Next up was a packed-house screening of "When the Road Bends: Gypsy Caravan", a music documentary (always an Indiefest staple) about a tour of Rom (gypsy) musicians. The gypsies have had their own diaspora, and the musicians in this film speak 11 different languages and range from northern India to Spain (interesting bit of trivia I learned--Flamenco is a gypsy dance). But one thing they've kept wherever they go is a love of music. The performances are varied and great, the backstage antics are often hilarious, and it's especially rewarding watching the musicians get to know each other and play each others music until they can do one great combined piece at the end of the tour. My only complaint could be that it's a little long. It did wear on me by the end, but then I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night in over a week. Seriously, I'm kinda surprised I can process anything more than 'Duuuh...I saw a movie and it was purty!' at this point. Anway, here's a pic of the director Jasmine Dellal:
Okay, up next was a trio of films--two shorts and one feature--again having something to do with music. First was a comic short by student M. R. Dhar (who did the earlier documentary "Loops"), "Muzak", about a guy who wants to be a techno DJ and uses his mad skills to seduce a stock girl in the grocery store (I loved using the "can I buy you a drink" line in the liquor aisle.) Anyway, a good idea well written but the acting was definitely amateur. I think "Loops" was his better executed work. Here's an extra bonus pic of M. R. Dhar, this time in better light than before:
Next up was "Aesop's Diner", and in the interest of honesty and full disclosure I have to say that I was somewhat emotionally invested in liking it, since I've been drinking with director Cara O'Shea and star Royce Peterson for the past couple of days. Fortunately, the movie didn't disappoint. It's a retelling of the tortoise and the hare (bunnyfest strikes again!) with a rock band. Royce Peterson stars as Bugs (get it, as in Bugs Bunny?), who was the star of the Johnson Family Band until they broke up and he went between jail and rehab until he's broke. He meets old bandmate Shelly (a guy, short for sheldon--get it, tortoise shell?) who fills him in on the success of the rest of the band, including Shelly himself who's got a new hit single "Slow and Steady". Nicely done, and the music was cool. I was very happy to accept the free soundtrack CD. And, of course, a pic of Cara and Royce:
And then there was the feature, "Darkbeat: an Electro World Voyage", a documentary about the world of electronic music, featuring gobs and gobs of electro music, some pretty cool graphics and animation, and interviews about and defending electro music (I was particularly drawn to the argument that it's the only music made to appeal to the intellect and the body. Drawn to it, but I don't necessarily believe it's the only music). Personally, I must admit to liking a little electronic music, but nothing but electro for too long just gets to be too much. Fortunately, at just under an hour it was just about right for me. Here's a pic of the filmmakers. She's the director Iris B. Cegarra, and I'm sorry I don't remember his name (and he's kinda lost in the shadows, too):
And then it was time for the midnight movie, "Gobshite", preceded by the short "Morbid Curiosity". The short explores the dark comic question, "what if every morbid little thougt in your mind came true?" If you wonder what might happen if the house painter falls off his ladder, off he goes. If you imagine your mom having an accident with the vaccuum cleaner, whoops! If you think about Jesus being crucified, you retroactively caused it. Very funny.
And finally the feature was a hilarious dark comic Irish crime story about a real English gobshite--Ronnie Banks (aka Ronnie the Rabbit, as bunnyfest strikes again!) Ronnie can't control his temper, and although he works for a crime boss called the Governor, he wants to elevate his position in the organization. So he hatches a plan to rob a rich recluse in a tiny Irish village north of Dublin. He starts by stealing the local pub, to gather information from the rich guys security chief. And of course, wacky, violent, obscenity-strewn hijinx ensue. I loved every minute of it (except for when the tape ran out with 30 minutes left and it took a couple of minutes to switch to the DVD backup and find the right spot, but that was handled efficiently and professionally by the Roxie staff. Almost had to miss part of a movie there!
Anyway, then it was quickly over to the Big Lebowski after party, only to be told at the door that it was closing. So I stood outside to wait for the filmmakers and staff to come out to see if they were up for any additional after hours party, only to be told by the doorman that they wanted to keep this part of the sidewalk clear and I should move along. So I just caught the bus home, where I'm writing this now after spending my first alcohol-free day at Indiefest since...maybe some time last year? I guess technically last Saturday I didn't have a drink until after midnight, but I went home buzzed so that doesn't count. Oh well, and that's day 9.