Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jason goes to Docfest--Tuesday, June 7

Two movies a week ago Tuesday.

First up was IN CALIFORNIA, a ridiculously self-indulgent troubled romance between the director Charles Redon and his ballerina girlfriend / fiancĂ© / wife (sorry, SPOILER ALERT) Mathilde. She's a ballerina, and he opens the movie with their breakup. Then they go back to them meeting, her struggles to make it in ballet, her job offer from San Francisco, and them moving there. Then it gets to him being bored and playing with a selfie stick, while he realizes more and more that she has her life outside of him. So he starts pushing her away and being a jerk. It gets really weird as he gets into some S&M stuff, sees a dominatrix, and buys a leather dog mask. But it doesn't feel like some breakthrough or growth, he's just as unlikeable before and after. In fact, the whole movie feels like something that should be a breakthrough and somehow isn't. So instead it's just a story of an unlikeable person and the woman he successfully stalks.

Then for a little comedy, with EAR BUDS: THE PODCASTING DOCUMENTARY. Comedy Film Nerds Chris Mancini and Graham Elwood created this documentary about podcasts. Specifically (I assume just because that's what they know) about comedy podcasts. And about how the format lets them be a little more raw, a little more experimental, and a lot more direct with fans. That's the heart of this--what makes podcasting so special is the community of fans that keep in contact even between shows, and make connections based on more than just 'I like this comedian.' The film even takes us to Japan in the wake of the tsunami, or to the middle of the Australian outback, just to meet fans and connect. And it's a good deal of fun, but it desperately needed an editor. I swear there were more than half a dozen times when the music was swelling and the narration was making some profound-ish point and I expected that to be the conclusion and credits...but instead it went on to the next story.

Total Running Time: 193 minutes
My Total Minutes: 431,253
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