Monday, February 23, 2009

Jason goes to Indiefest--Closing Night

The real closing night (if you ignore the Sugarbowl weekend of skiing and free movies next weekend) in Berkeley.

First up was The Men's Story Project. It's a taped performance, closer to a concert film than anything else. The brainchild and labor of love of Josie Lehrer (and yes, she's a woman, putting on a performance of men's stories, deal with it). She brought together 16 men to tell personal stories that men never tell in public. The premise being that by confronting that which we're afraid to talk about we can conquer it, and that men are just as much victims of the macho patriarchy as women are. It's a wide array of stories. There a dissection of the roots of violence. There's a crippled black man talking about sex. There's a guy talking about how he loves men--not gay, just has close male friends whom he wishes he wasn't afraid to say he loves. In fact, that was pretty common--there was another pair who did a piece about "bromance" and "bromoeroticism" (personally I think Jay and Silent Bob have made the "hetero life mate" pretty mainstream). There's a female-to-male transgendered. There's a guy who talks about the anxiety of testicular cancer and getting his ball amputated. And sometimes it's kind of silly, like the guy talking about anxiety peeing at a urinal in a public restroom. And there's lots more. As a film, I've already mentioned that it's a tape of a performance, and that includes all the foibles of that genre. One interesting choice, there were no reaction shots from the audience. The few reaction shots were from the other performers (who sat on the stage while others performed). It really lets the performances speak for themselves, rather than showing you shots of how the audience is reacting (and by extension, how you're supposed to react).

And then I ended the night--and Indiefest 2009--with a second screening of Deadgirl, because sometimes you just can't get enough zombie rape.

Don't forget, there's still one last chance to see a few Indiefest films next weekend at Sugarbowl in the Judah Coldstream Room. Friday night you can catch Waiting at the Gate at 6 pm and Woodpecker (highly recommended) at 8 pm. Then Saturday you can catch Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (not an Indiefest film, but still pretty damn cool) at 4, The Full Picture at 6, and Route 30 at 8. Then Indiefest will really, really, really be over. But it's already over for me. At least for this year. Now I can finally focus on Cinequest.

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