Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jason goes to Cinequest--Day 8

Another day, another 5 movies. Here we go!

I started the day with the longish short (30 minutes) film TOUCH (not to be confused with the feature of the same name). A woman and her masseur face their physical and emotional scars to engage in the healing power of human contact.

And that was the prelude to the feature film SHUFFLE, by Cinequest alum Kurt Kuenne (DEAR ZACHARY, VALIDATION, SLOW,...he's had a lot in the festival, and often drops by and is part of the family even if he doesn't have a film that year.) I actually remember him describing this movie back at the closing night party last year (yeah, believe it or not I actually remember something from the party last year!) So I've been excited to see this for about a year. So that's a heck of a lot of anticipation, and it did not at all disappoint. Lovell Milo sounds like he has his name out of order, but that's not all he has out of order. He is, in fact, living his entire life out of order. Every time he falls asleep, he wakes up at a different age, in a different stage of his life. It's pretty much a nightmare, and he just wants it to stop. But, as a little girl tells him, this is happening for a reason. And if he just pays attention, he can save a life.

Kuenne has a proven track record both of making me laugh and pulling my heartstrings. Yeah, I even cried a little during this movie (of course, I also cried at THE MUPPETS, so maybe I'm a little too easy.) Even when I guessed the big twist, it was still so nicely done that I loved it.

SHUFFLE with TOUCH plays again March 7 at 11:00 am. That's like, nearly right now! Go see it! Go! Read the rest of this post later!

Next up, I took a trip to Slovenia to see A TRIP. It's a classic road trip movie of old high school friends. Andrej, the wacky gay friend pretends that nothing phases him, even when people teased him he always had a joke. Gregor has joined the military, and is preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. And Ziva, the pretty young girl is telling them she's going abroad to study next year. So this will very likely be their last trip together, and they set out to make the most of it, drinking, joking, etc. Gregor tries to hook up with Ziva. Andrej gushes about how awesome Gregor is, for an incident where he saved him back in high school. And...well, they're all hiding secrets, which will eventually come out and challenge their friendship. Hopefully, though, their friendship is strong enough to endure anything. A really funny movie with a touching, heartfelt, and surprising side.

Sadly, that was the last scheduled screening, unless it gets an encore day screening. Stay tuned to find out about that.

Next, I saw MUST COME DOWN, a drama-comedy that tests the limits of how far "quirky" can carry your film. It's the story of strangers Holly and Ashley. Holly is unemployed and recently out of a relationship. It's hard to tell if she or her ex is taking the breakup harder. At first, she is leaving presents in his mailbox and kinda stalking him. But then, he sort of acts weird when he sees her with another guy. Oh, that other guy is Ashley, he's just passing through town. They meet at the bus stop, but he's not waiting for a bus. He's watching the house across the way. It's the house he grew up in (also the house director Kenny Riches grew up in) and he's learning everything about the people inside so that he can break in and...do nothing, really. Just be inside the house again. For the briefest of times, they find comfort in their complementary quirkiness. And well...it's cute, and pretty fun. And my new goal at Cinequest is to get someone to spontaneously utter the magic phrase, "Where did that corndog come from?"

That was the last scheduled screening of MUST COME DOWN, so if you wanted to see it, time to hope for an encore.

Then I went over to the VIP Soiree at Clubhouse, featuring pizza from Willow St. Pizza (both proud members of the Cinequest Dining Circle.) I drank me a lot of beer and at me some pizza. And it was good.

Then it was time for FOUR LOVERS...and then maybe a movie! (Ha ha! That joke will never stop being funny!) Seriously, it was time for either a very French movie about sex, or a very sexy movie about being French--I haven't decided which. Whatever it was, it was very explicit and revealed the story of two couples who decide to share each other. Rachel is with Franck, Teri is with Vincent. They are all friends, and they decide to spend more time with each other. Not quite all in one group--Rachel spends more time with Vincent, and Teri spends more time with Franck. In fact, to avoid complications they don't talk about what they do, but they always come home to their original partners and things are actually better. Or maybe they're not. Maybe jealousy and conflicted emotions will tear them all apart. It's a very smartly done, carefully realized production. It sometimes feels like the filmmakers are walking on the same erotic eggshells that their characters are. And I won't tell you if the characters successfully navigate their way through, but I would judge that the filmmakers did.

FOUR LOVERS plays again March 9 at 5:15 pm.

Then the last show started with a short, L TRAIN, which I had just seen at Indiefest. A young woman bemoans her difficult life, until she sees someone struggling with even more.

And finally, I ended the night with BEL BORBA IS HERE (BEL BORBA AQUI.) Bel Borba has actually gone back to Salvador, Brazil, but I did meet him earlier in the week, and he complimented me on my magnificent beard, so I knew I had to check out his movie. He's a tireless creative force, shunned by the traditional gallery establishment, he goes ahead and plasters his art all over his city. He paints, he puts up mosaic, he sculpts (making giant doggies out of soda bottles), he grows corral sculptures. I'm sure there is some form of media he hasn't turned into art yet. I'm not sure if there's anything he couldn't turn into art. His art is everywhere on his city, even when he didn't exactly have permission to put it there. But he's sort of an underground mayor of the city, known and loved wherever he goes, so wherever his art appears, it seems to be okay with everyone.

He's also an exhausting man. I was out of breath just watching 90 minutes of him working (granted, often in time-lapse motion, so maybe he doesn't work as fast as I think). I can't imagine keeping up with the 19 hours a day that director Burt Sun joked he worked (that might be an exaggeration, it was in response to a question about him seemingly working 18 hours a day.)

BEL BORBA IS HERE one more time (barring an encore screening) on March 8 at 1:30 pm.

And that was Cinequest Tuesday.

Total Running Time: 486 minutes
My Total Minutes: 271,046

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