Friday, June 27, 2014

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 6

Ugh (not a commentary on the movies, but my blogging)...getting caught up after a couple of weeks of falling behind. This is from way back on...June 10th.

We started with NO MORE ROAD TRIPS, which is more an experience than a movie. Rick Prelinger of the Prelinger Archive presented an interactive, silent expedition (well, at least no recorded sound) across the country via collected home videos. The soundtrack is made up of observations from Rick and the audience. Some people (e.g., me) making smart-aleck comments a la Bad Movie Night, while others pointing out interesting things from places where they grew up, lived in for a while, or just visited. Inspired by the thought that with the price of gas, pace or life, and relative ease of air travel (please don't laugh) people don't take road trips anymore, it becomes an exploration of what used to be classic bit of mid-20th century Americana. I certainly remember road trips with my family as a kid (mainly up and down the west coast, from Bellingham, WA to visit relatives in southern CA.) But I just don't do that anymore (the latest thing that came close was driving from the SF Bay Area to Oregon for my sister's graduation.) So maybe this is a thing of the past that isn't really done anymore. And my response to that is...well, it's that I don't need to, because I just saw a movie about it (but that certainly says more about me than America.)

And then it was time for a little porn, with BACK ISSUES: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY. Director Michael Lee Nirenberg has a bit of an "in" with the magazine, his father is William Nirenberg, the former creative director for Hustler Magazine in the late 70s/early 80s. The movie takes an insider account and a historical interview, capturing the controversy over "showing pink" (while blurring it out in the movie) and contrasts Larry Flynt with his most famous rival, the late Al Goldstein (of Screw magazine.) Perhaps the most interesting part is how Goldstein was in it for the provocation and the politics, while Flynt is first and foremost a businessman. No surprise, then, that Goldstein died practically penniless while Flynt has expanded his business and stays a force in the industry even in a time when the idea of masturbating to a magazine is ridiculously outdated.

The Q&A was pretty funny, I got a vintage pack of Hustler trading cards, and...instead of implicating anyone in particular let's just say that one of the filmmaking team was very excited that he bought a joint on the street just outside and passed it around to anyone who wanted a hit in the first couple of rows. So at this point Docfest was an oddly drug-fueled affair, with one guest asking me where to score coke and another offering me a puff of marijuana. For the record, I won't say whether or not I took him up on the offer. (I totally did)

Total Running Time: 177 minutes
My Total Minutes: 365,931

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