Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jason goes to Holehead--Day 12

Two features on Monday...about a month...and a half...ago. I apologize, but it's time for a late data dump.

SAVE YOURSELF is a clever and knowing look at the role of women in horror films. A team of female horror filmmakers are on a cross-country trip, traveling from their film festival premiere screening back to their homes in L.A. They met some...interesting people at the screening, and they'll meet a couple of them again. And they'll get kidnapped and held for twisted experiments by an ex-Nazi scientist with some interesting ideas about eugenics. That's pretty spoiler-y for a short-ass review. Oops.

Then the highlight of the festival MAD MAX: SILENT FURY. I should say, as someone who has attended the festival from the very beginning (even before the beginning, if you count the final horror-themed weekend of the 2003 SF Indiefest as the proto-Holehead) they roped me into a volunteer job for the festival. Specifically, my job was to introduce the films and (when there were filmmakers present) lead the Q&A. Which turned out to be a lot of fun. And nothing was more fun that introducing a packed house to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, in black and white, with the sound removed, and with a live score by The Firmament. Especially as a silent film fan, I got to wax eloquent on how silent film is still alive today. It's inspiring your favorite filmmakers, I guarantee it (unless you have no taste.) And, in fact, silent films are still being made today--you just don't know it, because of all the talking in them. The fact is, the art of a silent film is not in the lack of dialogue--that's just the technical limitation. The art of a silent film is in conveying an idea--an emotion, a story point, a little piece of information--through a moving picture, rather than through exposition. Show, don't tell. And every time that happens in a movie (and it happens all the time in a good movie) silent films are still alive. And what we watched that night completely validated my theory, as MAD MAX: FURY ROAD still works in black and white, and it works without dialogue, and it was brilliant.

Total Running Time: 211 minutes
My Total Minutes: 437,162

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