One of the signature events of Fantastic Fest, the Fantastic Debates provoke mixed feelings deep within my soul. On the one side, the spectacle of watching two grown men debate some geeky topic or other before donning gloves and proceeding to punch one another is great entertainment. It's bloodlust on an awkward, ludicrous level. And on the other, it is also an event that I have carried a somewhat uncomfortable association with over the past two years, being the man most associated with the fightiest fight in the Debates' history since my participation in 2010.
And so I now extend my thanks to Joe Swanberg for lifting that particular mantle from me in the Fantastic Debates 2012.
Swanberg - director of Uncle Kent, Art History and others - stepped into the ring last night with Devin Faraci - editor of Bad Ass Digest - to debate the relative merits of the mumblecore movement which Swanberg has become figurehead of. Those who follow such things know that there is no great love lost between these two men - is 'feud' too strong a word? - and those feelings definitely spilled into the ring last night. Take a look below to see how things played out.