Friday, March 4, 2011

Jason goes to Cinequest--Day 3

And people are already asking me what's my favorite. Fuck, it's early! I don't have a favorite yet!!

Anyway, 3 more programs, in a long day of shorts.

First up, a program of 3D shorts.
COCA-COLA: THE BUBBLE: What's an ad for Coke doing in a film festival? Okay, it's a cute ad, but still.
COCA-COLA ZERO AND MENTOS: ROCKET CAR: I repeat my previous question. But also say a Coke + Mentos rocket car is pretty damn cool.
THE VIEWER: A telepath interrogates an architect. And the result breaks not just the subject's mind, but mine.
LIGHT THE WICK: A freestyle skiing highlight reel, and probably the best use of 3-D in the program (THE VIEWER is a close second, in that the 3-D was really cool, but I can't imagine LIGHT THE WICK without 3-D).
SAFETY GEEKS: An hour long short with about 10 minutes worth of good jokes. The Professional Occupational Safety Hazard (P.O.S.H) team is a bunch of clueless idiots who show up to the scene of an accident and investigate, preventing help from arriving and causing more chaos until they get to the bottom. There are some absolutely hilarious moments, but way too much dead time in between.
And unless I dozed off for a moment, WILD DOGS RUN was programmed but didn't actually play. Anyway, it's an Italian music video that's available (in 2-D) on Youtube.

Then after a short break to hit the VIP Soiree and have a drink, and to hit a drugstore for cough drops and Kleenex (It sucks trying to do a film festival with the sniffles), I was back for my one feature of the night, HERE'S THE KICKER. It's the story of a young couple, Brittany (a make-up artist who has taken a crappy job doing makeup for porn) and Simon (an ex-NFL kicker who blew out his knee and has taken a crappy job as a caterer). Nothing is going for them in L.A., so they pack up and move back to Victory, Texas (where her family lives) with the plan of opening a combination salon/saloon (you know, so guys can have a beer and watch the game while their wives get their hair done). And it turns into a road trip from hell as Simon is beset upon by an old friend (a Mormon who is lapsing from the righteous path) and his father (an alcoholic who is no longer in rehab). And all this time he's keeping a secret--he's been offered a college scouting job in So Cal, and he wants to take it. When you see enough movies, eventually you've seen pretty much everything. Alcoholic dad, difficult road trip, young couple with problems brought on by poor communication...check, check, check. I could go on, but I list this just to say that the realism and subtlety of the performances makes this movie work and keeps it from being cliche. Oh, and it's also plenty funny.

And then I ended the night with the Animated Shorts Program:
ALMA: I actually saw this one at SFIFF last year. A little girl sees a doll in a toy store that looks just like her. So she wanders in.
THE COW WHO WANTED TO BE A HAMBURGER: A Plymptoon, and it's exactly what it says it is, and exactly what you'd expect from Bill Plympton's sense of humor.
DENMARK: A marionette shrimp tries to fly an underwater rocket, in this video from the Portland Cello Project.
THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE: A Buster Keaton look alike lives with the secret life of books. Totally charming.
THE LIPPSET DIARIES: Arthur Lipsett was a celebrated experimental animator, who succumbed to depression and suicide. This is not based on his actual diaries, which are lost, but on imagination/speculation of what he must have gone through. And it's beautiful and haunting.
LUNA: In a world where everyone rides a unicycle, the little guy who stands on his feet and reaches for the moon is thought crazy...until he surprises everyone.
THE MOON BIRD: Turns out orphan girl tears are the most powerful force on, the moon. Take that, evil sorceress!
PARASOL: An animated chase/crash drawn directly onto paper parasols. That was weird and awesome.
POLO'S ROBOT: In the future, even our prestigious miniaturization-through-ingestion jobs will be done by robots. What?!
RED SNOW: A brother stands up to defend his brother from the onslaught of bullies with snowballs. It's a metaphor for war.
THE THOMAS BEALE CIPHER: It has destroyed everyone who has tried to crack it. And the latest cryptographer is as close as anyone has ever been. To bad the feds are after him for spying for the Germans. Oh yeah, and it takes place during WWII.
WHEN I AM KING: An amazing stop-motion wood-burned technique (about five hours of work per second of film). And a story of clever boy who makes his little palace in the trees and invites his ghostly friends over for a banquet.

And that was Thursday at Cinequest. Now it's about to really begin, with a long weekend of films.

Total Running Time: 309 minutes
My Total Minutes: 225,186

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