|Fantastic Arcade/ Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX)|
|Wednesday, 20 October 2010 00:32|
Since 2005, the founders of Fantastic Fest(Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News and Alamo Drafthouse mastermind Tim League, to name a few) have dedicated themselves to putting on what is arguably the most fun film festival you can attend in this country. Where other festivals eventually devolve into a distribution meat market that Paris Hilton goes to get her picture taken, Fantastic Fest celebrates the world’s best genre films and allows Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA to present legendary martial-arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Did I saw award? I meant sword. He gave him a sword.
This year, the Fantastic team decided to level up and introduce the Fantastic Arcade -- a concurrent showcase for indie developers who, in short, make video games that rule. Not to be outdone by its older brother, Fantastic Arcade also comes complete with panels, competitions, playable demos, and film screenings relevant to its cause. Our chipmusic documentary, Reformat the Planet, had the honor of joining this lineup so I (Asif) went down to Austin to check out the proceedings and represent the film on 2PP’s behalf.
Unfortunately, the date of the screening was changed late in the game so I ended up arriving in town a few days later in accordance with the original schedule. Still, the experience was an invaluable one. Getting to meet and interact with some of our favorite developers was a real treat but, more than that, the entire week just reinforced how much the divide between independent films and video games was narrowing. My personal highlight of the week was actually a moderated conversation between Braid creator, Jonathan Blow, and Timecrimes director, Nacho Vigalondo, where the two discussed the relationship between their respective fields. I could go on for pages about what they went over so I’ll simply say that a rich and fascinating history stretches out before us and we look forward to documenting as much of it as we can get our hands on.
The arcade came to a fitting end earlier this week with Austin’s premier chipmusic event, Datapop. The sets from Rainbow Dragon Eyes, Fuckjazzforaminute, glomag, and IAYD all killed and I encourage everyone reading this to do everything in your power to attend this Fantastic week next year. You can thank me in person.