Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My True/False Agenda

In case I hadn't mentioned it before, True/False is coming. I am really excited to dedicate an entire weekend to nonfiction film in our little college town. In all, I have reserved tickets for fourteen films. This is sort of a preview of my festival agenda.


We wanted to catch the first showing of The Mother at five, but were unable to fit it in. So, our festival won't officially begin until later that evening. Girls Rock! at 7:15 in the newly opened Big Ragtag opens our marathon of documentary overload. Gir
ls is a film about the camp where future riot grrrls are born and trained. Later that night, we'll hopefully be able to stay conscious for the Joy Division rocumentary, titled un-ironically enough: Joy Division. Love may not tear us apart, but the 10 pm start time might as R has had trouble staying up past 9 in recent weeks.


ere's where the real marathon begins as we prepare to see the remaining 12 films on our docket in two days. The day starts at 10 am with My Mother's Garden, a film that tells the story of a mother who suffers from a mental illness where she collects and gathers ridiculous amounts of stuff...I call it "being American".

After a quick lunch, we'll see Paradise: 3 Journeys in this World, where a young man's journey "illustrates the African Diaspora", whatever that means. (I know what it means!) It's R's choice, but her picks are usually intellectually stimulating to say the least.

Very Young Girls is a doc that chronicles the stories of prostitutes in their early teens. It should plenty depressing. Ironically enough, we follow that film with American Teen that features the drama swirling around small-town, high school cliques.

A very popular pick, at least among our friends, seems to be Forbidden Lies. A woman writes a best-selling memoir about honor killings in Jordan. Inconsistencies in her story then cause investigations into whether the events she describes happened or it's just one big con. Besides the intrigue around someone fabricating such a story to sell books, there's the whole other angle of honor killings. It should be intense.

The final film of the evening does not do much to lighten the mood. It's all explained in the title alone. An Alternative to Slitting Your Wrist is, well, the one man's documentation of all the things he tries instead of committing suicide.


The Christian Sabbath starts off with Lucio, a doc that reveals the exploits of a bricklayer who bankrolled numerous radical groups around the world...and had time to lay a few bricks. That bit of fun is followed up by Secret Screening Green (terrible title) which tells the odd tale of a homeless doctor who has performed surgeries to correct the facial deformities for thousands of Indians.

We will finally get to see The Mother, a look at a single Russian mother of nine, on Sunday afternoon. We're really excited to see the next film, Please Vote for Me. A friend pointed out that a very similar film was shown last year...but it didn't take place in China. It's one thing to watch experiments in democracy occur in American schools, but a whole other to see how it plays in China.

The aptly named Working Title is a collection of shorts about various occupations from lumber mill workers to organic bakers to tailors. The films are supposed to show the many reasons and ways in which we work. Great, and right before Monday.

The weekend comes to a close with what might be the creepiest film of the festival. I Think We're Alone Now follows the futile existence of the crazed fans of 80's pop star Tiffany. I just hope I can stay awake for the whole thing.

Well, that's the weekend for us. 14 films in three days. I can't wait.

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