Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 5

Okay, two more shows last Monday, starting with the shorts block Women Warriors:

NATSANAT: The word means "freedom" and is the story of Ethiopian women freedom fighters who sacrificed either years of their lives or their entire lives but were a major part not just of winning freedom but in forming the new government. Really amazing women.

MOTHER ART TELLS HER STORY: The story of feminist mother artists in 70s Los Angeles. Finding a conflict between motherhood and an art career (at least one was told the only way she would ever be a serious artist is to leave her husband and child and devote herself to art full time) they decided to form their own collective and create art based on the themes of motherhood. E.g., performance and poetry in laundromats, "cleaning up" the banks and city hall. They even came under attack from conservative politicians (including Reagan) as a waste of government money (because they got a $700 grant for their laundromat performance. And no, I didn't forget a zero or two in there, $700 was considered a waste of money.) Interesting people and artists, but I thought the movie started to drag as it went into fully detail on everything they did. It's a 40 minute film, and can probably be trimmed to 30.

THE GASKETTES: The fun adventures of an all-girl moped riding gang. Ummm...not much more to say than that. It's fun to watch, the girls are cool, and it's obvious that they're having a lot of fun.

And then there was a movie that blurred the documentary/narrative line while telling a story that blurs the reality/interactive game line. THE INSTITUTE is the story of the Jejune Institute, which is kind of a new-agey cult. And it's the starting point (for many) of a game of Nonchalance. The Jejune Institute promises Nonchalance, but the Elsewhere Public Works Administration (I think that's what they were called, the EPWA) warns that the Institute is selling false Nonchalance and EPWA (and the teachings of Eva Lucien--yes, I'm sure that's a pun on evolution) will give them true Nonchalance. So a bizarre alternate reality game is born, where the city of San Francisco (and the East Bay) become the playground and you never really see the city the same way again. And we meet the designers behind the game, a player who becomes a little too obsessed and thinks its all real, and other players who just had fun with it all. It makes me wish I had somehow gotten sucked up into the game myself. But on the other hand, maybe just seeing a movie about it was enough. Which is good, because the game is basically over (except for the players who are keeping it going, but the game creators aren't doing much anymore.)

Total Running Time: 171 minutes
My Total Minutes: 303,840

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