And first off, I must thank Indiefest for linking to me from their myspace blog and their press page. My visits shot up by about a factor of 5 yesterday. Woo hoo, 50 visitors in one day! That's almost enough to not qualify as pathetic!
Anyway...I got up to the city early enough last night to grab a couple of beers courtesy of Guba.com (which I haven't had a chance to check out because their site is blocked from work, so I'll check it out once I'm home for more than just my requisite 4 hours of sleep) before the first movie.
So the first movie was an investigative documentary about the biggest conspiracy of all time. The truth is out there, seen in ancient cave drawings, debris from a crash site in Roswell, New Mexico, classified US military reports, etc. Dr. Lloyd Darrow has dedicated his life to researching this phenomenon, and finally presents this irrefutable proof that there is indeed...a jolly old fat man in a red suit who gives presents to children every Christmas! "Stalking Santa" convinced me. Not only is Lloyd Darrow the world's preeminent Sant-ologist, but the movie's narrated by William Shatner. You can't argue with Shatner! It was hilarious, and the little side gags are so fast I would certainly benefit from multiple viewings.
Anyway, the director Greg Kiefer as well as the editor (I think? And I don't remember his name, he was a pretty quiet guy. But if he was the editor he did a great job) were there, and I did snap a quick photo with my cell phone, but I'm having problems transferring it to my PC, so you'll just have to live with one less grainy, blown-out photo. I'm sure you're all heartbroken. If it's any consolation, I did get the photos of the filmmakers who were there for the late show.
Well, then it was time for the late show, the shorts program "Breath, Death, Prayer", the collection of more or less "experimental" shorts--although I'd take some issue with that classification. To me, experimental means that the filmmaker tried a new technique and didn't entirely know what the result would be--they try an experiment, and view the results. However for these films I would guess that for the most part the filmmaker knew exactly what they'd look like up on screen. So I would call them more "audience challenging" than experimental, but that's a minor semantic point, on to the movies.
"Rumsfeld Rules"--Re-edited interview Donald Rumsfeld to make it look like he's saying the Bill of Rights is dangerous and the founding fathers are traitors. It's surprisingly easy.
"Breathing Chamber"--Life is tough when you're a little boy with gills instead of lungs. A metaphor on suffocation.
By the way, here's a pic of Carlos Marulanda who made "Breathing Chamber" with Bryan Boyce who made "Rumsfeld Rules":
"13 Ways to Die at Home"--Very informative...I mean, funny. And quick. I guess it's just to give you ideas and you work out the details at home. I'd probably go for #1, poison toads. They look yummy.
"Untitled Video on Lynn Stewart and Her Conviction, the Law, and Poetry"--Lynn Stewart is the lawyer who was famously charged as a terrorist a couple years back for sneaking correspondance out for her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. She's a fascinating character and at first I liked this movie. But when it went off on her love of poetry, it lost me. If you want to put poetry in there, fine. If you want the screen to go blank except for some dim, muted colors while she's reading poetry, fine. But the third time that happened, I lost my patience.
"Io il mare non lo sento (I Can't Hear the Sea)"--The US premiere of an Italian film that's basically a poem of a guy watching the sea. Here's a pic of the star, all cleaned up (in the movie he was as scruffy as...well, me):
"NYC Weights and Measures"--Street footage of New York, including a ticker-tape parade for geriatric astronaut John Glenn
"A Prayer for Area 23"--A docu-poem about children with AIDS in Africa.
"Bug Cemetery"--Ummm...damn, I don't rember this one. I'm sorry. Anyone out there who saw it, can you give me a hint that might jog my memory?
"Petrolia"--a 21 minute, silent meditation on the beauty/ugliness of oil drilling platforms off the shore of Scotland. Here's a film festival tip--if you doze off during a movie like this, it's only 5 minutes long, and you still get the general idea.
And that's day 6. Tonight I'll be up to see 2 more movies--"The Substance of Things Hoped For" and "Unholy Women".