Fantastic Fest 2012 Day 7: The American Scream, Flicker, Secret Screening #2
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By Johnny Rollerfeet's Echo Chamber - Last updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Zack Carlson, one of the primary creatives in the Drafthouse’s programming team, contributed as a producer for this documentary about home haunters — people who spend a lot of time building elaborate (although amateurish) haunted houses in their backyards. The American Scream, as expected, reveals some interesting characters and their motivations for providing neighborhood scares. It shows a lot of heart and leaves the viewer wanting to make a trip to an old-fashioned haunted house.

The bad luck of the employees that work for the Finnish company Unicom seems to coincide with the power outages occurring occasionally. As the tension bleeds out into their families and life away from work, it feels like something has to break. Flicker shines a light on its poor characters in a quiet manner bringing a few laughs.

The much anticipated Cloud Atlas from Andy and Lana Wachowski is as convoluted as the descriptions you may have read. Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and many other top-bill actors play multiple roles in multiple stories of a wide array of time periods, including the age of the great composers, early 1970’s San Fransisco, future Korea, and several others. Cineasts seem to be swept away despite the (sometimes deliberately) confusing fast cuts back and forth between these eras, probably because of the rich visuals, lofty performances, and powerful storytelling. I doubt that there will be mainstream success for it, though, since most of the surface story is very complex and the tales of subtle individual revolutionaries will not connect with the fly-over states and their equivalents around the globe. The Wachowskis are preaching to the choir, but maybe the choir needs a rally cry about now, and this is certainly a beautiful and powerful exhultation. The infamous directors gave a delightfully intelligent Q&A that started with Andy saying, “We used to be the Wachowski brothers. Now we go by Wachowski Starship.” That good natured humor is a glimpse into the spiritual balance the Wachowski’s have found, and it shows in their latest film.

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