AUSTIN, Texas—Shocking, I know. But at a hardcore film nerd event like Fantastic Fest—Austin's, if not the US's, premier genre film festival—documentary subjects run the gamut. This year's slate includes big names like Morgan Spurlock (Rats) and Werner Herzog (Salt and Fire, the director's return to South America 35 years after Fitzcarraldo solidified his stature). Other documentaries touched on everything from material wealth at all costs (Fraud) to Stanley Kubrick's chauffeur-turned-personal assistant (S is for Stanley).
Local film critic (and Internet radio legend) Matt Shiverdecker told me that the beauty of Fantastic Fest is that one viewer's least favorite film is inevitably someone else's perfect-10. So at a movie-obsessed festival in a movie-obsessed town (seriously, have you tried a Drafthouse yet?), the two docs that stood out most were, well, movie-obsessed. 24x36 and Original Copy nominally share a singular focus—film posters—but seeing the two docs in tandem highlights the festival's diverse programming. Here, stories suited for the History Channel can immediately follow one more apt for the Sundance-owned IFC.
Clear some wall space
When Canadian poster collector-turned-director Kevin Burke embarked on his shooting trip to Austin, border patrol stopped him. (After all, here's this dude traveling with an unusual amount of film equipment.) Burke stayed calmed and explained his intent—production work for his documentary 24x36, a "movie about movie posters."