Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 2

Two films last night (Friday) starting with one I somehow missed at Cinequest last year.

SONGS SHE WROTE ABOUT PEOPLE SHE KNOWS is the story of Carole and here unique way of expressing herself. She's quiet, never opens up about...anything. And attended a little musical therapy (in the opening scene) before walking out. But she takes musical therapy to heart and uses it to express herself. If she's just singing, it's not the same as saying it. So she calls up her neighbors and leaves a message singing about how she dreams of killing them. This does not go over well. She calls up her boss and leaves him a song called "Asshole Dave" (which, I'm not kidding, has been nominated for the Canadian equivalent of an Oscar--one of the films three nominations.) And that doesn't have the intended effect either. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what the intended effect is--I think to make her feel better but the subject of her song to not react at all? Instead, Asshole Dave is inspired, remembering how he wanted to be a musician before he gave up and became an asshole boss. So he comes over, sings to her, creeps her out, and then the next day he fires her, quits, and asks her to go away with him to pursue their dream of being musicians. She...does not. At least, not until he's in California, off his meds, and needs some help. Wacky adventures lead up to a climactic concert (hey, just like the opening night film FRANK AND CINDY!) And it's all a glorious celebration of expressing yourself...and how everyone else is horrible and should die in a fire.

And then we switched gears to the documentary/narrative hybrid film BOOGER RED. A while back, the small town of Mineola, TX was rocked by the worst child sex ring scandal in Texas history. And it looks like it was all a fake--a frame up that landed 6 people in jail for several years (they got out on plea deals) and one man in jail for life (he was not so lucky.) Onur Tukel plays Onur Tukel, a journalist looking for the real story. And all the people he interviews are people actually involved in the case. Thing is, he can only get the defendants to talk, the prosecution side and the foster parents won't talk. This was true for the filmmakers as well, and so rather than make a one-sided documentary, they turn their frustration into a part of Onur's story. The rest of his story is how he has become an expert at writing about child sex abuse, and how he wants to write about anything else. And about how he's drinking himself to death. And about his brother's widow showing up to help. The hybrid aspect of it is fascinating, and pretty quickly the "is this real?/is this fake?" questions disappear as you get wrapped up in a fascinating, dramatic, and unfolding story of an ongoing miscarriage of justice.

Total Running Time: 178 minutes
My Total Minutes: 417,075

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