Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sad Sack Double Feature [Science of Sleep & Lonesome Jim

Let's get rid of some excess baggage shall we?

The Science of Sleep
Dir. - Michel Gondry

Viewed: On the Couch

Sean gets the ball rolling:

If you check out Michel Gondry’s addition to the Director’s Series DVDs, and you should, what you’re going to come away with is his sense of playfulness. Especially when compared to some of the other entries in that series. And one of my favorite bits on that DVD is the little random home movie one that pops up of him banging on his little drum set and playing with his kid. So when one of the first images that pops up in the uniquely resonant and bittersweet The Science of Sleep is Gael Garcia Bernal playfully pounding on what looks to be the same exact drum set, the movie automatically feels like Gondry is getting a bit personal here.

The effect this movie had on me is hard to describe. In fact, three days after watching it I’m still digesting it. If you were to approach this movie having only seen the TV ads and a fond memory of Eternal Sunshine you’ll probably be taken a bit off-guard. Let’s just say it gets a bit dark in here. And if you’re familiar with Gondry’s work with writer Charlie Kaufman you might come away surprised to think that Kaufman might be the more linear storyteller of the two. So go in with an open mind that The Science of Sleep is going to take you down a twisted path that might not have a light at the end of its tunnel.

Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stephane, a young man who ends up living back in his old childhood bedroom and working at an undesirable position in a promotional calendar shop which he got through his mother who really isn’t around much of the time. Stephane would rather be wowing the world around him with his own works of art and even thinks of himself as an inventor. But seeing as Stephane doesn’t have very good people skills, his mother probably gave him his old room and this job so he wouldn’t end up broke and homeless – a starving artist.

You see, Stephane spends most of his days in a dream world. Sometimes this is known as Stephane TV, complete with a cardboard set and matching cardboard television camera. It’s here where he bangs out his theme song on the drum set and piano and gives us commentary on his life. What at first seems like a fun and creative place to be, Stephane TV later turns into a kind of sad shelter – and one that’s slowly being chipped away at. Other times it’s a cave on a hillside where creatures of his invention do his bidding and life can seem utopian. The problems start when these worlds begin to blend in with reality. Or vice versa. And this starts to occur when we meet his neighbor Stephanie, played by the pitch perfect Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Stephanie and her friend Zoë quickly pick up on Stephane’s childlike naiveté, but Stephanie is soon won over by his endless creativity and romantic notions – and in the movie’s best scene she’s even able to get swept up into Stephane’s dream world and make cotton clouds float in her apartment and cellophane flow from the faucet. But these moments are always short lived due to the fact that if Stephane were raised by American parents he’d probably be medicated six ways to Sunday. Paranoia and mood swings soon rear their ugly head and Stephanie can’t be sure if this guy isn’t perhaps a bit dangerous. Can these crazy kids work it out? Are they the soul mates Stephane thinks they are or just the friends and neighbors that Stephanie maybe thinks is best?

Other reviews have suggested, and it’s even touched upon in the interviews in the bonus material of the DVD, that perhaps this is just a one-way love story since the majority of the romance happens purely in Stephane’s head. But for me, just because it isn’t the kind of love story or romance you’ll find in the next Drew Barrymore movie (actually there’s more than a couple similarities to be found in her movie Mad Love) doesn’t make it one sided., and the last moments of this movie strike me as perfect proof that it isn’t one-way at all. I really love Charlotte Gainsbourg’s performance in this and she really makes this movie resonate and turn out to be as touching as it is. In Hollywood’s hands she would have been another Manic Pixie Dream Girl and we’d be looking at Garden State meets Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

So I’ve probably gone on a little too long here – what says you, Padraic?

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Padraic Says:

I also had a difficult time figuring out what the effect of this movie was on me; that was until I realized that it had almost none. I’ve waited three weeks, rather than three days, to review this, and the reason is simply that I couldn’t figure out what to say. Did I like the movie? Sure, I guess, it wasn’t offensive, had a light touch that kept you engaged, and featured nice performances from the two leads. Did I dislike the movie? No, not really, though I think I made two trips to the fridge and only paused because of professional duty. If I wasn’t supposed to write a review, I think I would have let the movie run.

It’s not bad, but at times, certainly boring. The Science of Sleep is a brilliant realization of what is likely going on in Gondry’s mind, but as I got further into the movie, I realized that what was in Gondry’s mind wasn’t particularly interesting. As a recent New York Review of Books article about the magical realist writer Haruki Murakami put it, sometimes surrealism is just of way of “making people interesting.” Behind the stop-motion animation horses and the floating clouds, there is only a love story, and a fairly dull one at that. Unlike Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which turned a conventional story—love, love lost, and love found between two average schlumps—into a beautiful meditation on ephemeral love and memory, Science takes two very odd people, puts them in a very odd situation, with very odd lives, and then gives an odd telling of their story. I am sure these kinds of love stories do exist, but love as portrayed by Gondry in this film seems nothing like any love I’ve known (though, unfortunately, this does mean I identify more with Jim Carrey than Bernal!).

If you move beyond the central theme—the relationship between dreams and love; or as Stephane’s boorish stepfather says, “Love extrapolates your REM”—then Gondry’s strength as a director become more evident. The visuals are stunning and at times, you do feel caught up in Stephane’s fractured life. In particular, the movie’s multiple languages help create a “real” world that is scarcely more comprehensible than dreams. For both Stephane and Stephanie, in fact, the world of dreams and creativity is much easier to navigate than the real world of responsibility, and I am sure there will be people who wish they could just escape life like the main characters. If the movie made a stronger case for escapism, I could see writing a polemic about how this kind of delusion is ultimately self-defeating; that a failure to face up to the responsibilities of being a real person in this real world is a cowardly posture that helps to create such a drab existence; that it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to explore this world, and that ultimately, our deepest existential fears are overcome through confronting the world rather than escaping it…but…well, I can’t even get that worked up.

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Sean sums it up:

Man, I don’t even remember what I wrote up there… I don’t agree with your “two very odd people” thing. What’s odd about Stephanie? And for that matter, how odd is it to have a wildly imaginative person be unable to articulate his feelings properly in the “real” world. The city made out of toilet paper rolls and the jazz band made of guys in cat suits may make the movie a bit lass accessible or relatable than it should be. These characters aren’t very odd to me and I might agree with you more about your other thoughts about the movie if it weren’t for the final scene which still sticks with me.

Eternal Sunshine and Science of Sleep are my version of the perfect date movie; I like to think of them as the anti-date movies. Of course Gondry isn’t going to match Charlie Kaufman’s writing skills – who can? But both are able to combine being claustrophobically personal while creating brand new worlds that keep the viewer at arms length. This one is definitely a bit more of a downer but I really appreciate it’s small scope and homemade qualities.



Next Up:

Lonesome Jim
Dir - Steve Buscemi

Viewed: On the Couch

Take it away Paddy:

I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for the twenty/thirty-something slacker movie. This is the genre where the protagonist with the untucked shirt and scruffy beard (almost always a guy) wakes up one day (usually hung over) to realize that high school and college were a long time ago but that he won’t be taking out a mortgage any time soon. Somehow, somewhere along the way, everyone else—the “real people”—managed to sort it out, but the heroes of the slacker movie have to make their own lives, without relying on past conventions. For my generation, this kind of movie began with Richard Linklater, found it absurdist phase in Bottle Rocket, and continues in well-crafted movies indie movies like Old Joy. Unfortunately, the popularity of this genre has produced a hideous irony: the formulaic outsider movie.

And so it is no surprise to see Lonesome Jim, a movie that with a few changes in geography and tone could easily be mistaken for Garden State. Jim (Casey Affleck), a self-described “writer” (though the only time we see him actually writing is while watching some soft-core pornography), returns home to Indiana after a miserable stint as a dog walker in New York City. His parents are, of course, creepy, and he quickly falls back into a routine of television and bars. He meets the obligatory weird guy with pot (played by the excellent Mark Boone Junior), the pretty, sensitive girl who somehow is both single and interested in easy sex after one drink (a tolerable Liv Tyler), and, well, depression ensues.

The reason we know that Jim is depressed because he says things like “I’m really miserable,” “can you be happy doing anything?” and has on his wall pictures of authors who committed suicide. His depression causes him to tell his brother that he should kill himself, which leads to his brother nearly dying in a car “accident”, and eventually, somewhat, to Jim’s realization that he should change his life.

So, near the end of the movie, we get Jim’s version of standing on a bus in a dump, when he delivers an Existentialist speech to a girl’s basketball team that has yet to score all season. He tells them that the game is likely meaningless, and that little good will come from it, but that they should endure anyway. The past does not necessarily determine the present, so why not try? In case you didn’t guess, the basketball game is a metaphor for life, and the kids do score, but ultimately, like in life, die (kidding). Jim takes his own advice and eventually changes his life to pursue the girl. It’s tempting to criticize this easy out, but dropping everything to chase the girl is one of those movie clichés that is true.

What makes Lonesome Jim so disappointing is that Steve Buschemi’s first directorial effort, Trees Lounge, was such an honest and original portrayal of lower middle-class depression. There was no cute girl to make things better, no evocative harmonica and guitar score to impart meaning, no quirky scooter to liven things up, nor even any hope of escape. There were moments of joy and maybe a possibility of real change, but the deck was heavily stacked against Tommy ever making it out of the Trees. In Jim, however, you know from the first scene that things will work out.

Tellingly, Buschemi also wrote and starred in Trees and it’s possible that he has more hope for the Generation X/Y loser than the mid-life barfly. It’s also possible that Buschemi and screenwriter James Strouse (who’s first directorial effort, Grace is Gone, won the Sundance Audience and Screenwriting Awards this year) have no idea what life is like for the sad sack generation, and so choose to talk about depression without actually depicting anything. I mean, why go through all the trouble of developing a real character who is tormented by life’s seeming pointlessness when you can just throw a picture of Richard Yates up on the wall and call it a day?

Well, Sean, since you are on the wrong side of 30, does it just get worse?

===============================================

Sean Says,

Of course life gets better, Padraic. Are you trying to say that you haven’t returned home, found your dream girl (with or without precocious preteen), learned to love life and find your true path? You best hurry up on that, time’s running out for you. It helps a lot if your hometown is some quaint suburban or back woodsy place. Because we all know the city is nothing but a soul crushing place where good people either get corrupted or turned into robots and people like Liv Tyler’s Anika do not exist. I don’t know what one’s supposed to do if your hometown is a city – might as well park your car on the train tracks then.

Yeah, I’m in agreement with you on this one. I too am a big fan of Tree’s Lounge, and I even liked Animal Factory (Buscemi also directed my favorite episode of The Sopranos), so I remember being a bit excited about this one when it came to the Boston Independent Film Festival a couple years back. It didn’t get a great reception when it first got released but I’d read enough positive words to still hold out hope for something good to come out of it. But there’s really nothing new going on here.

This story goes back to The Graduate. And in the nearly 40 years since that movie, I can’t think of many movies that have done much to try and change that template. Certainly not Lonesome Jim. But I kept thinking that changing the two lead actors might have helped – Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler are in some sort of competition to bore the crap out me in this movie. I understand Jim is supposed to be depressed and unresponsive and all that but you need someone with a little more going on behind the eyes for this role. I’m guessing that by having the names Affleck and Tyler on board the movie got some producers on board. But I can’t tell you how tired I am of Liv Tyler’s Anika character popping up in these kinds of movies (see the Manic Pixie Dream Girl link in the Science of Sleep review). Granted, she isn’t as ridiculous or unrealistic as Natalie Portman’s in Garden State – but well, yeah, she’s still completely unrealistic and unmotivated as a character. Also, I in no way need my lead characters in a movie to be “likable” but they at least need some sort of charisma or having something about them that comes across as genuine.

While I don’t think the majority of this movie’s problems lie with the screenplay – I do think the recurring of this type of Anika character is the result of lazy writing. I have a feeling that this story could have made an okay short story and lines like “I thought you never ran” might have a better ring to them. I am interested in Strouse’s future because there was some honestly good dialogue in this even though the story was pretty weak. But a weak story can get some life by strong performances and even though the supporting cast was up to the challenge (it’s always fun to watch Tree’s Lounge vet Mark Boone Junior in anything), Jim and Anika couldn’t have been duller.

I will add that I did enjoy Lonesome Jim much more than Garden State. I’ve yet to watch Elizabethtown so I can’t quite compare it to that – but as for stories about a dude getting taught his life lesson through a single mom and her precocious youngster, I can say I enjoyed it just about as much as Jerry Maguire.

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Paddy's Coda:

Nice review Sean, but please never mention Animal Factory again. I must have blocked that movie from my memory; the main plot line concerns whether or not Edward Furlong will be anally raped by William Defoe. It was one of the worst movies I’d seen in a while, so maybe Buschemi hit his peak with Trees.

I agree that the direction as well as the staid leads contribute to the overwhelming dullness of the movie, but I’m more skeptical than you of the screenwriter Strouse (and a victory at Sundance will do nothing to ease my concern). The problem was the use of cliché and shortcuts. I’m sure Strouse did experience something like this in his life, but the way the movie is structured is just so false that I can’t help thinking its narrative is shaped much more by (bad) books and other movies then by a genuine life experience. This is a very pernicious tendancy, when not only do poor movies distort your actual experience of the world, but even your recollection of life events. What you end up with then is sort of a Hollywood adaptation of a life experience that itself is recalled in Hollywood categories. The worst part is not so much that you get crappy movies like Lonesome Jim, but that Strouse actually thinks his life was like that. Most movies, of course, reduce the complexities of life to catchy life lessons, but Jim is so pat—so damn obvious—that I’m sensing young Strouse is more Paul Haggis than his hero Ernest Hemmingway.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sean's DVR-O-RAMA


I have more crap on my DVR than I can keep up with. Something will pop up on IFC or Flix or, yes, even Movieplex, and I'll set it and forget it. So to help me decide what I should watch next I'll extend the question to the ethers of bl8g059h33r3Z1!11. I'll keep this post linked to the sidebar, vote by posting a reply, and I'll keep a tally. Every once in a while I'll swoop in and watch whatever gets the votes and update the list. Some of these movie's I will have seen before so don't act all shocked -- but since I set them to record I probably liked the movie and haven't seen it in a good long while or I wanted to record it for my girlfriend to watch. Some of them might be masterpieces that I'm shameful to have not watched yet. And some of 'em might be huge stinkers but something about it has my interest piqued. Ok? Here it goes...

1. Graveyard of Honor
2. Brown's Requiem
3. The Tao of Steve
4. All About My Mother
5. Mr. Death
6. Knife in the Water
7. American Movie
8. Miller's Crossing
9. The Good Theif
10. Vincent & Theo
11. Tarnation
12. Zatoichi (2003)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sean Goes to the Independent Film Festival of Boston

Oh! the plans people make. Am I right? Sure I am. The saying goes: You know how to make God laugh? Make a plan. Well, going into this year I had it in my head to watch the shit out of both the Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF) and the Independent Film Festival of Boston(IFFBoston). For one reason or another they pretty much piggyback each other, BUFF hitting the end of March and IFFBoston the end of April. BUFF always catches me unawares and unprepared. The first day of the festival (BUFF is pretty much over with in one weekend) I almost volunteered for some opening night duties through a last minute fluke on an internet chat site. It was an 8pm to midnight gig if I recall correct. The hours and some other less productive plans won out, but I made a plan that night to go all out on the IFFBoston.

The regular Boston Film Festival still exists, in name and theory anyway (man, even their website craps the bed). About ten years ago it was still a happening gig. Buzzing movies and the accompanying names in both indie and mainstream movies would show up. I believe 2004 was the last year the Boston Film Festival even made a whimper about its presence in town. That was about the same time the IFFBoston made its presence known as being, “Oh, for Chirst's [sic] sake, suck it up. This is THE film fest for the year in this area. If you're down for anything tonight, let me know.”

Well, let it be known that I didn’t suck anything up and only made it to three movies this year. This is a big notch down from me trying to get Paddy to buy a Chrome Pass with me to get unlimited access to the fest and it’s corresponding parties and speaking engagements for a whopping $160 (at the time). Then there was the flirting with the 10 movie pass for $80. Cut to me at the bar with Paddy and Special Fellow, stupid drunk after watching the IFFBoston’s opening night movie Fay Grimm and wanting to strangle Paddy a la Bart via Homer Simpson and tossing all ideas of covering this thing in any proper manner out the window.

But I digress. Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim is a nice step forward after the shrug-inducing The Girl From Monday. And it’s a fun return to Amatuer’s quasi-action movie playfulness. Though I have my fears that both Hartley and David Lynch are stuck upon DV and not looking back, it’s even more of shame with Mr. Hartley, as putting a digital camera in his hands pretty much means he’s going to give you a dutch angle for one reason or another. Granted, these are still well framed dutch angles, but nevertheless that shit can still wear thin quick.

But again, let me say for the record that Fay Grimm’s prequel, Henry Fool is one of my favorites of Mr. Hartley’s. I like to think of it as his epic. And that was before I knew he was planning on turning into a trilogy (I’m guessing). At any rate, this, his first sequel, follows, for the most part, Henry’s wife Fay (Parker Posey). She’s since taken back her maiden name after Henry fled the country and has tried her best raising Ned on her own though we rejoin her at her wits end, with Ned getting kicked out of school for passing around a gift he’s received from his missing father.

This gift and the exact whereabouts and the question of Henry’s existence make for some very memorable moments for those of us who are eager to drop back into the world of these characters. Jeff Goldblum shows up as FBI Agent Fulbright and tells Fay she’s to be recruited to help America track down the government secrets in Henry’s "Confessions", work only she can do. In a deal that brings Simon Grim out of prison (for being found guilty of getting Henry out of the country in a funny flashback) Fay jumps into the espionage duties in grand fashion. James Bond’s slept with just about every counter agent, no?

I swear I’ll one day write an entire diatribe on the wasted uses of Leo Fitzpatrick in major motion pictures. But for now, he plays the badgered assistant to Goldblum quite well with the little screen time he’s given. I know, there are those that like Goldblum and there are those that don’t. I say, there are those that have been in David Cronenberg movies and there are those that haven’t. You can say all the bad things you want about Goldblum, Irons, Ironside, Woods, Weller, or Spader, but I’ll hear none of it. For they have already spoken to me in weird and wonderful ways.

Hartley’s deadpan humor is in good form here. It seems he’s interested in taking the scope of his movies further and further away from the small Long Island stories of the early 90s mini-masterpieces Trust and Simple Men, but he’s able to keep his focus here, moving forward at a good pace while getting in some good digs at the insanity of the modern political landscape. While he’s able to skate along for a good part of this movie on the simple fun of watching these characters again, and while I’d love to see him return to Lindenhurst with some cans of warm celluloid and Martin Donovan for a nice 4 person story, he gets more laughs and more things right in this movie than in most of his recent efforts. Nice show, Mr. Hartley.

But the night was long. We got off to an early start before the movie at Redbones, a BBQ/beer bar joint around the corner. I had a too many 8% beers while waiting for our third member to show up. The pulled pork sandwich was good, but not enough to last me the night, which included unnecessarily snuck in whiskey from Paddy (who knew the Somerville Theater actually started serving beer?) and a couple of bitter nightcaps had over baseless, drunken arguments.

So waking up the next morning with only leftover spite and crippling dehydration, I was ready to call the whole thing off. If this was how it was going to be I’d rather return to my neglected Netflix queue. But after two days of recuperation and reading some good notices about the movie, we met up in Coolidge Corner for A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema.

Interesting movie, this Pervert’s Guide. This is Slavoj Zizek’s guide to interpreting the subtext in some of his and our favorite movies. Mostly Hitchcock, Lynch and Chaplin – but there’s a good sprinkling of something from every corner of film. It’s broken down into three 45 minute or so pieces (yeah, it’s a bit on the long side), starting with perception and “reality”, the id and ego and whatnot, and ending with how sex and fantasy relate differently with men and women and the truth behind illusion. The point being that we get to see how these topics (and many more) are represented in cinema by showing entire scenes of the movies he’s referring to. The gimmick of the movie being that with the help of some nice lighting work Zizek places himself in the actual locations that some of these movies were shot, and in some situations, make it appear that he’s actually sitting in the sidelines while the scene is being played.

It’s hard to criticize a movie like this that actually talks and gets you thinking about movies themselves. The worst you could say would be that it’s too dry – but that’s not the case here – there’s actually quite a bit of funny moments and his gimmick keeps the movie from talking-head-syndrome and provides a good visual presentation. The only problem really is that it is a bit too long, but for the most part when one topic is getting redundant or boring it’s quickly pushed away and we’re moving on to something else. Zizek’s train of thought can be hard to keep up with at times, and more than once I was confused by his thick accent, but for me this is to be expected when watching a 2+ hour movie narrated by a post-modern philosopher. He’s a fun character himself though – when he makes some outlandish statement (and he makes a few) you tend to sit back and enjoy his explanation, and anticipate his next statement, rather than brush him off. I can understand why he’s popular with the kids these days.

I love movies like these. I was reminded of being able to catch Z Channel at the last Boston Film Film festival I went to 3 or 4 years ago. That movie is cinephilia if you’re able to catch it on a big screen – to see clips of all these movies by Peckinpah, Polanski, Fellini, The Sicilian, Overlord, Heaven’s Gate, etc.; I think there’s over 50 different perfect condition scenes shown in that movie, some your familiar with some you want to rush out and find – if you ever get a chance to see Z Channel in a movie theater, you must. Pervert’s isn’t quite as great an experience but it is one of the treats of this movie to be able see excellent quality clips of great movies. Like I said – his focus is pretty narrow but watching clips of The Great Dictator did make me want to get to know my Chaplin better.

The movie did spur some conversation while we walked away from Coolidge Corner. A more moderate amount of beer was consumed over lunch before we separated and I headed over to pick up my date for that night’s showing of The Ten at the Somerville Theater across town.

I have no shame in saying that Wet Hot American Summer is a comedy classic. I will admit that having worked at a summer camp might skew my view but nevertheless, there are moments in that film that stand among the greats. So it was with some high expectations that I came into David Wain & Co.’s follow-up, The Ten. The premise is simple, ten commandments = ten short stories illustrating one of the commandments in a humorous fashion. This movie begs a rating on the scale of 1-10 so I’d give it a strong seven. All the bits had solid laughs but a few of them had trouble getting off the ground, especially the first one – which is funny since it’s about a guy stuck in the ground.

The movie is filled with good actors: Paul Rudd, Liev Shreiber, Oliver Platt(!), Ron Silver(!!), Rob Cordry and yeah, even Winona Ryder gets some good laughs out of her hot and heavy tryst with a ventriloquist’s dummy. Just about everyone from The Sate shows up at one point or another and more than a couple of folks from more recent SNL seasons show up. Rudd plays the narrator who introduces each segment while simultaneously trying to get a grip on his love life (it makes sense once you see it), which inevitably leads up to his own segment at the end. As much as I like Rudd, and I don’t think there’s a movie I’m looking forward to more this year than Knocked Up, some of these bits end up slowing the momentum more than providing any service to the film. My other quibble is that I don’t see the need to make all these stories tie together. It was fun in some instances to see one character pop up here and there but at the end it seemed pretty unnecessary and wore work than what it’s worth. And the rock and roll ending… yeah, that was unfortunate more than ironically funny or whatever it was trying to be.

But I was laughing consistently through out and at moments there were tears from the laughter. These moments occurred during Rob Cordry and Ken Marino in jail doing a spin on the “Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife”. Marino’s been cracking me up lately in his appearances on Veronica Mars and the short-lived Stella show. Enough so that he has me interested in this Diggers movie that he wrote. Other standouts included The Sate vet Joe Lo Tuglio vs. Liev Shreiber showdown as competing neighbors who end up with their family’s walking out on them and their houses full of CAT Scan machines. Gretchen Mol (remember her?) even gets a chance to shine briefly in her own story on being a virgin librarian in Mexico who gets a pretty hilarious Emmanuelle type fling with Jesus. And any Oliver Platt is a treat for me – him as the father of two black teenagers? Even better.

So that was it. Three for three if you ask me. I’m sure there was better movies there, but I got to see the movies I was most anticipating. I’m not all that sure about the voting system they have going on for this festival. Pervert’s had a strong presence with the ballots and getting them returned after the movie – other times I didn’t even see a ballot. But history will show that these were the winners:

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Narrative: DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT
Documentary: THE KING OF KONG
Short Film: POP FOUL

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Narrative: MONKEY WARFARE
Documentary: KAMP KATRINA
Short Film: SONGBIRD

These two lists do not surprise me – Monkey Warfare and King of Kong were both movies that were on the top of my go-to list and the others were the ones getting the good notices before, during and after the fest.

AUDIENCE AWARD
Narrative: YEAR OF THE FISH
Documentary: DARIUS GOES WEST
Short Film: FREEHELD

These do surprise me as I don’t even remember hearing about these, and I did a lot of studying leading up to this thing. Again, I think they’re whole audience ballot system could use some work. Shame, I just filled out their survey and forgot to mention that. That’s not to say those three films aren’t superb, I’m not trying to say they didn’t deserve their award.

So goes this year’s Independent Film Festival of Boston. Of course I’ll end this by saying, next year I’m going to conquer this thing. Go ahead and laugh. We’ll close this out with some you tube of the three movies. Paddy should be chiming in shortly. Mahalo.