Thursday, October 4, 2007

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 6

So I've already written about racing to the movies because of BART delays, and I've mentioned rushing to the movies because of work delays. On Wednesday, I got both!

I actually planned to see "A Skin Too Few" at 7 pm, but I was working until past 7 and it plays again next Tuesday at 5 and next Wednesday at 9:15, so I have more chances. Instead I put in a 12-hour day at work, go to the BART about 7:30, and got to the platform just in time to miss the 7:32 train. No big deal, that would've gotten me there at about 8:30, 45 minutes early anyway. There's another train in 20 minutes, and I'll be there 25 minutes early. That train was late, I missed my connection, and got to the station 5 minutes before showtime. Just enough time to race to the theater, find out the movie I was seeing had moved to the other screen, and race over there. This film fest is either going to kill me, or get me into shape--whichever's worse.

So the show was a short and a feature about the little guy. First was an oral history of classic San Francisco movie houses, called "Forgotten Palaces". I cried. I cry whenever I see an old theater marquee that's been turned to something useless, like a porno theater or a church. I'm surprised it didn't go further in time. It started with theaters from the 1920-1930 range, and I know they could continue to just a few years ago (the Roxie has almost made that list a few times just since I've lived here). But it's a good look at lost community icons.

And then there was the feature "If You Succeed", about Christian Dennery and his estranged wife Dolores Lagdameo, who own one restaurant in Brooklyn. They're raising money to open a second one, to be called "Bodegas". It's fairly apropos that in the opening minutes they point out the number of methadone clinics nearby, because addiction is a bit of a theme. Christian is a "deal junkie" who has grand schemes but not the resources to follow through (which has a lot to do why he and Dolores are estranged. They do stick together for their kids, though). The movie follows his optimistic comedy of errors, and watching him fall prey to contractors, debt, and possibly shady business partners can be painful. The movie, however, shares his optimism, no matter how misguided it may be. And, without giving away any spoilers, he does have his triumphs. A pretty interesting look at how far dreams alone (and a spreadsheet system of expenses and income) can take you.

And now, I'm caught up with Docfest!

Oh, one final note. I mentioned a few posts ago about Texas being a theme of the festival. Movies so far that at least have a passing mention of Texas (as best I can remember, I might be adding false Texas memories):
"What Would Jesus Buy?" I thought had something in Austin
"El Mechanico Loco" The guy's from Texas
"American Scary" Mentioned a horror host from Austin
"Shakey's Hill" When they returned from Vietnam, the unit was stationed at Ft. Hood
"When the Light's Red" Takes place in Austin
"The Blues According to Lightning Hopkins" He's from Texas
"A Well Spent Life" Also a bluesman from Texas
"Wiener Takes All" A brief mention that there's wiener dog racing in Austin
"Breaking Ranks" One of the AWOL soldiers was stationed in Ft. Hood

And I might've missed some. I also know that "Hell on Wheels" takes place in Texas.

As a pure coincidence, I'm going to Houston at the end of the month.

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