Friday, December 27, 2013

Jason goes to Holehead--Closing Night

And finally we get to the end of this 3 week ordeal. Some good stuff. An equal amount of absolutely horrible stuff. And a fair amount of in-between.

I skipped THE G-STRING HORROR: THE DEMON CUT because I had to work late. Not that I would have seen it anyway (I saw and hated the original cut last year, and didn't want to see it again,) but it gave me a good excuse.

So instead I settled in to watch the closing film, SENN. This is a majorly ambitious movie, much bigger than its micro-budget. And it's a bit of a puzzler, and a hard one to write about a week later, especially when I was so exhausted when I saw it. So I'll start by saying I'm sure it's something I'll get more out of if when I see it again. It also warns you in its opening moments that this movie--like life--is not what you want it to be, it's just what it is. So it's very much the kind of movie where what you pick up on and what you see is a reflection of you. For my part, I saw it as an epic sci-fi adventure about the importance of empathy. And I liked the joke about God becoming a giraffe. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. Senn, the title character, is a factory worker on Pyom, a planet that's nearly forgotten by the corporation that colonized it, mined it dry, and now uses its people as cheap labor to build things they (and the audience) couldn't possibly comprehend (there's definitely some commentary about both environmentalism and globalism.) Strange dreams and stranger reality take him and his lover Kana to a strange world with a strange guardian who wants them to investigate a strange enormous object called the Polychronom. Have I mentioned this movie is strange? The film occasionally reveals it's micro-budget, mostly in the CGI effects that are pretty and inventive but hardly realistic. At times it feels like an intentional, surreal protest against realism (like when the mysterious alien power serves them from an airline cart beside a wooded stream) But at other times it seems like great care has been taken to create realism--gorgeous satellite shots (courtesy of Creative Commons,) an entire fake language (that is currently known by exactly one person,) and some superb acting.  I've already tipped some of the ending of the movie, and I don't want to do more because that's just my take on it and it would take away from the fun of finding out for yourself what the movie means to you.

And that is finally that. After 3 long weeks of films--some great, some terrible, and a few somewhere in between--at least Holehead went out on a high note. Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you to everyone who had a film in the festival. Even the shitty ones. Maybe it's the holiday spirit, but I want to end by saying that even if I hated your film, I (almost) always respect the effort that went into making it (except for STRUGGLED REAGANS, your movie is bad and you should feel bad.)

Running Time: 85 minutes
My Total Minutes: 347,468

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