Friday, February 27, 2009

True/False Film Festival: Day 1

After much hype (mostly on this blog), our little documentary film festival has arrived. And that's what it is: ours. Sure Paul Sturtz and David Wilson founded the fest, but they made it a community event. We citizens of COMO have claimed the festival as our own, volunteering and attending faithfully annually. Hell, it's maybe the only worthwhile thing that happens here every year.

I took the afternoon off so that I could get started on the festival properly. A Schlafly Extra Stout was calling my name. It's a solid stout. Imagine an imperial stout without whatever makes it imperial. It's good, just not overwhelming.

I also was hanging out at home with my mom and Lucia. We took Lu in for some shots yesterday and she's still feeling the effects of it today in the form of a fever. Her condition made us wonder if we could leave the house at all.

R and I did sneak out to the 'Tag to hit the Q for Gaea Girls. I was handed #31 which made me skeptical of the Q systems effectiveness. We waited at the bar. R sipped some bourbon and I Trois Pistoles which is currently on tap.

Time came to see if the Q would work. I knew that at least 50+ folks had Q numbers, but there were only maybe one or two empty seats by the time the film began. The Q really did work. (I was all ready to write a scathing critique of the Q system, but it actually worked yet again.)

Anyway, the movie proved to us how far documentary film has come...not in a good way.
Director Kim Longinotto is this year's True Vision recipient and this was a piece she filmed back in 2000. As R pointed out, Gaea Girls had no narrative woven in the story (or something like that - She has a PhD in English.). It just felt disjointed and sort of mysterious...not in a good way.

Gaea Girls portrays the behind-the-scenes world of Japanese female professional wrestling. Instances of physical and emotional abuse dominated the film but with little resolution. It is amazing how brutal professional wrestling can be while simultaneously being a fictional performance. While the subject was intriguing and perfect for True/False, the execution and lack of a cohesive narration made it one of the weaker films I've seen over the years.

Sadly, we had to call it a night at this point. There was no Waltz with Bashir or late night films via the Q. Lucia still had a fever, so we headed home. I picked up Chinese food from House of Chow and sipped on a Hopslam (yes, I still have some of those).

I was going to wait on the children of the corn to return with a report of their evening of two films, but I'm sort of tired myself. Hopefully tomorrow will be more fruitful. We are skipping morning screenings in order to make sure the baby is better before checking out Reporter. Either way, look for some cornology and more info on the films I'll see.

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