Friday, May 9, 2008

IFFBoston - One last thing (The Shorts).

I'll finish up with a small comment on the shorts that I saw at the Independent Film Festival of Boston. They were fabulous. They were red and cut off just above the knee and had this immaculate stitching that was just...

Woman in Burka -- Shown before the brilliant My Effortless Brilliance, it is one of those peeks inside the entertainment/tv/movie world that actually works and is accessible to viewers that aren't showbiz savvy which is usually the pitfall these kinds of satires. Maybe because it takes place in New York it seems a whole lot more genuine and truthful than the multitude of LA showbiz stories that spew forth every year. I'm still experiencing PTSD from a "comedic" short about LA that I saw during this years BUFF.

Anyway, we follow an actress as she auditions for the roll of Woman in Burka for a low budget film of the same name. A quintessentially hilarious moment arises when three women are in a room waiting for their audition and one of the casting guys come in and says, "I loved you in Law & Order" and all three woman say thank you. And indeed all three actresses in this scene are L&O veterans and the fact that two of them are white, one with red hair, and they're all under the impression that it doesn't matter if you're wearing a burka is a running gag in the film. That, and that the movie's screenplay is notoriously horrible. It's a continuously funny short that basically gives you a day in the life of a New York actress. So much so that when trying to cast the actresses ex-boyfriend they were able to cast the actresses boyfriend, Sam Rockwell. Nice touch.

Apocalypse Oz - I can almost say I despised this little film. I don't even know if I want to call it a film or simply a smattering of half-baked ideas that try to string together Apocalypse Now and the Wizard of Oz via Mod Fuck Explosion (a movie worth a watch if you can find it). It comes of as extremely annoying and obvious. The performers put in good effort and there's certainly some great shots that were had but the end result is a badly paced and cringingly scripted mess. And I'm not just saying that because the over-excited woman behind me had an insane cackle that erupted in to my ear every 10 seconds. Thankfully she left after the short.

Film Makes Us Happy - What a heartbreaker. A husband videotapes his wife's emotional breakdown as she basically gives him an ultimatum: Me and the kid or film. Of course the kid is an adorable little, two year oldish girl and his wife is a first generation immigrant who came to America with 100 dollars but managed to get into school and meet our filmmaker who struggles to get any of his work seen, wakes up at the crack of noon and is basically draining their bank account dry. It's certainly a sobering story for any aspiring filmmaker and it's a devastatingly emotional delivery from the new mother and wife of the guy who shows up at the apartment with his friend behind the camera and decides to sit down in the kitchen and point a mike at his wife so that they can record the supposed last argument they'll have about film. Painful but good.

I think that's about it. I should mention the award winners. But first, I will point out that the Audience Award balloting system it completely flawed. I don't exactly know how they go about calculating who wins the Audience Award but it's fundamentally flawed from the get-go. The theaters that show these movies vary from small, medium, large and extra large. Now just about every movie I went to sold out. So if the movie in the small theater sells out, and is only showing once, and gets every person in the theater to give it a best possible vote -- how is it supposed to compete with the movie in the extra-large theater that sells out and gets 50-50 votes? not to mention the fact that sometimes there's a person taking your ballots at the end of the movie and sometimes there isn't. Same goes for giving you the ballot to begin with.

So take these how you will (do wish I got around to seeing Goliath)...

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:

Narrative: MY WINNIPEG
Documentary: LIFE. SUPPORT. MUSIC.
Short Film: TONY ZOREIL (TONY ZEAR)


JURY AWARD WINNERS:

Narrative:
Grand Jury Prize: BALLAST
Special Jury Prize: MOMMA'S MAN

Documentary:
Grand Jury Prize: SONG SUNG BLUE
Special Jury Prize: SECRECY

Short Film:
Grand Jury Prize: MAN
Special Jury Prize: GLORY AT SEA!

Programmers Choice Award: GOLIATH

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