And Indie film showing what Indie Films mean to me
It would appear that we took some of the cold from Utah and brought it down to Florida with us. I find it ironic because the dark and stormy weather is perfect for movie watching; only now we have other obligations. Bits and pieces of each film play in the back of my head as if part of me is still sitting in a theatre watching the same movies over and over again.
I find myself randomly laughing at what my friends say because it reminds of a film. However when I explain why I am laughing they usually start laughing at me because they have no idea what I am talking about. The films were just so good that I want to share them with everyone right now! That way the film class can go on forever! But patience is a virtue, so I look forward to the summer, when not only can I say, “It’s good, I’ve already seen it” but I can have a conversation with him or her about the film.
What a trip. The Sundance Film Festival was an amazing experience and one that I will surely remember. Although, all parts of the festival were amazing there are some moments that stood out more than others.
Highlights: While all the films were exceptional my experience there made it worthwhile. Maggie, Lexy and I met the composer, writer and cinematographer of Wish I Was Here, the composer had beautiful eyes and we bonded over our love of CD’s. I also met two producers in the line to Life After Beth that told me they gave up the film and wanted to see what they were missing, they both agreed it was one they should have kept. They also gave me free tickets to a couple of movies afterwards, which I thought was really nice. In my attempts of ‘Selfies with Clebrities’ the cast of the The Disobedient tried to dissuade me from thinking they were celebrities. They were up for taking the pictures but told me there was no point because they weren’t celebrities but they were celebrities to me! Also, I found it exciting to see actors and actresses roam the street like normal people, I would watch a film and then later in the day I would be having lunch with the main character! And of course my highlighted top five films were Boyhood, Happiness, Skeleton Twins, God Help the Girl, and Appropriate Behavior.
Lowlights: If you go up you must go down and God’s Pocket was definitely a downer; I know that the world isn’t full of happy endings but this movie is just very dark and depressing. The actors were good and the characters were portrayed well but the movie didn’t really quite come together. Another disappointment was when we didn’t get to meet Zach Braff. He drove by us in his car and did not look happy to be there. Also I couldn’t get into any of the clubs, not like I really wanted to but I love to dance and the bouncer were depriving me of my passion.
The good (as always) triumphed over evil, and the day was saved by my good idea and love of snow! But really I had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back!
I Play with the Phrase Each Other is done entirely on a cellphone, with people on cell phones. Filmed in black and white with an iPhone and a 35mm lens, the film tracks a few key characters, the awkward and nervous Jake, his attractive ex-girlfriend in turmoil Erin, the wheeler-dealer Sean, and friend-to-all Zane, all having conversations on their cellphones. Is this an old gimmick? Yes and it is not new. In fact, I wrote a screenplay with this gimmick in the seventh grade. I’ve edited plenty of stories that were similar. Phone Booth had a similar idea. However, I Play with the Phrase Each Other is good. It is one of those instances where an idea many have had, a film that is only dialogue or a film focused on phone calls, actually works instead of just sounding good.
Slamdance is not the most organized, most popular, or best laid out festival in the world. It is, however, a festival within the Sundance film festival. It’s like festivalception. And that joke is warranted here since Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, had his groundbreaking film Memento at Slamdance. Other films such as the film that Netflix has the hardest time recommending based on viewers’ previous viewing habits, Napoleon Dynamite, have premiered here to great success equal or greater than their more popular Sundance cohorts.
Sundance is very different from the two other film festivals, South by Southwest and the Austin Film Festival, that I have attended as a badge holder. Despite its origins, it has become a more exclusive, mainstream event that is just as much a social playground for LA and New York industry executives and celebrities as it is an outlet for indie films. Me and my friends remarked that attending Sundance, in itself, gives other people around you the impression that you are somebody they need to know. For that reason and maybe others, everyone I talked to at parties and in line for movies was really very nice.
This was probably the most underwhelming feature of the festival for me. Fishing Without Nets begins promisingly with a semi-documentary style that leaves plenty of room for the unexpected. It doesn’t last long though as the film quickly shifts into a more generic format when the main character Abdi decides to join his friend aboard a pirate ship. It is at this point that the film begins to feel like a fairly conventional Hollywood picture. What I mean by that is that it seemed obvious to me at that point what the trajectory of the film would be and that it would end in one of a few ways, a quality that few want to see in a true indie film. (more…)
Liar’s Dice is a very moving story of a woman, Kamla, from the hills of India (near the Tibetan border) who leaves her village with her daughter, Manya, (and her pet goat) to find her husband, a migrant worker in Delhi who has not contacted his wife in five months. Along the way, she teams up with Nawazuddin (who is sitting only feet away as I type this) a rough and tumble man on the run for reasons never fully explained. Together they take turns trying to keep their search running smoothly.
Few directors have come to be known and associated with a place and culture the way Richard Linklater has with Austin. Since releasing “Slacker” at Sundance in 1991, following it up with “Dazed and Confused” in 1993 and “Waking Life” in 2001 as well as founding the Austin Film Society, the director has helped to create a culture that still permeates the city to this day.
This year at Sundance, Linklater released his most recent effort, “Boyhood.” Although it was submitted too late to be included in competition, I daresay it would have had a very good chance at winning the audience or Grand Jury award in the U.S. Dramatic category. It has been 3 days since I saw the film and the sense that it may be one of the best and most near-perfect films I have ever seen remains.