First up was Shorts Program 4: Animated Worlds. Yay, cartoons!
ABIOGENESIS: A beautiful CGI short about machines that land on and transform a planet.
AKERBELTZ, THE WITCHES, AND THE INQUISITOR: A dark tale of the Spanish Inquisition, witches burnt at the stake, and the boy who sets out to save them.
BIRDBOY: A story of loneliness, persecution, industrial accidents, unlikely love, drug abuse, and the chance to fly away forever.
CADAVER: You're never too old, or too dead to have your heart broken, or to find new love. With the voices of Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates.
GUS: A major evolutionary leap is made by a hyper-flatulent cave-child.
I AM ROUND: Unfortunately, this world is only made to fit squares.
THE OBSERVER: Instead of just eating up the thoughts other people vomit forth, you can look at the world, form your own ideas, and vomit them back to the people. A story of individuality and the triumph of new ideas.
SHATTERED PAST: A story of a family escaping from the Russian Revolution, told from the perspective of the now grown son of the family.
TELLY: A child loves to read. And then a weird television set (that you punch out of a book and assemble yourself) changes everything. Cool use of paper and pop-up techniques.
TRIBOLUMINESCENCE: Lights, patterns, circles withing circles, electronic music, coolness...
WILD LIFE: A very polite Englishman has a hard time becoming a rancher in 1900's Canada.
WORLDS APART: Aliens explore a desolate world, and learn of its downfall through the memories imprinted on a teddy bear.
Then, after a few drinks and snacks (including lots of delicious chicken satay) at the VIP Soiree at Il Fornaio (proud member of the Cinequest Diner's Circle), I headed over to the grand California Theater for the funniest thing I've seen in years, KING CURLING (aka KONG CURLING in it's native Norway.) Truls Paulsen was the ultimate Norwegian Curling champion. His key was absolute attention to every detail. Curling is a game of millimeters, and even when team Paulsen won, he wasn't happy if the millimeters weren't exactly right. That's because he is bat-shit crazy OCD. To the point that he throws the referees around the ice screaming that the surface is too rough, and is eventually put away in the loony bin. Which is probably good for his personal health, but the team has to disband. Years later, out of the hospital but under the guardianship of his domineering girlfriend, he learns that his old coach Gordon is dying of lung cancer. So he has to get off his meds, get the team back together, and win the big payout for the national championship so he can save his friend. One small problem--the rest of the team is nearly as nutty as he is. A womanizer, an obsessive bird-watcher, and a supreme pessimist with daddy issues--they all have to team together and make a little magic sliding rocks across the ice.
Then after downing a scotch at Original Joe's, courtesy of my friend and 'brother from another mother' Chris "Puddles" Garcia, I was back at the Camera 12 for another shorts program, Shorts 2: Over Land, Over Sea. To be honest, I have no idea what the theme of this program was supposed to be.
COUNT BACK FROM TEN: A little girl hallucinating a serene camping trip. Really she's tripping balls on morphine while undergoing surgery.
EVERYTHING IS INCREDIBLE: A documentary about Agustin, who is building a helicopter out of scrap metal, bike parts, and wood. He started when he was 15. He's been doing this for 50 years. And oh yeah, he is crippled with polio. I so wanted to see his helicopter fly!
IN SEARCH OF A DONKEY: An exploration of cultural misconceptions, as three Japanese men with a taste for donkey meat have second thoughts when it appears that donkeys are sacred to Christians. Very strange (also, by this time at night I had a bit of trouble staying awake.)
OTTO AND THE ELECTRIC EEL: Otto burned dinner, just before his date was supposed to arrive. So he creates an eel out of...electricity. And then things get really weird.
THE PADLOCK (IL LUCCHETTO): It's a tradition for couples to lock a padlock in a public place and throw away they key. That way, their love is symbolically locked to the universe forever. Symbolically is key.
REINALDO ARENAS: A man and his pet shark.
SAILCLOTH: How to escape the old folks' home, steal a boat, and take a trip.
SMORGASBORD: Body issues and true love, in the buffet line.
STERLING HALLARD BRIGHT DRAKE: In a Walla Walla cemetery, there is a tombstone in the shape of a giant X for Sterling Hallard Bright Drake. He put it there himself, and someday he will actually be buried there. Until then, his unusual pre-memorial has a lot of people asking questions.
Then I ended the night with one last beer at the Maverick Meet-up at Eulipia. Also part of the Diner's Circle, but since I didn't have solid food there, I'm not counting it as part of my project to eat at every restaurant in the Diner's Circle. Oh yeah, I'm trying to do that, too.
Total Running Time: 296 minutes
My Total Minutes: 268,398