February 29, 2012
February 27, 2012
February 23, 2012
February 21, 2012
February 20, 2012
the next 24 hour event is this weekend ...
it'll be #24HOLV on twitter if you wanna follow along.
February 19, 2012
quote of the moment
"... what it boils down to is the simple fact that when John [Glenn] and I went to work for this country, the United States was recognized around the world as a can-do nation. We have become viewed around the planet as a can't-do nation and I deplore that."
-- scott carpenter
February 15, 2012
dam film fest block 18 "drama I: love and romance"
a copy machine puts the moves on an office secretary ... one page at a time. but wouldn't you know it, that goddamn machine is a philanderer! easily my favorite of this block.
UK street sign guys have a message for their pal who is about to move along. funny and extremely well-timed for a humor style this wry.
overblown story of a guy who wants to take a girlie out, but keeps messing up his intro at the front door.
leaving a bride on an alter could have possible ramifications.
"baby, it's you"
mad scientist loses his head, but that doesn't keep him from pursuing his dream girl.
"the back tenent"
let's say a hottie comes to rent your back room while you're out playing guitar. i'd say with a little creativity and bravado you might get more than your mortgage paid for you.
"workers leaving the factory"
in germany, love letters are apparently made of welded objects.
cross-type dressers converge.
dam film fest block 17 "drama H - dreams and desires"
every person who walks into a coffee shop has a story. the one of a sugar-stealing old man is particularly poignant.
"mind thinks heart knows"
a boyfriend can't take his girlfriend anymore and flees his apartment, only to return. i think this movie may have a point ... i'm certain i don't know what it is.
"just out of reach"
a baby boomer looks back on a chick of his past. just for the record: i get really really really really tired of experiencing the world through the eyes of baby boomers.
"the man who never cried"
now here is a good one ... a man has never cried -and has lost relationships over that very fact- so what would it take to put him over the edge? winner.
dam film fest block 16 "animation - parallel dimensions"
great puppetry animation about an elevator ride.
"ad & subtract"
cartoon about a guy who edits incoming resumes seeking replacements for his job. not good.
"live outside the box"
very cool chinese computer animation about a guy who lives in an extremely small neighborhood populated by an evil building. in any other grouping of films, this would probably be my favorite.
great great cross of classic and computer animation done entirely in shades of black. (mildly reminiscent of tom terrific.) a complicated train-like engine is struggling to run, but why?
oh. my. god. this is old school stop-motion animation ... a pile of beach sand and a snow ball communicate by stuffing objects into a bottle thrown in the ocean. absolutely exquisite, superb and poignant. in the strongest set of the festival, this was my favorite ... i was very surprised that it was also the audience's pick as well.
the future is both an interesting and hard place for very vertically drawn characters.
what happens when you're known for your singing nose and it gets cut off? the drawing style is heavily influenced by ren and stimpy.
beautiful animation of a world where everything dies and goes to heaven ... unless, of course, people keep your hide.
"the girl and the fox"
a girl goes hunting, but then needs the fox she was stalking to make it through the night. simple and beautiful.
interesting animation of a world where everyone (except for one person ... and then two!) are the same. would be better if the story line wasn't so obvious.
dam film fest block 15 "drama G: kid stories"
bad ass kid runs a toy company like an adult. good idea, extremely poorly cast. not the right kid for this part.
"george and the fly"
little girl has life altering experiences in school thanks to a fly.
mildly interesting kid bully story.
"the perfect skate"
love on the roller skating rink. would be far more convincing if the kid learning how to roller skate actually didn't know how to do it. (hits a little too close to home for me since i've learned to ice skate in the last year.)
alaskan girl going through cancer treatment is befriended by a wizened alaskan native. super super great stop motion puppetry used for dream sequences ... giving this one my nod for the set.
dam film fest block 14 "underground - strange bedfellows"
frozen frame animation of a boss having to talk to an employee about leaving too much pubic hair on the toilet. good.
"eight degrees in suburbia"
a woman discovers that her boyfriend is drugging her and selling her body for sex. now, why don't i have friends like that?
a guy is obsessive-compulsive over the number 9. this movie has a big problem for me and that is the guy always counts to nine as he does things (turns a door knob or whatever) ... if you were this far gone, you wouldn't have to count, you'd already know.
"casper & kitty"
a hot romance has become tepid.
"attack of the killer mutant chickens"
animae-style cartoon from india about a bad future where chickens get big and mean, but stay tasty. it's possible i was the only person in the theater who liked this film. please make mine white meat.
dam film fest block 13 "showcase B: NV filmmakers"
a short film where a magician shows how to steal his roommate's clothes, girlfriend, etc. interesting in the way it was done: just a series of stills ... kind of like watching someone's slide show. works surprisingly well.
documentary(?) about an extremely good slide guitar busker in reno. my favorite of this set.
"walter was here"
in case you didn't guess it already, things aren't so great in a post-apocalyptic world.
"just like the movies"
this film will end up being voted as the best of this set by the audience and i still have trouble understanding why ... a company is given netflix-like subscriptions instead of raises and each person ends up living their life in a movie like fashion. great idea -- but very poorly executed here. there were a bunch of the people present from this film in the audience and the post-screening Q&A ... i suspect ballot box stuffing.
"please sign here"
what happens if you really like the UPS driver? order stuff all the time, of course.
"lady and the chap"
charlie chaplin appears in the modern day. works very well.
dam film fest block 12 "comedy: laugh it up"
at a whopping two minutes in length, a western wear midget gets shot off a pony, followed by paragraphs of disclaimers about the political incorrectness of using the terms "midget" and "dwarf." great, although the disclaimers run a tad long.
"touch my junk"
over the top mockumentary of a woman who gets off on being searched by TSA. tries too hard.
"restructing michael swift"
a great employee works at a crappy company where he's the last person to get downsized. several good current-state-of-this-madness shots.
"the bathroom attendant"
"the office" style documentary of a self-appointed bathroom valet. this one too tries to hard.
a couple are looking over a city in spain. the woman screams. she says, "you try it." the man screams. things happily escalate, with each person yelling various phrases, that is, until the man shouts "i love you!" ... provoking the woman to scream. great. and my favorite of this set.
"my good fortune""
the supranos meets a guy who really wants his damn fortune cookie at his favorite chinese restaurant.
"employee of the month"
an employment counselor works on placing some fairly difficult clients, including a vampire, a zombie and satan.
dam film fest block 11: "drama F: international stories"
brazilian farmer's daughter wants to read...just like her brother. film
suffers from a strange problem -- the lead actress is a little too nice and
is clearly having a good time (even when getting chewed out by dad).
"a common family"
korean movie on a long trip where no one is having fun ... and that's
before dad runs down someone on the road while everyone else is asleep...or
are they? the great step in this film is where it goes from boring to spooky.
the next door lolita traps neighbor's cats, steals sunglasses and hits
on boyfriends. good.
"bon giorno sayonara"
italian guy vacationing in britain fights with his girlfriend who storms
off. meanwhile, a japanese woman gets abandoned by her pre-occupied boyfriend. neither can speak a common language, but the guy and girl hook up for an afternoon of fun and sightseeing ... only to return to their respective pals at the end. woulda been better if they'd both gotten a little "souvenir" from each other, eh?
first person perspective of what it's like to be a kid's teddy bear -- if you hate people. best of the set. hysterical bear voice casting.
February 11, 2012
February 10, 2012
dam film fest block 10 "documentary B: around the world"
very short documentary of a woman who begins ice climbing in her 50s. nice, tight, film.
great documentary about a burmese kid who sorts charcoal for sale, but yearns for a girl on the rich side of town.
"sterling hallard bright drake"
a documentary about a strange man who erects an odd gravestone to himself. and he's not dead yet.
"UMOJA: no men allowed"
documentary about a group of samburu women that have been raped by british soldiers, then subsequently beaten and shunned by their husbands...their response? create their own "no men" village. superb. my favorite of the set.
dam film fest: block 9 "drama E: behaving badly"
unrelenting rain in noir city, where everyone eventually receives the
big pay back. the lead actor needs a much harder edge look.
a mom wants her kid killed, but that may not be where the morality
problems end with this family.
there are reasons why high schools have vice presidents, and some of
those reasons are manipulative (albeit sexy).
let's say you kill a man in rage, but get a chance to take it
back...will it make a difference in the bigger picture?
"the southern belle"
claus-y cab driver picks up a prick in the street as his last run.
you'd think the passenger's story of adultery would be the moral low
point, but the cabdriver hasn't told his story yet...nor have we heard
anything start to kick in the trunk. my favorite of the set.
"another day another life"
the world isn't going to be a pretty place if this woman doesn't tell
this guy she's gonna marry him.
dam film fest block 8: "drama D: unique views"
good documentary about a suicide bridge in canada. suffers only from a
slightly speedy delivery by the narrator (whom I believe is also the
"so long kodachrome"
almost a shot-for-shot remake of travis bickle's gun buying scene in "taxi
driver," but with cameras. I'm guessing most people won't get it.
"the worms and the flies"
cuban film where a little girl learns both family values and the power
of the mind. VERY good.
a brain tumor becomes something a designer sees on the wall in his
quietest (and most disconcerting) moments.
beautifully drawn wandering picture of the way a person thinks.
"the cycle of life"
completely, and very technically, animated movie describing the cycle
of life as viewed through the most complex diorama examples you can
imagine. feels like a visualization off the museum of jurassic
"a finger, two dots then me"
spoken poem detailing all things holy, and achieved the
all-but-impossible -- it actually choked me up. may well end up being
the best film off the festival.
the life and times of the coolest coffee shop in town...as a musical.
not as good as out sounds. and if you think about it, it doesn't sound that good.
dam film fest block 7: horror - you'd better run
"the magic murder"
three minute film in which a man reads there's a serial killer on the loose, only to see himself in the paper as the next victim. all-on film noir, not at all horror. my favorite of the set ... but there's not much competition here.
like redbox except you get to see movies of people getting snuffed. the physical deadbox and the supporting materials for it are better than the movie itself.
two hot chicks and some semi-dull dude with car trouble are picked up by local hillbillies with bad intentions. oh, except it turns out the threesome are serial killers. oops. from the title alone you know it can't be bad ... unfortunately it could be much better.
"ha, ha horror"
student film critic gets assigned horror movies and they begin leaking into his subconscious. movie could use severe time editing and a minor re-write. tries too hard and rambles as it does so ... having said that, there is a good blow-job-while-watching-a-movie scene.
doctor with cancer decides to go off the deep end to treat himself. as david spade would say, "the first time i saw this movie, it was called 'the fly.'" except it had a bigger budget. and a better director.
this is definitely not kansas anymore. little girlie holds two clowns hostage and tortures them. if you like blood in tea cups, you will love this movie. unfortunately i do not.
dam film fest: block 6 "drama C: a different kind of love"
old pixar-style animation. geek gets ready for a big date. feels a little
too obvious and tries a little too hard. when I laugh at something, I want it
to do it "for real," not as some sort of fake "i get it, ha ha," form of
"in that moment"
spectacular short of a statue busker in central park and a picturesque
blonde who tries to woo him. no words, all acting done so subtly that
it's caught only by super close up. easily the best of the block.
"the maiden and the princess"
great story-in-a-story movie about a girl who kisses another in
school, but is ostracized for it. the division of story tellers
assign a probationary misfit to write a story for the lesbo-in-waiting
to straighten things out. it's here that the movie both starts
preaching AND theoretically wanders. needs a re-write for the ending.
"if you have no place to cry"
odd film of stranded fishermen getting cranky, then bring told about
the world's greatest whore in the next port. borderline slapstick acting
didn't do it for me, but the crowd loved it.
dam film fest: block 5 "sci fi: past and future friends"
dog is man's best friend, but robots are dog's best friend. nice robot
what happens when you decide to recreate schrodinger's experiment...and the
cat decides to look at YOU?
is that a vintage store, or a time machine? in any event, it's a hot
chick and a fair lookin' guy.
a super-tinkerer falls in love with a deaf woman and makes earrings
that allow her to hear, but with no thanks given. cool gadgetry, but overly
acted by all parties.
there's this place in the woods where, if you set up a super 8 camera,
you can catch time distortions and wraiths on film. so, really, all
you need is more film. my favorite of this set.
in the not-so-distant future a man creates the ability to memory wipe
people, then immediately steps out of the science limelight to become
a perpetual grump. his next step is to start working on a happy machine ... the
make-up is too heavy, the acting too reminiscent of silents and this
flick, too, needs the hotrodgrrl's 1/2 screen time suggestion.
"how to kill your clone"
fake ad done in 50's style for the clone killing corporation (CKC).
the result isn't as funny or as good as the idea ... i could've
written this screen play better, given the premise.
February 09, 2012
dam film festival block 4 "showcase A: from perth to sydney - films from australia"
crazy australian wind shield water documentary. makes me want to stay
away grim medians in perth.
sappy girl movie about aguy who insinuates himself at some chick's
table in a coffee bar at precisely 11:00 every saturday. makes me
want to vomit exactly 100ml.
a girl won't let go of, that's right, her DEAD COW. great film.
easily the best acting I've EVER seen from an extremely young actress.
super high budget sci-fi of a future where women are prostitutes and
men are beholden to crooked female cops. not that much different than
the strip on a saturday night.
super super great stop motion of a critter racing against the clock to
produce another critter, but to what end? (before you laugh, maybe
you should consider what you do for a day job, girlie.)
computer animation where we discover that cave men learned about roast
beef from farts. and subsequently rejoiced about it.
dam short film festival - block 3 "drama B: a dramatic life"
somewhat stalker-ish boyfriend is told to go away...first for posting love
letters on a door, then for enlisting a demonic accordion as a helper. you
can't hate a movie with a demonic accordian, neither can I.
spooky next door neighbor gets his dog hit...or does he? superlative
creep-out acting by the lead.
"love on saturday"
a collage of interactions between 20-something men and women that mostly
go astray. spooky, if for no other reason than I've experienced at
least 4 of the scenarios in the past week.
being a trailer park bisexual may lead to prostitution. it also has
its bad points. first tits of the festival.
stalker boyfriend kills girlfriend who now plays for the other team.
1. the guy wouldn't have to ask, "what does she have that I don't have?" and
2. he'd want to watch (or join in) with what's going on, not kill people.
dam short film festival review: block 2 "documentary A: odd jobs and independent spirits
simple rundown of a family run bakery. good. (and I'm hungry!)
"neve and sons"
a dying industry: family run CA flower growers. some good inside dope on
flowers that you would never think of...including the pressures if
valentine's day. gotta love flowers.
"randy parsons: american luthier"
custom guitar maker who has a penchant for putting skulls in instruments
for no other reason than their being cool. big time guitar porn in this
movie, and my favorite of the set.
"a read on inside books"
short, and excellent, doc about an organization who sends books to TX
prisoners...includes some great statistics like the US holds more of its
population in incarceration than any 1st world country...7 in 1000.
added bonus: the guy who runs inside books keeps his glasses held
together with an upside down safety pin.
"JPAC: a hero's mission"
the organization behind american MIA repatriation. heart wrenching.
dam short film festival block 1 "drama A: collateral damage"
sepia tone view of the last paperboy in the US, not so long from now...only 1 customer is left, but I won't spoil it by saying who. quaint flick with nice bikes.
warped dementia, probably better thought of as david lynch directs british soccer kids in a brutish version of "the thing." super great. THIS is what good short film is all about. it would not surprise me if this ended up being my very favorite film of the festival.
N carolina civil war perceptions of flickering death. good, but this director could use a piece of advice given to me about movies by the hotrodgrrl, all those years ago: make the best movie you can...then sit down with a stop watch and time it...then cut the running time in half.
an iraqi tale (in farsi!) about youth betrayal and turn about as an adult. good acting...GREAT scenery.
dam short film festival
going on in boulder city, NV ... 108 films broken into 18 blocks.
naturally, I bought a 3 day pass top see them all ... so you can only
imagine the true gape of my mouth when they announced -at the end of the
1st block- that people who saw all flix would be entitled to film festival
passes FOR LIFE.
and get this...if you do it, you also get $150 I'm festival swag, called
out on awards night, bio on their website and name on a festival slide in
are you kidding me?
I see that bet and go 1 better ... I'll write tiny reviews of every movie....