Sadly I’m not going again this year, for good reasons involving schedule and finances, but that’s OK. It will not stop me from considering the lineup at length.

The ticketing is wild this year. The festival starts this Thursday; tickets go on sale tomorrow. The schedule only came out like Friday. Make your decisions quick. I’m thinking next year I just choose a week and trust in fate for the movies. Or go for two weeks. Mmm, two weeks.

Here is the volume. Here is the pump. Here is the dance floor. Do what is right.

OK, let’s look at the spotlights first.

There’s an animated auteur track. Normally I don’t go wild about art house animation, but Idiots and Angels is a Bill Plympton piece, so I’d make an effort to see that. The rest of it I could take or leave.

There’s a documentary track. I’d be interested in Second Skin, since everyone’s going to be talking about it and who knows, it might contain good story. Spine Tinger is pretty interesting — if it was opposite something really cool it’d lose out, but I’m a sucker for cinema nostalgia. I Think We’re Alone Now… I’m not sure I could pass up a documentary about Tiffany stalkers. No, wait, maybe I could.

The two David Blythe documentaries don’t do it for me on first glance, although I could be suckered into the webcam mask one, because that just sounds weird. No interest in the cryptozoology; sorry, Jere!

All three 60s Japanese gangster action flicks look awesome. Check out the trailer for Gangster VIP. The Fantasia appearance is one stop on a tour; more details here. I suck because I missed the Brattle Theater showings. Boo.

Enough angst. This is why DVDs were invented. On to American horror. Quick shots: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane got great reviews at the Austin festival. I might not like Babysitter Wanted but you gotta take some risks. Same goes for From Within.

Midnight Meat Train is a must because hey, Clive Barker. Pig Hunt… you know, I don’t know. Maybe. And finally, definitely The Objective if only to see if The Blair Witch Project was a total aberration.

OK, I can’t say I wouldn’t love to see Disciplines of the 36th Chamber on the relatively big screen, but Gordon Liu is gonna be presenting it and it’d be very sold out and I’ve seen it anyway. In the hypothetical case.

Hmh. Home video flicks. I am not wild about that technique on the one hand, but on the other hand I liked The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. [REC] has very good buzz and I like the setup. I’ve heard nothing about Home Movie, but nothing’s bad about a kids gone horribly wrong premise, right?

The Butcher doesn’t do it for me; too close to the torture porn line. I don’t really trust the “we’re making it to parodize/satirize/criticize” line. Twitch had a review which left me fairly cold.

Speaking of which, I still don’t think I have the right cultural context for Thai movies, so alas. None of those.

That’ll do for a first chunk. Next up: everything else. (Oooh, Miike!)