Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 14

A.k.a., the penultimate night. Also, Valentine's Day. I love you all! I hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

First up was THE MANHATTAN FRONT, a hybrid art-film about historical events but also media manipulation which could be relevant today if it wasn't so saturated with academia. The presentation started with pamphlets being handed to everyone in the audience to explain the historical context. I still haven't read the one I got, not that I don't like reading or don't like history. It just felt like a red flag that the movie can't explain itself. So it's a story of a German saboteurs, the U.S. labor movement, and WWI. It mixes silent film footage from the time with reenactments, but the reenactments highlight the artificiality of the medium. E.g., the set of a theater is revealed to be a miniature. I get what the director/professor Cathy Lee Crane is doing. It's just a shame that her techniques to highlight the artificiality actually made it less interesting to watch. I don't know, maybe your mileage may vary, but as it is I was so lost and bored I couldn't really tell you what the plot of the sabotage even was. Maybe that paper handed out before the movie explains it all. But if a single sheet of paper explains your point better than a feature length movie, that doesn't say much good about the movie, does it?

And then it was time for an Indiefest tradition, the Anti-Valentine's Day Power Ballad Sing-a-Long. Much like opening night, this was an opportunity to skip and go home early, since I've been to quite a few of these. But I figured I'd at least check out the beginning, and I ended up dancing and drunkenly singing along to everything. The beer/cider was flowing from the concession stand, and I was totally lit. I'm not sure if I remember any of the songs other than the classic "Shot Through The Heart" (which used to end the show, but was introduced early to pump the crowd up) and the finale with "Bohemian Rhapsody" (where I didn't have to watch and read the lyrics, I turned around, faced the audience, and led them all. A wonderfully drunken, stupid night. Like Valentine's should be.

Total Running Time: 179 minutes
My Total Minutes: 470,332
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