Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Jason catches up on Cinequest--day 12

The penultimate day. Even after keeping the party going until something like 4 am the previous night, I was still in the lounge bright and early for a wake-me-up drink. But just one, because I had to run over to the first film really quick.

First the short, PLASTIC GIRLS. From Korea, the practice of animatronic girls beckoning customers into shops. A meditation on the sexualization of public spaces. Not gonna lie, it's kinda hot.

And that led into the feature, PURDAH, a documentary about Kaikasha Mirza, a Muslim girl in India who loves cricket. Like, she wants to play it professionally. Which is hard to do in a burka. I mean, it's pretty much impossible in a burka, which is why she plays without one. But her father isn't happy with it. After much pleading, he relents. She wears it to and from the match, and changes in the locker room. Meanwhile her sisters also have dreams, which are stifled by either tradition or poverty. Her older sister wants to be a model, and her younger sister either a fashion designer or a singer. The common thread is they all dream of careers that put them in the public eye. Which is extremely difficult in a society which (and a father who) believes that women should stay in the home and not have a career. An engaging and interesting true story.

Then back to the lounge, more drinking. Some evil Director of Programming and Associate Director (who shall remain nameless) might have kept plying me with shots of Tito's (I might have even turned into the Tito's Bandito at some time.) So I was nicely toasted for the next film.

THE MINER is the story of ...um...a miner. In Slovenia. Where the economy is shit, especially for miners. And he's sent in to work a mine and instead finds a pile of corpses. And...did I mention I was drunk? I don't remember a whole lot more than that.

But I wasn't as bad off as my friend who I ended up helping back to his hotel because he couldn't walk on his own. So with apologies I missed FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY, but getting him to a safe place to sleep it off was more important.

So my next program was Student Shorts.
CATHRIEL: A surprisingly cute animated short about an old holocaust survivor on the kibbutz where he lives.
HOME MADE: A woman's 50th birthday, but she ends up spending it not at her party, but with a couple of strangers in her restaurant.
IRON HANDS: The adventures of a young female weightlifter
THE LOST CITY OF TOMORROW: A super stylish sci-fi short. Androids, space archives, and of course the lost city.
RAINY NIGHT: Youth life at night in Rio de Janiero.
THE SHIFT: Late night 911 dispatchers in San Francisco. An interesting meditation on calmness in the midst of chaos.
TÊTE À TÊTE: A cute animated short about putting down your devices and talking face to face.
THE TRANSFER: Adventures of two Israeli soldiers transferring a prisoner.
UNDISCOVERED: A cute animated short about bigfoot, and why he can't be found.
WHERE MOTHBLOODS BLOOM: Sometimes it's better to share an awkward conversation with a trucker in a diner than stay with your druggie boyfriend.

Anyway, I told my super-drunk friend I would call and check on him, but there was no answer. So I walked back to his hotel, where he was fine, it's just his hotel room had no phone. So I'm not sure who I was calling who didn't pick up. Anyway, that's why I missed HUNTING LANDS. But I made sure he was okay and filled him up on San Jose's finest drunk food--La Victoria's burritos.

So our next show started with a short, MAN WITH BEARD. He's a man, and he has a beard. But so am I. But he's a work of art, and a voice of a generation. If only he knew it.

And then the feature, STATUS PENDING. Lizzie and Ryan make a cute couple. They've been together for six months, but keeping it casual. She's a baker and a social media darling. He's a world traveler (oh yeah, currently in New Zealand) who has a fledgling company that plans travel adventures. And Lizzie has an amazing opportunity to go on a trip with Ryan's company. But that means she'll be traveling for a year, and Ryan is just about ready to settle down and want more than a Tinder relationship. But she only has 24 hours to decide. So they make a list of things she wants to have accomplished in her life. They do (or simulate) as much as they can. They have a grand day, but they whole...relationship status...keeps butting in and imposing a sense of seriousness on their fun. It's a wonderfully charming romantic comedy of millennials, with a couple of extremely likable leads. Oh, and you get to see them naked right from the get go. Bonus!

And then I finally ended the night with ODDS ARE... (yes, the ellipsis is part of the title.) A horror film that is allegedly based on a true story, but is too unbelievable for me to...umm...believe. Tracy and Ryan are a college aged couple, out for a day at the beach with Ryan's best friend Kelly (that's a female Kelly, and of course there's a little tension and jealousy with her and Tracy.) They play a dare game, have a few laughs, Tracy is obviously less daring than the others, and we establish that Ryan can hold his breath for a really long time. Then on the way home, Kelly suggests one last dare, which ends up with her trying to gain entrance to a creepy man's house. Which she does...but doesn't come out. So Ryan and Tracy investigate, and find a night full of terror. It gets pretty ludicrous, but again they claim that it's a true story, so...I guess? The actors are all game enough, and it's a well made film. I just have a hard time overcoming how...thoroughly unbelievable it is. But again, it's based on a true story (allegedly.) Maybe it's exaggerated. Or maybe it's completely real, in which case it should be un-exaggerated, to make it believable.

And once again, the party continued in my room until 4 am again. Wait, there was also a time change, so the party went on until 5 am.

Total Running Time: 487 minutes
My Total Minutes: 474,506

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