. His groove is gone. The glittery pups are nowhere to be seen. His career is over. Floundering, he falls prey to sinister forces offering him a job as a political mascot—shilling the promise to "make Portugal great again.” Hoping for a second chance, he is instead transported on a surreal and satirical journey through a dysfunctional modern landscape.

Directed by Quentin Dupieux
Sun. Oct. 28th 8:00pm

When Louis Fugain (Grรฉgoire Ludig) trips over a dead body in front of his condo, his first impulse is to report it to the police. That’s what any good, logical citizen would do, right? He quickly realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. The obsessive Captain Buron’s (Benoรฎt Poelvoorde) gut tells him Fugain knows more than he’s letting on, and will gleefully grill him until he cracks. The seemingly never-ending interrogation takes absurd turns, soaked in dark humor and bloody fun. It’s a twisted ride all the way to the end.

Directed by Tilman Singer
Fri. Nov. 2nd 10:00pm

Luz (Luana Velis) arrives at a police station. Seemingly in state of shock, she begins the interview process of filing a report. Meanwhile, at a nearby bar, a mysterious man drinks alone. He’s approached by a young woman with a disconcerting manner. They strike up a conversation over drinks. A malevolent force seems to permeate both conversations.

Shot on 16mm—and the thesis project for German film student Tilman Singer—LUZ already feels like a movie out of time. It has the aesthetic trappings of a film made in the 1980s, but its characters and story are contemporary in their design and feel.

Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Sun. Nov. 4th 6:00pm

In 1991, the FBI thought they had a lead on the Gainesville student murders when they came into possession of Mike Diana’s 'zine, Boiled Angel. Despite being cleared of any murder charges, the FBI forwarded information about him and his work to Florida police. He became the first artist in US history to be prosecuted on obscenity charges—all because of his cartoonish depictions of depravity. This documentary, directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Brain Damage), features narration by Jello Biafra and appearances by Neil Gaiman, George Romero, Jay Lynch, and the trial lawyers who felt they were justified in putting an artist behind bars.

Q&A with special guests: director Frank Henenlotter, artist Mike Diana, and producer Mike Hunchback

Directed by Clayton Jacobson
Sun. Oct. 28th 4:00pm

Two brothers (Clayton and Shane Jacobson) reflect on memories, their upbringing, and family in their childhood home as they plot to kill their stepfather. What at first seems like a simple plan soon spirals out of control and into an abyss of mayhem and murder.

Clayton Jacobsen’s pitch black comedy features rapid fire dialogue that is both rhythmic and increasingly ironic and bittersweet—feeling like a blend of the Coen brothers and Hitchcockian crime dramas of the golden age of cinema.

Directed by Tim van Dammen
Sun. Oct. 28th 2:00pm

Johnny (Anton Tennet) is down on his luck in small town Auckland and hoping to escape his loser life. When a strange Chinese artifact gives him the power to travel back in time, Johnny decides to face off against his drug dealer boss Shelton (Jonny Brugh of What We Do In The Shadows). The consequences of time travel are more dangerous than Johnny expects, and he very quickly realizes the price he may have to pay. Quick-witted dialogue coupled with heaps of charm and charisma make Tim van Dammen’s Kiwi comedy a must see.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased HERE.