Dark Whimsy at Fantastic Fest 2015
Some years at Fantastic Fest the lineup is all about torture porn, or science fiction, or damsel-in-distress films.
This year Fantastic Fest is all about dark whimsy, and I couldn’t be more excited about that.
You might be wondering what “dark whimsy” means. It’s a combination of the playful and the macabe that I look for so often, but have a hard time finding. The Gothic Lolita from Japan is one place you’ll find this ethos. Another is in the films of Tim Burton, in such works as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice. You’ll also find this dark whimsy in Natalie Frank:The Brothers Grimm exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, the perfumes at the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and in the writing and Sandman comics of Neil Gaimen. It’s a world where one is aware of both death and magic.
Many of the Fantastic Fest films below appear to have an element of this dark whimsy to them, but it’s hard to know for sure!
The Fantastic Fest Films that can be described as “dark whimsy” include:
The Lobster: Where one must find a mate in 45 days at “The Hotel” or be turned into an animal.
Yakuza Apocalypse: a vampire Yakuza film from Takashi Miike.
Belladonna of Sadness: restoration of 1973 Japanese anime film about a girl’s pact with the Devil.
Assassination Classroom: Kill the alien teacher “UT” by the end of the semester or he destroys the earth!
Lovemilla: zombies, aliens, robot arms and true love.
Liza the fox fairy: Looking for love is hard when your suitors die on the regular.
Anomalisa: stop-motion animation from the guy who brought you “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”