Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 9

The big second weekend started last Friday with three shows, so here we go.

First up, GHOSTS WITH SHIT JOBS. "Ghosts" in this context is Chinese slang for white people--specifically indigenous North Americans. "Shit Jobs"--in the near future--could range anywhere from digital janitor (obscuring copyrighted logos from the online recreation of the entire world) to baby maker (roboticists who build/refurbish robot babies) to silk gatherers (collecting the silk left over from the giant spider--excuse me, "arachnoid"--infestation to be used as building materials) or even human spam (dropping the names of companies and products in everyday conversation.) The movie is framed as a Chinese television show, showcasing the dire conditions but proud spirit of the poor ghosts, and how their hard, dangerous work makes the luxurious Eastern lifestyle possible. The premise always teeters on the edge of being stretched too far, but it manages to hold together and makes for a solid piece of entertainment with some biting--if obvious--social commentary.

Also, I normally wouldn't comment on the budget just because I think those details tend to be pretty boring. But this was made for only $4,000, and still looks good. Looks amazing, in fact. Writer/co-director Jim Munroe was there and explained that they have made their monetary investment back and if you look at how much time everyone put into making this they've made about $1/hr so far. I predict that number will go up as more people find out about this and pay to see it.

Next up was SUN DON'T SHINE, a road movie/crime flick/recurring nightmare starring Kentucker Audley and Indiefest favorite Kate Lynn Shell (THE COLOR WHEEL, GREEN.) They're on a road trip/run from the law through Florida, with a body in their trunk. The story of the body in the trunk slowly unfolds as the movie morphs from a lovers-on-a-road-trip to something even more dark and sinister. Paranoia overpowers lust, and the road trip becomes a sort of descent into hell--which turns out to be St. Petersburg.

And then, after a beer or three, it was time for the midnight show, starting with the short THE FAMILY UNIT. A very strange picnic indeed.

And that--perfectly, somehow--led into the feature, VIDEO DIARY OF A LOST GIRL. As a fan of Louise Brooks, the title alone captured my attention (DIARY OF A LOST GIRL is one of Lulu's classics) and made this the movie I was most looking forward to in the entire festival. And it didn't disappoint, although it's a completely different world from the silent screen. Actually, it's a completely different world from anything, anywhere. Cinema references abound and run the gamut from silent (yes, Louise Brooks footage does appear) to THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (more on that in a later post.) I was kind of drunk watching this, but I suspect to truly understand it I would need to be absolutely stoned out of my mind. Allegedly there's a story in all this, but I was too busy marveling at the wild, trippy visuals and intentionally lo-fi look (it's meant to look like...a video diary. And an old-school one, using VHS, not a webcam) to really follow it. But I can say I totally loved it, and not just because there was a naked green chick on screen for most of the film (or at least, most of the film that I can remember.)

Total Running Time: 273 minutes
My Total Minutes: 315,251
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