Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jason goes to SFIFF--Day 10

Saturday, normally a day jam-packed with movies, but the two-a-day formula was working so well for me....

I started the day bright and early with a wonderful documentary, THE PEDDLER. In Argentina there's a strange, charming old man named Daniel Burmeister who travels village to village and makes amateur hand-crafted films with the villagers. In exchange for food and lodging (he admits he didn't used to be such a savvy businessman--he used to only ask for lodging until he found out he needed to eat) he brings the whole village together to make a movie (he does charge 5 pesos to see the finished film, which nets him enough to make it to the next village). He used to write a new film for each village, until someone pointed out travelling theatre troupes perform the same few plays at every village, so now he keeps remaking the same few movies (he's remade one movie 12 times, which is probably a record). His methods are below amateur--while scouting talent with the mayor he asks if the village has anyone with a video camera he can borrow; while handing an actor a sheet as part of his ghost costume, he warns him not to ruin it because it'll be the movie screen later. But he's a charming man, sort of reminiscent of Ed Wood's charming, Quixotic cinema questing, but without any delusions of fame. This film follows Daniel around as he makes LET'S KILL UNCLE, and it's a charming, funny trip. Made me actually want to see his films.

Then I skipped out on the middle of the day to see my beloved San Jose Earthquakes take on the Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer, in case you didn't know). That's a different story, but they won 1-0 on a goal by hometown hero Chris Wondolowski.

And then back up to the City, specifically to the Castro for the sold-out world premiere extravaganza of Peaches Christ's (Joshua Granell's) ALL ABOUT EVIL. What can I say, it was a wild night. Peachres hosted a 45 minute pre-show, with a lineup of gore drag queens, her sidekick Martiny, star Natasha Lyonne, another star and John Waters regular Mink Stole (they did a duet of Female Trouble. BTW, John Waters was in the audience), and the villainous Deborah (that's De-BOOR-ah, not Deb-bra).

Once the audience was fully stoked, the film finally ran, and fully delivered. Natasha Lyonne stars as Deborah, a nerdy librarian and manager (after her father) of the Victoria Theatre. Her dad was a great man who loved his daughter, loved his theatre, and loved classic horror films. Too bad he died, and now her total bitch of a mother wants to sell the Victoria and tear it down. So Deborah snaps and kills her. What's worse, she accidentally projects the security footage on the screen...and everyone loves it. Suddenly she's the hottest underground filmmaker in San Francisco (with the help of the excellent Jack Donner as the old projectionist Mr. Twigs). Her crew is rounded out by some delightfully psychotic twins (their end is possibly the best horror scene I've ever seen) and a junkie. And they make all sorts of true-death films, until of course it all has to come to a head. So I won't give that away, but I will say they've already booked a run at the Victoria in October, and I'll definitely be there.

Total Running Time: 182 minutes
My Total Minutes: 183,636

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