Friday, February 19, 2016

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 8

Two more movies last night, starting with the reaction-comedy PREOCCUPIED. Shot during the real Occupy Wall Street protests a few years back, the "heroes" are a couple of investment banker douchebags. Actually, modify that--one is a total douchebag, and kinda proud of it. The other is a genius at math, but might...might...have a bit of a conscience about it. In any case, the Occupy protests are inconveniencing them, so they get the idea of going down there and staging their own counter-protest. A protest about how great the 1% is and how all the smelly hippies need to go get a job. Of course, wacky hijinx ensue. The movie is more interested in poking fun at both sides than in taking a strong stand, so it's an enjoyable movie that took a good idea for a short and stretched it to near the breaking point. Still, I laughed at several moments.

And then PARADISE CLUB should've been a movie I loved, at least for two reasons--tits. Director Carolyn Cavallero was a topless dancer in the North Beach bars of 60s San Francisco, so I assume she brings some authenticity to the film. Starting from the end of 1968 and going through to New Year's Day of 1970, we follow a year in the exotic Paradise Club, run by a coke-snorting Eric Roberts. He does anything to keep the club profitable--and pay off his dope dealer--from changing from topless to bottomless to...more. As the 60s are ending and the Vietnam War is raging on, politics and sex collide. The atmosphere is (I assume) accurately captured. The music is good, and the girls are hot and frequently naked. I'm just not sure I've ever seen a movie where absolutely every scene was so sure it was the most important scene ever. It's so wrapped up in it's own self-importance that it suffocates and sabotages itself. It's a very interesting disappointment.

Total Running Time: 179 minutes
My Total Minutes: 418,624

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