Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 11

The big second weekend wraps up, with more shorts and then a couple of features.

Shorts 4: Fateful Intersections. The dramatic shorts program.
ON THE ROAD: A repeat from last year's Another Hole in the Head genre festival. From Poland, a couple of murderous scam artists target the same woman driver on a remote road. But surprise, she's not all she seems to be, either.
WHOEVER WAS USING THIS BED: A psychological thriller about a married couple, and a mysterious caller, who won't take "you have the wrong number" for an answer. And then the husband starts getting curious about the woman on the other end of the line.
THE SMOKE: From Russia, a story of a policeman and his drug-dealing son, how they keep secrets from each other and the deadly results.
PLUCK: An English woman traveling through Europe, becoming infatuated with a young Italian man. A dream-like adventure, and a rare cinematic glimpse into the female erotic gaze.

Shorts 6: The Girls Are Alright. Light comedy shorts.
THE MAKEOVER: Some people can pull of a certain fashion statement, and some just can't.
NORTH AND NOWHERE: From Bellingham, WA (full disclosure, I was a Bellinghamster as a kid) comes a story of a woman, her ailing dad, the family farm, and her unique solution to the situation.
THE BILL: It's all fun and games until you have to split the bill. It can turn the best of friends into mortal enemies.
LESBEHONEST: I'LL BE ALRIGHT: Sometimes break-ups are a good thing. Sometimes they send you into a weird spiral where you nearly hook up with three different women at your party. And when that happens, you need a good gay friend to keep you grounded.
FLIP THE RECORD: Filipino-American kids in the Bay Area in the 80's. They're trying to become DJs, and are surprised to find the little sister, Vanessa, has some mad skills. 

Next up was the feature, THE MIDNIGHTERS. A solid entertaining caper flick, with an equally solid father-son relationship at the center. I guarantee if you watch movies at all, you've seen the lead Leon Russom (maybe you know him as the Malibu police chief in THE BIG LEBOWSKI) but you've never seen him in the lead role, and he's fantastic when he's finally given the chance. He plays Victor, a safe-cracker finally out of prison after serving a 35 year stretch. He has no intention of going back, but he doesn't really fit in the outside, either. And then he finds out he has a son he never knew about. Danny is kind of a chip off the old block. Not a safe-cracker, but a criminal. And one who happens to have a score lined up...he just needs a safe-cracker. Victor reluctantly takes on the role not just of safe-cracker, but mentor to Danny. Something Danny doesn't entirely embrace, since Victor was absent for his whole life. But then, Victor can easily point out Danny's gullibility, and how his partners are not the least bit trustworthy. It's a cool movie with a great story and great characters. And the ending twist is excellent.

And I ended the weekend with MINDHACK (aka THE MAD GENIUS PROJECT.) Starting with the seemingly minor problem of plastic bottle pollution, Mason attempts to "hack the mind" until he can solve it. But so far the biggest thing he's accomplished is giving himself hallucinations of Finn, his id-fueled inner voice, who torments him for being so timid. But forces of evil (if you can distinguish good and evil in this cyber-punk world) also want to exploit his tech, so he has to fight them. You know, the plot isn't exactly important, or particularly intelligible. This movie is all about style. And while it falls for some hacker-haven cliches, the style is pretty cool. 

Total Running Time: 318 minutes
My Total Minutes: 469,817
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