Saturday, February 20, 2016

Jason goes top Indiefest--Day 9

Two more films last night, Friday. And my first night at the New Mission Alamo Drafthouse! Cool place with a good selection of movies (this is the first film festival they've hosted, but more are planned. Like CAAMFest.) And they have an amazing beer selection. The food is a bit overpriced, but you're paying for the environment and the service of bringing it directly to you theater seat, so it's all cool. Anyway, on to the films.

First up was a brilliant mind-bender from Mexico, THE INCIDENT (EL INCIDENTE.) Director Isaac Ezban (whose THE SIMILARS plays tonight) has crafted a wonderfully entertaining mind-fuck. A man comes home to see a detective holding his brother captive. They fight, they run, they run down a stairwell and...they're trapped there forever. It becomes an infinite looping stairwell with no exit, where below level one is level nine and all the way down (and up) repeating. In fact, if one of them stays there and another runs up/down nine flights, he'll run into the other guy again. And they're trapped there. Meanwhile, in a parallel story, a family drives the same endless, repeating road over and over again. As they both drag on for 35 years, we see different ways the subjects adapt, either falling apart of making the best of their situation. These stories do eventually connect, and expand to higher thoughts of different realities. And the ending is brilliant and can make you question anything. Except for the mind-bending talent of Ezban--that's beyond question. 

And then just as strange, but a bit more straightforward MEATHEAD GOES HOGWILD is a no-budget guerrilla gem from Chicago. The titular meathead (I don't recall if he's ever given a name, and I don't think he had one in the credits) is a scrawny guy who works with a personal trainer to bulk up and who works in a deli slicing meat for a living. He's also having a really bad day. Stood up on his date. Fired from his job for staring at the lady customers' tits, and worst of all his online sandwich order never arrived. So he does the logical thing--breaks into the deli and steals all the meat. An encounter with a homeless guy, and the realization that meat is power leads him to "seek the good"--by taking the train to the poorer neighborhoods of Chicago to give away free meat in the middle of the night. Things don't go as planned, instead they go exactly as you expect. At least if you expect him to end up running around town in his underwear growling like a rabid dog. Fuckin' awesome and hilarious, with some interesting observations on masculinity.

Total Running Time: 203 minutes
My Total Minutes: 418,827

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