Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jason goes to Docfest--Monday, June 6

Well, the festival is almost over, so I might as well start writing about it.

I missed the whole first weekend due to Silentfest, but now it's time to hit the documentaries hard. Two programs a week ago Monday.

First up a shorts program, Cool Old Guys. Cool!
ROLLIN' FOR MILES: David Miles Jr. is cool for roller skating, dressing up, and founding the Church of 8 wheels.
A PASSION OF GOLD AND FIRE: This guy is cool for keeping bees. Bees!
BOB SWANN: Bob Swann is cool for...lots of shit. Being a bail bondsman. Having a huge collection of clocks. Shellacking roaches. Anything, really.
BORN FIGHTER: I had previously seen this at Cinequest, But Johnnie Gray is still cool for running his East Palo Alto boxing gym.
DAVID FAIR IS THE KING: David Fair is cool for being the co-founder of the band Half Japanese. Now he's cool for keeping up with art in daily life however he can.
EMORY DOUGLAS: THE ART OF THE BLACK PANTHERS: Emory Douglas is cool for... ummm... being an artist for the Black Panthers. I guess the title gave that away. In fact, he was their Minister of Culture, and the film is a cool look at art as a weapon.
PHIL'S CAMINO: Phil is cool for using walking and faith as a tool in his fight against caner. Not being Catholic, I had actually never known about the Camino de Santiago, but he sets up the equivalent in his backyard, and when his cancer is in remission, he goes on the real thing.
ROBIN BROWN: Robin is cool for being an athlete, a body builder, a model, a darling of the Parisian social classes. Until MS robbed him of all of that. But you know what, he's still cool.

And then a feature, THE DWARVENAUT. Stefan Pokorny is an artist, entrepreneur, and D&D (Dungeons and Dragons, in case anyone didn't know) enthusiast. He builds exquisitely detailed models of dungeons and cities for his fellow gamers to enjoy (at a cost, of course.) It probably helps to be a D&D fan, but it's definitely not necessary to enjoy this movie. It's more the story of a hungry artist living his dream and trying to make a living off his passion. It also gets a bit into some of the trauma in his childhood, but steers away from that before it gets too dark, focusing instead on a fairly anticlimactic Kickstarter campaign and his life at conventions (particularly drinking too much with Gary Gygax's son.)

Total Running Time: 161 minutes
My Total Minutes: 431,060

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