Fantastic Fest 2019 was eight days of live music, great events, and some interesting debates. Oh yeah. There were also a few movies. The film festival saw examples from all genres and various countries. Horrors, comedies, and documentaries all screened over the course of the week long plus event. Along with independents, movies with planned nationwide theatrical releases and some scheduled to be released on Netflix were also shown. There was something for everybody. Here are the best movies from Fantastic Fest.
Movies about movies tend be interesting even in the worst case scenario. Memory is more than just another “making of” documentary. Instead, director Alexandre Phillipe looks at one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history. A thorough look at the chestburster moment from Alien, Memory is a deep dive into the scene. It looks at the history, the genesis, and the thought process behind it. It builds tension like few other docs and will interest more than just fans of the franchise.
Director Bong Joon-ho’s movie was already a critical success heading into Fantastic Fest. The first Korean film to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes, the story defies description. Part comedy, part social commentary, the best description of the story may be an all to real satire. With great performances and a third act that is impossible to turn away from, Parasite is one of the best movies of the year.
Robert Eggers’s follow up to 2015’s The Witch will probably be just as polarizing as his debut. A quiet and contemplative movie that examines the human psyche, the movie also boasts some of the wildest scenes of the year. Robert Pattinson and Wilem Dafoe are fabulous and carry a seemingly simplistic story that has numerous layers. Beautifully shot the movie will stay with you whether you few others.
Few movies at Fantastic Fest were filled with the poignant commentary of this Spanish science fiction movie. The intriguing premise and minimalist art make The Platform one of the most striking pictures of the year. The clever story is about a prison known as The Pit. The prisoners of the tower like structure are fed from the top down with the lower levels having only the leftovers from the above levels. Violent and affecting, the movie will make audiences think.
The first secret screening from Fantastic Fest was this Netflix biopic starring Eddie Murphy. Arguably the funniest movie of the event, Dolemite is My Name is a throwback to the Murphy classics of the 1980s. The script is filled with hilarious zingers. Older viewers will remember movies like Beverly Hills Cop while newer viewers will have new memories.