Saturday, February 09, 2008

Beloit International Film Festival Day 3

Day 3: Saturday, January 19, 2008

George Washington
A depressing look at poor kids from the wrong side of town, the aspirations and minutiae of their relationships, and how they react to crisis. Excellent performances, surprising plot non-twists, but don't see this if you're in a sad mood.

Forbidden Future
A female skiier, a death-metal guitarist and bandleader, and an artist struggle to create their dreams in repressive Iran. Excellent, thoughtful, and honest.

Movement Revolution Africa
Dance troupes create new styles representing Africa, struggling to break style and content free of the tribal rhythms traditionally associated with the continent. Very good, even though I don't much care for dance.

A wonderful story about a septuagenarian teenager, an elderly man who spends his days playing elaborate practical jokes with his friend, and trying to escape his wife's obsession with marching responsibly toward death. Hilarious, occasionally touching, and rich.

Short Slot 5 Our disastrous foray into amateur avant garde cinema. I now hate avant garde... and cinema... and amateur film. Well not quite, but these were truly awful beyond description.
Linda Linda: a short film shot by Robert Lee Morris during his student days at Beloit College in the late 60s. In it, you see Morris's obsession, a girl named Linda, and besides Linda, there's some music. Linda is standing and laying down. Who gives a crap.

Agnieszka 2039: futuristic Poland, where menace lurks everywhere, lesbianism is still viewed as avant garde, and an odd device threatens to destroy humanity.

Butterflies Die In Snow: a pointless, self-referential pseudo-comedy in which the filmmakers repeatedly point out how bad they are at filmmaking, apparently in an attempt to convince you that they're not. But oh, they are.

Mad John's Escape: another Robert Lee Morris film that makes Linda Linda look like genius, though that might only be because Linda Linda was much shorter. Some people run away from Beloit College and frolic in a rural part of Beloit, apparently engaging in bisexual trysts of some kind. Who cares.

Glimpse: something about Willem de Kooning. Not bad - the abstract art is pretty neat. Not a film, but decent art, so that's something.

Synthetik: a dull, hackish attempt to say something about love using goth characters in a series of almost-inanimate scenes doing such things as pulling eggs from one anothers' mouths, throwing eggs at one another, and fellating pistols. Awful, beyond contempts, and the director was sitting behind us. We left quickly as he started to answer questions from the audience, and I resisted the urge to ask what we had done to deserve having to watch his film.

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