@FantasticFest: A different kind of indie film summit

by mattdentler
September 29, 2009 5:00 AM
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Karina Longworth was in attendance for what sounds like an amazing event: half-debate and half-fisticuffs, infamous director Uwe Boll and Fantastic Fest chief Tim League battled it out over the fate of indie film. I was already back in NYC by then. The setting: a nearby boxing gym, where the two of them were able to shoot verbal barbs at one another, before launching into a punch-out. From Karina's well-written reporting:

The imbalance of the physical match between slight-of-stature League and trained killing machine Boll was its key selling point. The hypeman/ref ran down Boll’s list of qualifications: “He’s rumored to have a PhD in everything! It’s rumored that he’s the reason Germany reunited! He’s rumored to be making Miss Pacman this fall! He’s also trained as a fighter, which is more than I can say for his opponent!” The fight, it was said, “will later be known as The Timothy League Memorial Debate.”

Out marched League, dressed in an American flag-patterned unitard cut down to his navel. The crowd started chanting “USA!” The night’s alternate battle cry was “Chaos Reigns!”, thus proving that Antichrist may have a popular appeal to an extent that the Cannes haters couldn’t have dreamed.

Before the debate portion of the showdown got under way, Boll complained about the format — or at least, how it had been interpreted by the previous fighters, who mostly seemed intent on roasting one another. “I got bad information,” he said in his thick accent. “”I thought we do 50 minutes debate, then we fight. Now we do three minutes debate. I’m not prepared to say funny things.”

So League agreed to throw out whatever rules had governed the previous face offs. Opening argument went first went to Boll, who was to argue the “independent film is dead/dying resolution in the affirmative.”

You have to read where it went from there...

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