Fantastic Fest 2021 curtain raiser

It will have been two years since Fantastic Fest Film Festival unwound in theatrical venues.

In addition to the S. Lamar world headquarters of the Alamo Drafthouse, officially named the Bong Joon Ho Cinema, satellite locations of the Drafthouse franchise (Mueller and Village) will also present films.

A few foreign titles that will roll out in the next month, including Cannes Palme D’Or winner “Titane,” and the American premiere of “Lamb” are among the offerings. There’s also the anticipation of Secret Screenings, which indicates a popular genre film opening down the road.

Running from Wednesday, September 22 through Thursday, September 30, the opening night film is a 35th anniversary screening of the Hal Needham directed “Rad.” BMX bike racing was a thing in the ‘80s and “Rad” offers bike stunts galore with solid support from Talia Shire and Ray Walston.

Fantastic Fest will also present the North American premiere of the 4k restoration of the ultimate cult film that nobody has seen, Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 “Possession, starring Sam Neill and Isabella Adjani, and creature effects by Carlo Rambaldi.

Aside from films with active word of mouth Fantastic Fest presents an international array of movies guaranteed to wow the seasoned cineaste. In more than one case it may be the only time you even see this film screening. On the other hand it may be a zeitgeist film that everyone is talking about six months from now.

The festival will require vaccination cards or negative COVID tests (taken within 24 hours of the screening du jour). Natch, masks required when not drinking and eating.

A selection of films under the radar

“Aelita: Queen of Mars” – A 1924 silent Russian film set on Mars from Soviet director Yakov Protazanov, with a score by acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Chris Bullock.

“The Found Footage Phenomenon” – United Kingdom produced documentary tracing key films in this important sub-genre. A US premiere.

“Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest” – A chronicle of video games that profiles a local “Copenhagen legend who can play the arcade game Gyrrus for almost three days straight with a single coin.” A US premiere of this Denmark import.

“Iké Boys” – World premiere from Oklahoman native Eric McEver who moved to Japan to fulfill his dream of filmmaking. McEver’s first film goes from country boy innocence to full-on Kaiju mayhem.

“Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” – Japanese sci-fi comedy where a two minute gap in the time continuum launches our unlikely hero into a time loop of infinite platitudes.

“She Will” – Strange happenings in remote Scotland with Alice Krige, Kota Eberhardt, and Malcolm McDowell. A US premiere and debut film from photographer turned filmmaker Charlotte Colbert.

“Saloum” – A US premiere of Senagal filmmaker Jean-Luc Herbulot’s mixture of supernatural events during a mercenary excursion.

“The Execution” – Russian crime thriller pitting a serial killer against the detective assigned to his case. The debut film from Lado Kvataniya, who also appeared in a supporting role in “Hardcore Henry.”

“Glasshouse” – From South Africa the first film from Kelsey Egan reimagines “The Beguiled” as a dystopian parable.

“The Beta Test” – Director Jim Cummings brings a fresh perspective to movie making politics. It’s a new millennium view of the life of an agent.

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