Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 3

A four movie Saturday, so let's jump right in.

First up was the documentary GAINSBOURG, THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN. I'm the first to admit I knew nothing about Serge Gainsbourg. His daughter Charlotte I know, but Serge meant nothing to me. Over the course this movie, which consists entirely of old video and interview footage, with voice-over comments by his many women, I got to get a picture of the man. He's a singer-songwriter, a provocateur, a seducer, and an intentionally misunderstood sensitive artist. He was ugly, with big ears, a big nose, and kind of froggy eyes, but he was still able to seduce French starlets from Bridget Bardot to Isabelle Adjani. Oh, an he was a huge misogynist. Or not. Maybe that was all exaggerated. Or an act. Or his Jekyl and Hyde persona (he even had a "Gainsbarre" and "Gainsbourg" personality he kept separate.) Oh, and he smoked like a chimney. Basically, I started out thinking 'This guy is really, really French!' And I ended up thinking 'Maybe all bad French stereotypes are based on this guy!' And true or not, that conclusion was pretty amusing.

Then I saw the no-budget con flick THE ARISTOCRAT. [Review pulled for spoilers. Will either rework and post later or not rework and post once spoilers are irrelevant].

Then, after quite a long technical delay (which, along with great Foley work, has been the theme of the fest so far) I saw SPECIAL TREATMENT starring Isabelle Huppert. As always, she gives a fine performance. This time she's playing a prostitute who makes good money (500 euro in a half hour) for dressing up and fulfilling fantasies. While she's doing her job, there's a psychoanalyst Dr. Demestre (Bouli Lanners) who has all sorts of trouble of his own, and through a colleague approaches her for services, although he's too timid to even know what he wants. The parallels the movie draws between the two professions is pretty blatant, and the story is mainly about how people who offer comfort and help for a living can be the most in need of it themselves. Great acting of course. Much better than the weak script deserved.

Then it was time for the program of music shorts, THE SIGHT OF MUSIC.

INDESTRUCTIBLE: Even if your love doesn't last forever, your mix tape does. And that's not a good thing.
SLEEPING WITH FRANK: A rhythmic, musical take on daily life, leaving only the question: who (or what) the heck is Frank?
PENGUINS: a girl wakes up, gets ready, and faces the day, followed by her entourage of crudely animated CGI animals. I was unimpressed.
GET AWAY: Jenn Dorn sings about having to get out of her relationship. Simple mirroring special effects is all this video needs. Her voice and her song were cool at first, but got grating by the end.

Then we interrupted the movies for a short performance by Black Flamingos. Apparently they rarely play unplugged, so they're usually louder than what we heard. Well, I liked what they did anyway.

PSYCHE OR LIKE SCOPE: Mareesa Stertz of Black Flamingos (and director of the short EMOTION MALFUNCTION from last year's Indiefest) shot this trippy video for Family of the Year, where they climb a mountain outside the city and are surrounded by red robed figures (members of Black Flamingos) and start flying through space.
WAYS TO STOP TIME: Classic sci-fi set to music by the Exrays.
BURNING WIGS OF SEDITION: Extra Action Marching Band (who are freakin' awesome!) Created this wild adventure of a slave rebellion on a hedonistic ship. What a party!

Then we ended with a performance by one of the members of Exrays. He was pretty cool, too.

And then I made it down for the end of the (in)famous Indiefest annual Lebowski party. Had a white Russian (but after last year, I had just one and switched to beer), saw the costume contest, chatted with Walter and The Dude, and had a grand old time. Then caught a bus to a bus to home. Long night, but at least I drafted these reviews on the way so I'm all up to date.

Total Running Time: 333 minutes (counting only the movie time of SIGHT OF MUSIC--it was listed as a 90 minute program, but only 39 minutes of film)
My Total Minutes: 221,446

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