The overwhelming connotation of the Fantastic Fest film slate is genre. You approach any given year at the Austin, Texas-based festival prepared to see your share of horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies, more often than not winding up with some choice endeavors in cinematic otherworldliness. However, Fantastic Fest should really be lauded foremost for its versatility, as its principal devotion is not to scares, gore, or schlock, but to quality film. Our own Clarke Wolfe’s second day on the grounds of the fest take her outside the parameters of genre fare and into the company of two of the most interesting films on this year’s lineup.
The first is American Honey, a dank and ennui-laden drama about a young woman traversing the country with a collection of sordid door-to-door salesmen whose sole existential motive is to get to the next wild party. Clarke chatted with American Honey’s Sasha Lane, who stars in the film alongside Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough, about the hazy, hard-hitting film by the great Andrea Arnold. Next, Clarke moved on to a chat with renowned documentarian Morgan Spurlock, whose (aptly titled) latest film Rats certainly tests the bounds of traditional horror.
Clarke’s second day at Fantastic Fest also took her ringside to the Fantastic Debates, a hybrid of intellectual discourse, smack talk, and boxing. Watch our recap of Day 2 above to get a taste of the fights yourself, and to hear more about American Honey and Rats—just two great examples of the festival’s ability to exceed even the most generous margins.