LA STORIA DI SONIA (SONIA'S STORY): A life story set to the trends in Italian cinema (and allegedly Italian political turmoil, but I know less about that.) As a little girl, Sonia interrupts a Sergio Leone style child standoff. As a young lady, she gets involved in a Eurocrime style showdown with the cops. And then her prison time is sort of giallo-inspired. And then it gets weird.
DATE SETTERS: A dialogue-free homage to the victims of doomsday cults.
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN BRAIN: He makes his way through life paying for things with a tiny bit of his brain at a time, until he's left with nothing. I totally sympathize.
VIVE LE CAPITAL: Ruminations on money and greed, set to creepy-strange interpretive dance.
DEAFBLIND: A deaf-blind woman who senses Christ's presence. Or it's some other guy in her apartment.
THE GREAT GASTROMANCER: A ventriloquist and his dummy go up against a barking dance crew. Weird, funny, and kind of racist. Reminds me of me.
I have to say I haven't seen a lot of shorts in the festival yet (looking forward to the animated shorts tonight!) but I sure hope they get better. There have been a few good shorts, but in general the programs I've seen (this one and the Uncanny Shorts Past and Present) have come off pretentious as hell.
And the second show of the night was THE LAST ELVIS, a weird story of celebrity infatuation that would actually be an interesting companion piece with ANTIVIRAL (which was playing next door.) While ANTIVIRAL dealt with celebrity infatuation in general terms and in a physically disturbing way, THE LAST ELVIS is about a very specific celebrity infatuation in a psychologically disturbing way. Carlos Gutierrez (John McInerny, a real life Elvis tribute performer) tries desperately to be Elvis. He quits his dead-end factory job to devote himself full time to his nightly passion--impersonating Elvis in clubs. He calls his ex-wife Priscilla (not her real name) and named his daughter Lisa Marie. He wears the jumpsuit and gold-rimmed glasses, and sings a spot-on impersonation--although almost never of actual Elvis songs. I'm not sure if that was an artistic choice or if they just couldn't secure the rights to enough Elvis material, but there's something strange, fascinating, simultaneously off-putting and charming about hearing "Elvis" sing I Wish I Were in Dixie (among other odd song matches.) The highlight is his pilgrimage to Graceland, although...without giving too much away...I've heard from people that the security at Graceland is way too tight for him to get away with what he does.
Total Running Time: 176 minutes
My Total Minutes: 314,602