Fantastic Fest announces another year of Fantastic Debates

Fantastic Fest announces another year of Fantastic Debates (photo)

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One of the highlights every year at Fantastic Fest is Fantastic Debates, where feuds between filmmakers, critics, and festival runners are settled during a night of public debates and boxing. Oh and alcohol. But really every night at Fantastic Fest is a night of alcohol, so that one ought to just go without saying at this point.

Last year’s Fantastic Debates was a particularly outstanding event, with a stellar card that ran the gamut from a comedy undercard (the Zellner Brothers, David and Nathan, throwing down to decide whether video games are art) to a battle of the sexes main event. That’s where Alamo Drafthouse president and Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League squared off against “Avatar” star Michelle Rodriguez, a professionally trained boxer from her time starring in the film “Girlfight.” You’ve heard of the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manilla. This was Kickin’ Ass in Austin, Tex-Ass. Here’s our report of the night:

Ah, good times. Today Fantastic Fest announced the first details of the 2011 Fantastic Debates. This time League’s decided to fight another well-trained boxer, this one a man, this one a professional. At the main event of Fantastic Debates 2011, League will fight professional — and undefeated! — bare-knuckle boxer James Quinn McDonagh. McDonag is one the subjects of the Fantastic Fest selection, “Knuckle,” a documentary about the sport of bare knuckle boxing. In a few weeks, he’s also going to become the man who murdered Tim League. In a statement, League said “Fantastic Debates has become the most anticipated special event of the festival.  Last year I beat “Girlfight” star Michelle Rodriguez in the ring.  Perhaps this gave me too much confidence.  This year in a fit of incredibly poor judgment, I have challenged undefeated Irish bare-knuckle brawler James Quinn McDonagh to a fight.”

Indeed, very poor judgment, Also, maybe my memory’s fuzzy (remember: every night at Fantastic Fest’s a night of alcohol), but I don’t remember League “beating” Michelle Rodriguez. As you see in our video, it was really more of a draw. Unless he’s counting the moral victory that she didn’t knock him unconscious as a win. Maybe that’s it.

League and McDonagh also sent along pre-fight video messages to each other. These are hilarious, assuming you find a lunatic willingly marching to his execution funny. First, League:

And here’s McDonagh:

You can watch Tim League’s assassination live at this year’s Fantastic Fest, which runs from September 22-29.

Who are you betting on in the epic League vs. McDonagh debate? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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