Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 12

Catching up on the final week of Indiefest, two shows on Monday, so let's jump right in.

First up was the short, RICE BALL. A Japanese man and his son return from his wife's funeral. While talking about her, and how to move on, the father makes a very simple snack--rice balls. But not the way his wife made them. It's a simple dish, but somehow carries the character of the person. And the difference is a striking point of how she's gone, but also something to bring the father and son together. Very quiet, simple, and striking. 

And that led into the feature, HER MAGNUM OPUS. It's a mostly wordless, beautiful passing of the seasons through dance. A circle of friends gather to celebrate their mentor. They party, they dance, they celebrate life. It's not about the narrative, it's about a sense of joy, and of change. And it's another one of those kinds of movies where if you maybe doze off for a bit, every time you wake up there's something beautiful on screen. I wouldn't say it's a great movie to fall asleep to, but it's a good movie to wake up to.

And then a comedy of Los Angeles, THE CALIFORNIA NO. Elliot is a junketeer. That particular kind of writer who asks the same questions to celebrities promoting their movies over and over again. It's a living...well, it doesn't pay that much but he gets to see movies for free and hang out with famous people. And he's got a successful wife. But in the opening scene, at couple's therapy, he finds out he's in an open marriage. Or at least his wife is. When he lets his frustration and aimlessness ruin one of the junket interviews, he's suddenly a pariah. The "California No" of the title is the uniquely Californian (I'd like to think uniquely Los Angeles) method of rejecting someone--by simply ignoring them (I think the rest of the world calls that "ghosting" now.) He pins his comeback on writing an expose on a famous actor, although he pitches it to him as a fluff piece to reinvigorate his career. Wacky hijinx ensue, in a very funny flick that makes me thankful I don't live in Los Angeles.

Total Running Time: 160 minutes
My Total Minutes: 469,977

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