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Fantastic Fest brings reunions with fantastic friends
The week-long swelter of movies, booze and friends known as Fantastic Fest has once again descended upon Austin, Texas. For the next eight days, the CultureMap team, as well as a sea of like-minded cinephiles, will dive headfirst into the madness, hoping to experience all the fest has to offer (and, with any luck, make it out alive). But we won’t be the only press at Fantastic Fest—far from it. Film journalists from all over the country, all over the world in fact, will be flocking to Austin in what always proves to be an amazing geek reunion.
There are a few particular out-of-town writers whom I look forward to seeing each and every year. If you are at the festival yourself, these are a few great people to know. I’ve included their Twitter handles as well; feel free to follow for up-to-the-minute fest updates.
Eric Snider (@EricDSnider)
Few people have ever had the ability to make me laugh so hard or so consistently as Mr. Eric Snider. Eric’s lightning wit effortlessly puts Hollywood comedies to shame. In addition to keeping us supplied with laughter in person, Eric keeps us in stitches with his various columns at Film.com and EricDSnider.com, including Snide Remarks and Eric’s Bad Movies. Apart from his penchant for hilarity, Eric is also one of the kindest people I know. Eric hails from Portland, Oregon.
Drew McWeeny (@DrewAtHitFix)
Known for years as Moriarty on Ain’t It Cool News, Drew McWeeny has been an online film critic since the inception of the medium. Drew’s knowledge of the complexities of film production and the film industry is equaled only by his unbridled love for the art form. He is also one of the most engaging conversationalists I’ve ever met. Drew’s writing can be found at Hitfix.com. He’s based out of Los Angeles.
Devin Faraci (@devincf)
Always willing to stir the pot and foster debate, Devin Faraci is one of the blogosphere’s biggest personalities. But strike up a conversation with Devin and you will discover that he is among the most passionate film fanatics on the planet. Devin is the editor-in-chief of Badass Digest, the official film blog of the Alamo Drafthouse, where this great event takes place. Devin also comes to us from Los Angeles.
Scott Beggs (@ColeAbaius)
A former resident of Austin, Film School Rejects’ managing editor Scott Beggs is one of the brightest and most eloquent film critics in the business. His offbeat sense of humor will have you rolling on the floor mere seconds after making his acquaintance. Scott, who goes by the alias Dr. Cole Abaius on the site, has helped put together some of the most original content on the web. He’s also an incredibly nice guy, so buy him a beer. Scott is making his way back to Austin from his new home in Tucson, Arizona.
Erik Davis (@ErikDavis)
Erik Davis is an immensely genuine and humble human being. The managing editor of Movies.com and contributing editor of Fandango, Erik is a first class movie geek with a blockbuster-sized heart. This will mark Erik’s first Fantastic Fest, but I have had the pleasure of spending time with him at Austin’s other major film festival SxSW. Mr. Davis comes to us from New York City.
The ultimate blogger power couple, Jen and Todd are two amazing people. Their approach to film criticism is both staggeringly scholarly and uniquely hip. They are charming separately, and dynamite as a pair. Either way, they are great friends to have. If you can’t immediately locate them at the fest, check the Karaoke rooms at The Highball, they’ll be rocking the place ‘til the break of dawn. Jen is the senior editor of Movieline.com and Todd’s work can be found at Movies.com, Box Office Magazine, Indiewire, and many more. Jen and Todd are yet more visitors from Los Angeles.
James Marsh (@Marshy00)
In the category of long treks to Fantastic Fest, James Marsh takes top prize of this group, hands down. The former Brit made the lengthy journey to the fest all the way from his current home in Hong Kong. James is a tremendously talented writer and knows more about Asian films than anyone I have ever met (and that is saying something, considering the caliber of movie geeks with whom I associate). In addition, and much in keeping with the running theme of this piece, Marsh is also a terribly nice guy. You can read his work online at Twitch Film and Hong Kong Movies Club.
Of course, there are many, many more and I humbly apologize for not being able to include them all.