The second year of The Stanley Film Festival is in full swing here in Estes Park and I have to say that it’s pretty much my ideal vision of a fest come to life. The town is great, all of the screenings are close together and the vibe is mellow but enthusiastic. Also, my feet aren’t bleeding like they were at SXSW. Bonus.
There’s a lot of stuff to unpack but I wanted to start with a quick word about last night’s secret screening, which turned out to be Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno. Most of my journalist friends had already seen the film in Toronto, so it felt like last night’s crowd was comprised mainly of Colorado locals and film fans. And they seemed to genuinely love the movie.
Roth showed up via the wonders of technology to introduce the piece as well as provide a taped Q&A (the mechanics of which were actually kind of funny) after the film. He’s a talented raconteur, so I missed the in-person experience and the chance to ask him several questions I still have about the film, but it was a nice treat for the audience.
As for the film itself, I really dug it. You can read my official review in September, but for now I’ll say that it’s every inch an Eli Roth movie. If you didn’t like his first three, you won’t like this. But I don’t see how a fan of his work could walk away disappointed. Watching it I was reminded that Roth actually has a pretty strong authorial voice not only when it comes to the intentional vapidity of a few characters, but the gore gags as well. And the message he sends about armchair activism and the degradation of legitimate social causes in the service of greed and social branding is spot on.
The Green Inferno is probably more lighthearted than you’d expect a cannibal film to be, but it’s a nice reminder that even the messiest of gore-fests can actually be fun. And keep an eye out for the lead, Lorenza Izzo. She’s great in the film and could be one of our new scream queens before you know it.
Looking forward to talking more about this in September.