Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 3

Day 2 and the first half of day 3 was spent at Noir City, but I was back for 3...well, 2 and 3/4...shows on Saturday.

I raced from the Castro to the Roxie right after UNDERWORLD STORY, and only missed the first 3 shorts in the animated shorts program (Yay! Cartoons!) But I did see these:
HOMEGROWN: A sheltered man, who spends all his time in the greenhouse, who is raising his son to be as isolated as he is. But eventually, the sun grows up and you have to let him fly.
STILLPOINT: Abstract patterns, with an unmoving point in the center. Kinda reminiscent of the ending to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (but with computer generated graphics instead of the chemical reactions Kubrick used.)
OH MY...: I don't know. A guy walking...or flying...through an unreal landscape. There's a frog.
SPACE BUTTHOLE: A hole in space is an excuse for a lot of crude fecal jokes. From the House of Chai (FUMI AND THE BAD LUCK FOOT, BEHIND MY BEHIND.)
YELLOW AND RED MAKE ORANGE: A memory of prairie cockfights, in line drawings on what appears to be (sometimes) reused notebook paper, making me think of the poverty of the artist.
THE SERVANT: A kafka-esque little story from Iran, where a man saves a cockroach, the cockroach grows to become his servant, and then grows to resent and rebel against his mistreatment. I'm sure that can be a metaphor for something.
CECI N'EST PAS UNE ANIMATION: A variety of styles illustrates different pretentious animators as they attempt to collaborate on the greatest animated film ever. I'm no animator, so I don't know if this is typical, but the "collaborator's" never actually appear in the same room together. Hilarious.
MEETING MACGUFFIN: Weird stop motion, post-apocalyptic world. Two-headed beings are reusing human parts to try to recreate humans, so far known as "homeys." A lost and found sign leads them to the head groundhog. All makes sense, right?
CITIPATI: Gorgeous computer animated story of a cute chicken-dinosaur as the asteroid comes that will wipe out his entire species. Dammit, don't make me like the cute dino and then kill it!
THE ALLIGATOR HUNTER: A man loses his wife to an albino alligator. So bent on revenge, he hunts it, only at the end to fall in love with it. Hey, we all grieve differently.
FREEDOM: The struggle of expectations at the top of your field, as a wold class skier decides to call it quits and embrace his freedom.
SEINE'S BREATH: Based on a true story about an anonymous woman who drowned in the Seine. Copies of her death mask became a popular item for Bohemian artists, and eventually used as the face of some of the first CPR training dummies.

Then I caught a blast from the past, in the old, old, pre-Jason days of Indiefest. SORE LOSERS was from the very first Indiefest back in 1999. It's the type of underground, no-budget, amateur schlock that Indiefest was born to champion. Blackie (Jack Oblivion,) an alien from the Lo-Fi wavelength, failed in his earlier attempt to kill an exact (10, I think?) number of beatniks. Now he's back from Limbo to finish the job, only hippies have replaced the beatniks. So he teams up with Mike Maker, Kerine (and her rotting mother,) and Goliatha to finish the job. But if they go over the allotted number of kills, they also lose, and mayhem will ensue. Trashy, sleazy fun which often makes no sense and kinda drags at times. But who the hell cares, you don't go to a movie like this to be impressed with solid story structure and tight editing.

And if that wasn't weird enough, I ended the night on TOP KNOT DETECTIVE. An Australian mockumentary about a wild Japanese TV show that only lasted a short time but has a huge cult following. I'll admit it had me going for a little while, but the sad fact is Top Knot Detective (literal translation, Detective Detective Samurai) never existed. But this movie does, and it's a crazy delight. A mythos of epic weirdness, the egomaniacal and talent-less creator Takashi Takamoto built an empire on his story of a traveling samurai who solves crimes through the power of "Deductive Reasoning!!!" Also slashes up a lot of people with his sword, uses a baby as a weapon, flies, fights robots, travels through time.... Basically riffing on all the ridiculous ideas in every low-budget Japanese schlock movie ever. And having a ton of fun, until behind the scenes drama makes it all come crashing down. Excellent.

Total Running Time: 244 minutes
My Total Minutes: 467,848

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