The Fantastic Debates is one of the best parts of Fantastic Fest. People get up behind podiums to debate pressing issues facing the world of genre film and engage in a good natured, two round debate. Then they get into a boxing ring and pummel the shit out of each other. I have been in the ring for the Fantastic Debates, and I not only got my ass handed to me in the talking part, I also came out a loser in the fighting part. That shit’s harder than you think!
Every year Tim League, the man behind the Alamo Drafthouse and the co-founder of Fantastic Fest, headlines the Fantastic Debates. Last year he beat up Michelle Rodriguez (officially it was a tie, but she walked out of the ring bleeding), and before that he boxed Uwe Boll. This year he’s taking on his toughest opponent yet: James Quinn McDonagh.
You probably haven’t heard of McDonagh… yet. He’s the focus of the doc Knuckle, which will be playing at Fantastic Fest. Knuckle goes behind the scenes in the world of bare knuckle Irish boxing, telling the story of a generations-old feud between Irish Traveler clans. McDonagh is the head of one Irish gypsy clan.
Here’s Tim League’s video challenge McDonagh:
Here’s McDonagh’s reply: