Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 12

We're down to the final week. Just two-a-day until Thursday. I'd get all depressed and lonely...but Cinequest is right around the corner. And then Asianfest. Anyway, let's jump right into Monday's movies.

First up was EXLEY, the new film by Canadian indie film pioneer Larry Kent (who also made HIGH, in this year's festival.) This is one of the few movies he didn't write himself. In fact what was written was little more than an outline. The movie was almost completely improvised, which makes it pretty remarkable how well the story flowed and held together. We meet Exley (Shane Twerdun) as he's getting the crap beaten out of him in an alley. His girlfriend defends him and takes him home, where they wake up naked together. That's right, we get the violence and the sex out there right away. Then he gets a phone call that sets the rest of the film in motion--his long-estranged mother is dying, and he needs $1000 to travel across the country to see her. And so after he deals with his crazy jealous girlfriend he sets out to achieve this. The first couple of attempts range from fruitless (his gay lover) to outright hostile (his sister and her wife.) And then it descends into a surrealist nightmare, including marriage. It's a wild, funny ride and Exley is the perfect hard-luck hero for a world that is at best indifferent to your concerns and more often than not is openly hostile.

Then I ended the night with the tedious and painful BAD FEVER. Eddie (Kentucker Audley( is an aspiring comedian. The festival write-up compares his style to Mitch Hedburg, which would only be appropriate if Mitch Hedburg weren't funny in any way. He picks up homeless girl Irene (Eleonore Hendricks) and starts the world's most awkward romance with her. She's squatting in an abandoned schoolroom and has a video camera setup to record their time together. There's some mysterious guy who gave it to her because he likes the tapes (even though they're not porn.) It's all just painfully, painfully awkward. I can feel sorry for Eddie but I wouldn't want to spend any time with him. The only redeeming feature is the ending, which I kinda liked don't want to spoil. I will say (and credit goes to a friend of mine for coming up with this) that the only thing that could redeem this movie is if it was sponsored by a group that is lobbying to legalize prostitution.

Total Running Time: 167 minutes
My Total Minutes: 267,243

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