Day jobs and sleep get in the way of Cinequest. I’ve stacked a lot of films into the schedule for the next few days, but it’s always a test to see how many I can actually make it to before I run out of brain space or proverbial steam. You have to admire the Cinequest die-hards, some are seeing 50+ films. My tiara is off to you all. Below are some of the thoughts I had on some of the films I’ve seen already:
The Comedy shorts this year were hilarious and very well filmed. From a brilliant spoof on the Vampire craze to a shockingly TRUE conversation with Don Blanquito (A white Jewish American rapper living in Brazil) about his view on marriage to the crazy things a couple does to get their baby who is over due born, the diverse line up was a fantastic showcase of storytelling and humor. This is one program you might even want to Do Over.
Such a great selection of styles and stories here. Some depressing, some inspiring, some quite funny, and others just bizarre. Worlds Apart was moving, Cadaver humorous and clever, I Am Round was very topical and Abiogenesis beautiful all around. Some really great work here worth seeing!
The honor and burden of legacy is captured supremely in Luc Besson’s opening night film The Lady. Shedding light on a decades long human rights struggle that continues today in Burma as well as telling a beautiful contemporary love story this is an educational, emotional and interesting film about one’s responsibility. Excellent topic, excellent performances, excellence full stop. Though it rode right up to the precipice of melodrama toward the end, it made its impact by doing so. A light has been shed on a battle being fought right now and this story will move you to discover more about our world and how individuals can change it.
What an inspiring film! An artist in Brazil has literally taken upon himself to transform the walls of his city with his art. Recycling, employing others, using the infrastructure, success, failures, and nature of his city to create a lasting whimsical beauty. You fall in love with him, with his philosophy and his methods instantly. If only we had someone like him to take it upon themselves to mark San Jose with similar works of art all over the city. We should be so lucky. What a lovely insight into this man, his city and the treasures he creates. This 100% represents the Cinequest 22 theme PASSION.
Maverick Spirit Award – Michael Mina
Of all the events I was most excited about the Maverick Spirit Award was at the top. Of all the events I was also most disappointed with the Maverick Spirit Award “won.” The challenge when you pack a place like the Capital Club is that 1/2 your guests don’t get to sample the food, they wait in line for 20 minutes just to get something to drink, they fight for one of about 10 stand up tables to put their food, napkin, purse, drink down on and they can’t hear to talk with the film folks they are trying to learn about. Then when the panel portion starts later than expected and you end up having to leave to make it to the next film (which was great by the way) it just kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Logistically this event was nightmarish, but on a positive note it was the only semblance of chaos I’ve seen yet for a festival that has many complex moving parts. Otherwise the festival has been very smooth and professional. in fact, if it hadn’t been for a Cinequest staff member hunting and gathering whatever tidbits of Michael Mina tiny bites he could for me and a few others that managed to secure a table, we’d have passed out probably from hunger.
I think there is an audience for this camp, over-the-top, quirky, sci-fi, musical homage to the 50’s, and I had a lot of hope I would be part of that audience. Sadly, I didn’t find it to capture my attention fully. True the film was pretty, very admirable with regard to its general composition, but it lacked that X factor that propelled say Rocky Horror into cult status. I could be wrong of course, but I think this film fell short of its intended final product.
On deck for this week: Sons of Norway, Battle of the Queens, POV a Cursed Film, Faust (silent film at the California), Mariachi Gringo and hopefully a few of the encore films…
You have just 5 more days to see these films with Sunday being a TBA schedule of encore films, then you will have to wait a whole 365 days until next year to catch another set of amazing films and events!
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