November 26th, 2008
I had my first White of Eye screening! I went to the amateur filmmakers night at Kelly’s Olympian and showed two movies: Storytime Adventures #1 and my recently completed short comedy Documented Roommate (I’ll have that one online soon.) They both went over well.. the singing crabs got a lot of laughs. It was definitely encouraging and I’m looking forward to showing more movies there.
Northwest Film Fest Review
So last post I promised a review of the Northwest Film Festival. I ended up watching all three collections of short films plus Great Speeches from a Dying World, a documentary that follows several homeless people in Seattle.
The documentary was good. I liked hearing the homeless peoples’ stories and getting to know the main character. The speech scenes were great. The Q and A afterward was at least as interesting as the film. I thought the director was more.. well, direct, than one would expect. He gave lots of politically incorrect answers and showed a more emotionally detached viewpoint than one would expect from the sensitive treatment given to his subjects in the movie. I thought it was refreshing, if a little jarring, to see this side of the director.
I love watching short films and there were plenty of gems to satisfy me at the fest. Almost all in the first batch were well done.. my favs there were “Career Opportunities in Poetry,” “For You, My People,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Hirsute,” and “Remember that our Skies are the Same Skies.” The other two batches were a bit more hit and miss. Good ones there included “Smile,” “We Three,” “Hollerings/Three Stories in Wood,” and “The Pull.”
I have to give special kudos to “Little Pleasures.” The film consists of a single shot of a girl sitting on the floor. She puts a stick of gum in her mouth and chews it. Then she puts another stick of gum in her mouth. Then another. Then another. Then another. Like 90 sticks of gum later he cheeks are nearly ripping out with a giant mass of gum she struggles to chew. She cries and chokes on sickly sweet saliva filling her stomach.. the audience just wishes she would stop but she doesn’t let up. It is impressive and horrible. This film wins my most memorable film award.
There were less notable features. I’m looking at you 26-minute film with no plot. I don’t care how slick your production is, if you have no discernable story or even suggested general direction to engage us, we don’t want to see it. But I don’t blame you, really, I blame the judges. Please do not make me suffer through another movie like that again. All in all I think we could have made do with just two batches of delicious short films rather than stretching them out to three batches with some tasteless filler. I think we’ll have more success building audiences for the short movies shown at NWFF by showing just the good stuff and filtering out the rest.
Even if that means it’s harder for me to make the cut. *grin*