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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Fantastic Film Festival Australia 2021

Check out Nicolas Cage as an OTT outlaw and watch a documentary about whether we're living in a simulation at this celebration of out-there filmmaking.
By Sarah Ward
March 19, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
March 19, 2021
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For the past year, watching a movie has felt a bit weird. Everyone has been doing it, and frequently — but seeing huge crowds of people in one place on-screen, or life going on as normal in a film, has felt more than a little like science fiction.

Fantastic Film Festival Australia knows all about cinematic weirdness. The returning fest is all about it, in fact. The flicks on its lineup don't just feel odd, out-there, OTT or mind-bending because of the last 12 months, though — they've been programmed as part of the 2021 fest because they're purposely offbeat, weird, wonderful, strange and surreal, and in the best possible way.

Screening at the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn from Friday, April 16–Saturday, May 1, this year's FFFA kicks off with a match made in movie heaven, with Prisoners of the Ghostland seeing Nicolas Cage team up with iconic Japanese auteur Sion Sono on a futuristic, post-apocalyptic western. From there, the standouts just keep coming, including documentary A Glitch in the Matrix, which ponders whether we are all really channelling our inner Keanu and living in a simulation.

Other highlights include cam girl thriller PVT Chat, starring Uncut Gems' Julia Fox; French charmer Jumbo, where Portrait of a Lady on Fire's Noémie Merlant falls in love with an amusement park ride; and Siberia, with Willem Dafoe collaborating with filmmaker Abel Ferrara yet again and descending into a subconscious nightmare. Or, there's Get the Hell Out, a relentless Taiwanese zombie movie that serves up a non-stop onslaught of action, blood, chaos and literally biting political commentary.

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