Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jason goes to Docfest--Closing Night

Well, once again I've fallen about a week behind on my updates. Here are the final two movies:

First up, the ultimate fan film, THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS. Made with contributions of fans around the world, it is at parts a love-fest of the original STAR WARS trilogy (and of the first INDIANA JONES movies), at parts a diatribe against the "improved" versions (of course Han shot first! In my mind, he shot, then hacked in and edited the security footage to escape prosecution). And then memories of the great expectations for the prequels, and the disappointment that followed (okay, mitichlorians (don't care how it's spelled) determine how much Force you have, but lifestyle, training, and concentration can increase your mitichlorian count. Can we all be cool with that? Didn't think so...) And it's a celebration of fan edits--as I said, it's the ultimate fan-made movie (and now I have to check out that Silent Star Wars). It would be ridiculous to say that you can enjoy this without being a STAR WARS fan. But on some level, it's really a movie about a lot of people who take one piece of pop culture way too passionately. In theory, a similar movie could be made about anything else--except there's nothing else like STAR WARS.

And while I'm at it, I'll throw in my one "STAR WARS changed my life" story. Actually, it's the story of my very first memory of being at a movie. I was 3 when STAR WARS came out. And I have a very vague memory of being in the back seat of my parents' car at a drive-in theater, and Princess Leia's face on the screen. Considering most of my very early memories are completely wrong, this might be as well, but I'll still count it as my first movie.

Anyway, the next movie started with a short, BABBLE. People speak gobbledygook impersonating various foreign languages (and English gets it, too). Very short, and kind of amusing.

And the final film, TOYLAND. Partly a fun history lesson, with the creators of such classics as Slinky, Lite Brite, Twister, Ant Farm, Operation, etc. And it's partly a cautionary tale of one toy inventor trying to hit it big. The inventor part is at the same time the most fascinating and the most painful. See, he has this big idea for Crazy Chins. You know, you draw an upside-down face on your chin (as simple as two dots for eyes) and make movies by blocking off the rest of your face with a sheet and shooting it upside-down. It just struck me that as fun as it may be, it's so effort-intensive and requires so many extras (chiefly a video camera and a friend to film it and possibly help apply it) that the kids who would be so inclined are already doing it (or would do it without the kit). I don't know, I could be totally wrong, but no big toy dealer at any of the shows bought it, and one made essentially the same criticism I had above.

This movie was an interesting pairing with THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS, in as much as it featured a whole lot of grown men playing with toys. But I was really struck how middle-aged STAR WARS fans are a whole lot more passionate (or a whole lot crazier on camera) about their thing than people who made millions off the toys they invented.

Total Running Time: 160 minutes
My Total Minutes: 213,546

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