Javier Fuentes
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Javier Fuentes

Movies

Switching back to “real life” and saying good bye to friends is always the worst as was the case this year after Fantastic Fest. Never mind that it was a particularly strong year of movies, which made the occasion all the more bittersweet. Here’s some of the highlights:   JUNGLE

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  Director/Writer: Nacho Vigalondo. Actors: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, and Dan Stevens. Alcoholism and addiction is devastating both for the person going through this disease and the people around them. And in director Nacho Vigalondo’s new movie, COLOSSAL, the devastation is very literal in the form a Godzilla-esque creature. Anne

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Director: Amat Escalante. Actors: Simone Bucio, Ruth Ramos, Jesus Meza and Eden Villavencio.   I love Mexico. It’s my home country and a beautiful place. However, most cinema that comes out of the home land has a tendency of being either a gang, drug movie, or immigrant story. So of

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  Director: Julia Ducornau. Actors: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabat Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas and Joana Preiss. People fainting, storming out, or being kicked out of screenings are nothing new to film festivals. Never mind that most attendees or press are exhausted, drunk, and malnourished half of the time. RAW is

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  Director/Writer: Denis Villneuve. Actors: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.   Director Dennis Villeneuve’s movies have a tendency to come off as nihilistic, unless you count a mental breakdown such as the one in ENEMY or the morally grey world of drug trafficking from SICARIO. ARRIVAL comes as

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Director/Writer: Liam Gavin. Actors: Catherine Walker and Steve Oram. Throughout history, the use of magic and the occult has been shown to represent arrogance of man and the depth people are willing to climb down to to get what they want. In director Liam Gavin’s debut film, A DARK SONG,

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THE FITS.  Director: Anna Rose Holme. Writers: Saela Davis, Anna Rose Holme. Actors: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor and Lauren Gibson. The hype cycle of film festival is a strange thing. Most of the time you’re hearing people’s immediate reactions to a movie which might or might not be the most reliable

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Contemporary Color. Director: Bill Ross IV, and Turner Ross. As far as extracurricular activities in high school went, color guard was kind of at the bottom of the list. And yet, Infinitely Handsome Cool Dude and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne became so enamored with this type of performance that

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Movies

With much sadness, another Fantastic Fest has come and gone, leaving damaged livers, and lots of movies in its wake. It was a strong year full of thrilling features and surprising short films and crazy events.   There’s something pretty rad that happens when you go to a festival; you

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High-Rise. Director: Ben Wheatley Writer: Amy Jump, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard Actors: Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons. Ben Wheatley is one of best genre directors. His movie Kill List is still regarded as one of the best horror movies of the new century and

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The Devil’s Candy. Director and Writer: Sean Byrne. Actors: Ethan Embry, Shiri Appleby, and Kiara Glasco. The Loved Ones was one of the most famously hard to find movies out of the festival circuit in the 2009-2010 season. Director Sean Byrne has been away ever since, but thankfully he is back

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Bone Tomahawk. Director and Writer: S. Craig Zahler. Actors: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons and Richard Jenkins. Bone Tomahawk shows why we need more movies in the horror western genre. While not being a straight out horror movie, it features some of the most terrifying moments in

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Assassination Classroom. Director: Eiichiro Hasumi. Writer: Tatsuya Kanazawa, based on the manga by Yusei Matsui. Actors: Ryosuke Yamada, Masaki Suda, and Ninoyima Kazunari.   Sometimes you hear of a movie’s premise, and you think it must be a joke. That’s what Assassination Classroom was like when I first heard of it.   The

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Follow. Director and Writer: Owen Egerton.  Actors: Noah Segan, Haley Lu Richardson, Olivia Grace Applegate and Don Most. Sometimes all it takes is for one thing to go wrong and your whole life can disintegrate around you. With first-time director Owen Egerton’s Follow, we (pardon the pun) follow this idea to

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Anomalisa. Directors:  Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Writer: Charlie Kaufman. Actors: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan. Whenever Charlie Kaufman makes a movie, people pay attention. And with good reason. While his movies maybe a little dense and heavy with metaphors, they are always visually stunning with some heavy

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The Wave. Director: Roar Uthag. Writers: John Kåre Raake, Harald Rosenløw-Eeg. Actors: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro, Fridtjov Såheim and Edith Haagenrud-Sande.   Disaster movies have this very American slant to them. There’s something about the gratuitous destruction of a city or a building that feels ridiculous in that big MURICA

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