Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 9

Two more shows on Thurday. First up was a shorts program and part of the program on Nonfiction Vanguard honoree Jamie Meltzer. Meltzer is a teacher at Stanford, and Stanford Smorgasbord is a selection of his students' work.
(ALMOST) FREEDOM: An examination of what it's like to live with an electronic anklet for monitoring your house arrest.
BISONHEAD: A view of the marginalization of Native Americans, through the lens of a controversial buffalo hunt in Yellowstone. Are they exercising their native treaty hunting rights, or is this an outdated and unnecessary practice?
JANUARY: Three generations of women, family intimacy, and clutter. Nobody really talks about the clutter, but I think someone is kind of a hoarder.
LAPS: Popular enough at Indiefest, they brought it back for Docfest. A look at runners in San Quentin Prison, and how running helps them out in life.
PELICULA DE MI PADRE: A daughter's love and worship for her father, who to her was Elvis.
POWDER FRESH: Talcum powder. Great for that fresh, dry, clean feeling. Also great for giving you cancer. And great for marketing to black people. Yikes! I didn't grow up with baby powder being for anything other than...babies (I'm white) so this was quite an eye-opener.
SCRAP: Collecting junk. Selling the metal. Cool.
THE SHIFT: Late night 911 operators in San Francisco. A unique view of the city.
UNHEARD: Singing through the pain of a son lost to police violence. Powerful.

And then the second show was a wonderful film geek meditation, BLUE VELVET REVISITED. When David Lynch made BLUE VELVET, he invited along a young German filmmaker Peter Braatz to do the making-of documentary. That film, NO FRANK IN LUMBERTON, was apparently never released commercially and had very limited distribution. But Braatz still had all the footage, and 70% of it wasn't used. So he went back to the footage, and rather than make a straightforward making-of documentary, he made a meditation on it. Now heavy on nostalgia (it's so weird to see such a young David Lynch) it plays out like a melodic and visual poem. As a sleep-deprived maniac, I can tell you it's an excellent film to drift in and out of consciousness to, and there are wonderful moments with Lynch talking about stuff like how great it is to be on a low-budget film again, or how he doesn't trust radiation because it's invisible. I really hope this gets released, or I have another chance to see it. And for that matter, now I'm curious about NO FRANK IN LUMBERTON. Perhaps a triple bill with BLUE VELVET itself?

Total Running Time: 167 minutes
My Total Minutes: 430,087
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