Sunday, June 9, 2013

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 3

Yeah, I skipped Day 2 to go to Midnites 4 Maniacs, but I was back on Saturday for 3 more documentaries.

Actually, make that 4, because the first show started with a short, CITY FISH. A brief look at a guy in San Francisco who knows that there are fish in the drains under the city. And he catches one to prove it.

The connection of, nature and the city was the perfect lead in to the world premier of  EDIBLE CITY. A really interesting look at local advocates of good food. They throw a lot of characters and a lot of ideas at you, most of them are more or less familiar to anyone who knows the good/local/slow food movements. For the record, my knowledge is based entirely on watching movies about it. The thing I found the interesting was the connection to the Occupy movement, which happened during the making of the film (in the Q&A, director Andrew Hasse mentioned that he will continue editing it and Occupy probably won't dominate the final cut as much as it does now.) And the connection to local food movements around the world, which make it seem like America is kinda slow on the uptake. Or the connection with WWII Victory Gardens. Or the idea that the answers isn't about leaving the city to live on a farm, but creating farming in the cities themselves (I just love the shot of the guy walking his goats past a Jack in the Box.) Oh, and a warning to all the bunny-rabbit fans out there (like me)--there are cute bunnies in there, and they do show the (as humane as possible) killing and skinning of one. I can't say that was easy to watch, but it was fascinating to watch. And as a carnivore it's something I shouldn't be afraid to watch. More information about the movie and about the good food movement can be found on their website,

Next up was AND YOU BELONG, a fast, frenetic, choppy look at Scream Club, the kinda unclassifiable electro-queer-hip-hop duo from Olympia, Washington. Two girls--Cindy Wonderful and Sarah Adorable make music, party, and tour through Europe (they live in Berlin now) with their friends. Their personalities--wild, fun, exciting, accepting, rebellious--really carry the movie. We see them and their circle of equally entertaining friends performing and just being themselves, which is exactly the same as when they're performing. They are certainly fun people to know, and seeing the process of making underground art is fun, too. The movie itself is choppy, like it was edited by someone with ADHD. And that might be perfectly appropriate for the subject. It was a lot of fun, but at the end I turned to my friend and said, "Those girls are awesome! I hope someone makes a documentary about them."

And then I ended the night with some PUBLIC SEX, PRIVATE LIVES. Another world premier of a locally made documentary, following the lives of three performers from San Francisco's famous Armory, home to the studios of Lorelei Lee, Isis Love, and Princess Donna are showcased. Now this is not a political documentary about porn, either pro- or anti- (but let's be honest, if it was it would be pro-porn.) Let's not fool ourselves into thinking no girls get into porn for the wrong reasons and nobody has bad experiences making porn (INSIDE LARA ROXX, from this year's Indiefest, is a good counterpoint showing the dark, self-deluded side of the porn business.) But this is about 3 women who really seem to have it all together and are in control. Well, more or less. Isis does talk about being homeless and pregnant at 17 when her mother threw her out and her baby-daddy wanted nothing to do with her son (who is perfectly well-adjusted and she's a great mother.) That's as close as the movie gets into the whole 'I turned to porn out of desperation' cliche. While Isis is busy being a mother, Lorelei is getting her Master's Degree at NYU. Princess Donna, meanwhile, is dealing with the death of her father (whom she eulogizes as a great man whose rebellious spirit she inherited) and helping her mother move on. Donna's mother is almost the star of the movie, eagerly attending one of her "Public Disgrace" shoots and--in one of the scenes funniest movies--asking Donna to help show her how to use all of the new toys she bought. But lest we get the message that their private lives are perfect (whose is?) there are difficulties. Isis has a hearing with Child Protective Services, Lorelei is wrapped up in an obscenity lawsuit involving some movies she made (the producer is on trial, she's a witness, but it's still pretty stressful.) And Donna has an inquisitive extended family who don't quite fully grasp what she does. I love the scene of Donna with her family, first of all because it's such an honest, interesting, and brave look at explaining what she does. But second because I noticed the logos of the household products in their kitchen were blurred out. The dish soap, the salad dressing, the wine bottle, etc. were all censored. So this movie has created a world where sex can be seen (and yes, they do "show the goods" during some scenes of them working) but corporate logos are forbidden. And that's a world I'd like to live in.

I think that's a good note to end on. Four more movies today, hoping I can successfully get between the Balboa and Roxie Theaters today (so I might be a little late to one of them.)

Total Running Time: 233
My Total Minutes: 329,467

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