Then it was time for one of the highlights of the festival, a sing-along to "Colma: The Musical" This movie premiered at the festival two years ago, and went on to great acclaim (including an Independent Spirit Award nomination). Here's what I wrote about "Colma: The Musical" when I saw it at the premiere two years ago:
Next up was a funny, cheesy, corny, but surprisingly thoughtful bit of local culture--"Colma: the Musical". For those who don't know, Colma is a town of about 1.5 million people, nestled snugly in less than 2 square miles between San Francisco and South San Francisco (and sharing a rather blurry boundary with Daly City). How do you fit 1.5 million people in less than 2 square miles? Well, it's remarkably easy when over 99.9% of them are dead. San Francisco has no room for cemeteries, so they put them all in Colma. Other than that, it's a pretty dull suburb, where people sing about how exciting it is that they finally have an In-N-Out and a Krispy Kreme. Anyway, the story circles around three recent high school graduates, Billy, an aspiring actor who never got over his old girlfriend; Rodel, his best friend and crazy gay guy; and Maribel, their cool friend who's more than a little worried that turning 19 might mean they've grown up. Anyway, the story progresses as a meandering line for them to hang musical numbers on, and for such a low budget the songs by H.P. Mendoza (who also plays Rodel) are surprisingly catchy (and the soundtrack is out now on their website, www.colmafilm.com . Anyway, things do happen, Billy gets a local acting job and a new girlfriend, but still can't stop thinking about his ex. Rodel's ex-boyfriend Kevin spills the beans to Rodel's dad, who beats him and kicks him out. And Maribel...stays (like Colma, as described in the opening number "Colma Stays"). Maribel is sort of the stable rock around which all the action swirls. Anyway, as I said in the beginning, it was funny, cheesy, and corny. And also thoughtful, but most of all funny. Especially for people who know a little about Colma. The filmmakers, of course, were there, and answered a few questions before heading off to a bar to party. But I had to catch the BART home (to Fremont, opposite direction of Colma), so I had to be content to just see a fun movie and then go home.Yeah, I'll stand by what I wrote back then. But add that since then the movie also had a limited theatrical run and is now out on DVD. The sing-along cut was apparently slightly different, but I didn't really notice. It's still funny (perhaps even funnier in my mind than it was when I first saw it), and singing along was a blast (it helped I had a martini or two to loosen up). The only complaint is that the acoustics were pretty poor and the movie was loud enough that I couldn't really tell if many people were singing behind me. But I had a great time, and that's all that matters. Director Richard Wong and writer/star H.P. Mendoza were there, but I didn't get a good picture of them. I got a better picture at their other movie in the festival, "Option 3", so look for that a couple of posts from now.
And, again, I took the BART away from Colma, to Fremont, and to home.