October 1, 2011


I consoled myself with a "Michael Jackson" cupcake
- chocolate with cream-cheese icing.
Soon afterwards I sunk into a sugar coma.
So this is it. The end of the journey. This was my final day of Fantastic Fest and it would end, not with a bang, but with a whimper. With no sort of announcement that I could find anywhere the 1:00pm screening of The Loved Ones was pulled and a 12:45pm repeat screening of the award-winning Bullhead playing instead. What this meant, then, is that the ticket queue opened 15 minutes earlier than I thought it would. Meaning when I actually logged on to book my tickets EVERYTHING (that I hadn't already seen) was Sold Out, including a repeat screening of the popular A Boy and His Samurai. I was well pissed off. This was the final day of Fantastic Fest and I was going to spend it NOT watching movies?! Well that's not how I wanted to finish things. So, I was going to have try my luck with standby tickets and hope against hope I'd make it in to something.

Well, lucky I was at my motel catching up with some writing and had twitter open - the folks at Fantastic Fest opened up a second screen for Morgan Spurlock's Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope and I managed to score a ticket. Watching Comic-Con, a documentary on the annual San Diego Comic-Con, with a Fantastic Fest audience was pretty frakking great. The doco is no snide look at the world of geeks and their passion, but rather follows geeks on their way to Con for various reasons: there's two guys hoping to get work in comic-books, hauling their portfolios around the Con taking alll criticism on the chin. There's the obsessive toy collector who simply must get the new Galactus toy and that's all he's there for (thankfully, this is a very short segment). There's the cute couple who met at the previous year's Con and the guy's efforts to propose to her at the Kevin Smith Q&A. There's the owner of Mile High Comics - the largest retailer of comic-books in America - and who helps provide an insight into the diminishing "Comic" aspect of Comic-Con. And then there's the costume designer who works out of her garage with a small team making incredible, professional-level costumes from Mass Effect 2 who is there to enter the Masquerade and hopefullly score some work from it. These stories are intercut with talking head interviews; some are fellow Comic-Con attendees but the majority are, for lack of a better term, celebrity geeks: the likes of Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, Harry Knowles (also a producer on the film), Stan Lee, Paul Dini, Matt Fraction, Seth Green, Guillermo del Toro and more. The documentary is, in fact, something of a celebration of all things geek and is a light look at the defining place of fandom in popular culture now and how the Con has become so diversified with it's pop culture the comic-book section of it is the smallest part. But it does go to show that what some of these fans create with passion, talent and hardwork is nothing short of phenomenal. Comic-Con is a movie I can't wait to see on DVD, as I hope there are oodles and oodles of more interviews - with the regular Con attendees and the "geek gods" - and seeing it with the Fantastic Fest crowd was an enormous amount of fun. 

And that's it. That's the end of my first Fantastic Fest. I'm glad I got to something on the final day and I'm pleased it was something as enjoyable as Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. I missed the Closing Night party due to my continuing sickness but I know for a fact this will not be my only Fantastic Fest. And heck, I want to get to San Diego now too.

No comments:

Post a Comment