AFFF 25, the Aftermath
23:45 | Author: Geoffrey Sinkeler
So, after nearly 2 weeks, the figures you have finally been waiting for. Please note that the figures does not contain the 2 EFS movies and Symposium.

The figures are derived from the scores given by each one for each movie and put in a spreadsheet.

That's it! We've done it! Watching around 50 movies each, a marathon every day. We RULE! :-)

Thanks all,

This is Geoffrey signing off.

Take care

Good night

Don't watch too many movies! It's not good for your health.
AFFF 25 roundup
23:17 | Author: Hans
As always I tremendously enjoyed the festival. Yes, there were changes, no, not all of them for the better. But between the list containing this year's positive points and those of AFFF's gone by there would be enough overlap to confidently state; again, it was a wonderful festival.

So, what were the differences? Visiting the festival with the four of us, though not necessarily all watching the same film at the same time, was a fun experience. Particularly the discussions afterwards and sometimes wildly differing reviews added some wonderful spice. As a footnote, the way we set up the blog this year appealed to me. Previous years' static items started to become a bit of a nuisance; one had to remember a quote, one had to count the bodies and remember the most creative weapons... Fun as it was at the time, I enjoyed the freestyle writing this blog allowed.

The lack of anime. Yada yada. I hope this AFFF will be remembered as the AFFF which failed in the anime department, for that assumes they will have learned their lesson next year... Particularly the last two years I have become an avid anime watcher. Mostly series and OVA's, truth be told, but they all guided me to an even better appreciation of the art of not just storytelling and its visual shape in film, but the sometimes deceptively simple animation that can be so extremely effective. Shinshi, reconsider...

A shorter NoT, but a more evenly spread programme allowing almost every film to be seen. The shorts, always a big favourite, were less impressive this year, but did contain some tiny diamonds in the rough.

Freestyle this may be, some order has to exist. A mini-roundup of my most memorable films. I'll keep it short, this isn't the place to extend my review. My opinion is just one of many: follow links for comparison with the other 3 opinions.

Martyrs: judging from the last week this might probably be the most memorable film for me. Haunting thoughts and images.

From Inside. Highly poetic, somewhere deep down inside it struck a sensitive note. I wonder what I'll think of it when I watch it again.

Let the right one in: everything clicked. "I don't like to see blood on a young girl's face" a friend wrote me. Isn't that what good films are about? Seeming contradictions, triggering impressions, conflicting emotions...

The clone returns home: meta-physical questions in slow-motion.

Stingray Sam: wonderful; black-and-white, space cowboy. A little gem.
AFFF25 / imagine 2009 roundup
23:46 | Author: Joost
It's been a week since the 25th Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival / imagine 2009 came to an end. I have seen a record breaking 51 feature films in ten days time. For posterity and/or convenience all my posts can be found on this blog under the label "joost". But which ones stand out? The following films belong to the best I've seen:
  1. The clone returns home
    A slow-paced visually strong philosophical contemplation on cloning, the soul, and what makes us human.

  2. Martyrs
    A very violent and gruesome film about physical abuse and how to create victims. A study into the strength and the fathomless depths of the human spirit. Difficult to watch, but hard not to recommend. "Handle with care".

  3. Stingray Sam
    With a sweet spot for The American Astronaut (screened during the 20th AFFF in 2005), it should come as no surprise that I severely enjoyed Stingray Sam. Cory McAbee transports us to a black and white retro sci-fi world with musical interludes.

  4. Let the right one in
    It can be hard to live up to expectation with all the prior buzz and awards. Luckily the film is as good as people say. Great mix of the "coming of teenage" and vampire genres. One of those films where things click - story, cast, cinematography, music.

  5. Fear me not
    Another Scandinavian gem, a psychological portrait of a man in his forties who decides to reassess his life and "change some things". A new untested kind of drug is the catalyst, but not all it what it seems. The "normalness" of the protagonist and how he changes is creepier than other monster and gore films we've seen during this festival.

  6. Not quite Hollywood
    What a pleasant surprise to see a whole documentary on how the Australians added a significant chapter to the exploitation genre. Key players reflect upon their adventures and plenty of clips make the whole industry and their achievements come to live. A must-see for lovers of cult films!

  7. I sell the dead
    A fluent life story of two grave robbers and their encounters with the dead - and undead. In a way not very special, but the acting and ridiculous situations made this film a guilty pleasure to me.
A handful of films deserve an honorable mention:
  • Edison and Leo - Canada's first stop-motion film, ever, and what a dark treat.
  • 11 minutes ago - Ingenious concept to shoot an entire film in just one day, with an interesting mix of the sci-fi and romantic genre.
  • Eden Lake - Social horror like only the Brits can pull off.
  • Sleep dealer - Imaginative story with realistic glimpses and critical remarks on a near future.
  • From inside - Bleak but wonderfully animated post-apocalyptic film.
  • Tamami: The Baby's Curse - A really bad film, but I have the sneaky suspicion this will be one of those films that we will refer to in years to come.
All and all a reasonably fine edition of the festival. Less glitzy this year due to budget cuts, no big opening film, no big honorary guest (and no career achievement award), no real Night of Terror. And: the festival of no smooth online pre-sale, no passe-partout (€350 worth of tickets, *ouch*), no decent in-house coffee and no pest control (mice!). Also a bit of a let-down: only one real theme ("Anarchy in the UK"), the other one showing sci-fi ("Brave New Worlds") was good but is basically an integral and annual part of the festival anyway.

On the plus side:
10 out of 10 days bright and sunny weather,
9 short nights causing a nice festival blur,
8 cans of red bull to mix with the vodka to keep our Eyes Wide Open,
7 deadly sins seen in plenty of the films,
6 (,04) average score for a film,
5 films a day,
4 festival freaks who were crazy enough to see practically all films,
3 doors down the street a fantastic coffee place,
2 talk-of-the-day selfmade T-shirts, and
1 magnum size air bed in a spacious apartment.

On that note I'd like to thank my hosts for letting me crash at their new humble abode!

AFFF25 / imagine 2009 - FADE OUT.