Saturday, April 27, 2013

This, then, is the future

Greetings and hallucinations,

Please allow me to introduce myself: I am a man as any other, of no special talent or gift. I have but words, and words, especially in English, are often appropriated for desires not in the original intent.

Cosmic, for example; groovy, for another.

Be that as it may, please enter herein, and reply to the results of your own experiences.

The Movie Microfest

In a world wildly chasing its own hyperkinetic backside, information overload and an internet tsunami, the notion of tuning out and cocooning has its own long-term positive results.

The movies: no less than two, no more than three. There must be a reason for the films shown and their starting times.

The audience must always be taken into account. The more the merrier, so if Aunt Quimsbreath should arrive ever so fashionably unannounced or invited along with Father Bumgardner and the angelic Downs soul all at the same time, maybe not a good time for a horror fest.

At the very least, hold the chainsaws and Sheri Moon.

Make of that comment what you will, and I mean it in the sense of great respect and low intention of dealing with crazy angry people.

Anyway.... The time honored tradition of the Film Festival is near its end, I'm afraid. The only ones now are people trying to get them made, and the cost of attendance for optimum pleasure ruling out the majority of the populace of the United States. Once, though, there was The Film Festival. Several works would be pulled together for a public showing. Often, big blockbusters with a proven financial track record would be re-released, a habit made into a monetary addiction as if cash was heroin and meth combined could be instantly granted with just pulling out previous movies and tossing them out as perfected by W. Elias D.

Gone With The Wind and The Ten Commandments were very popular when they were first released, and at a certain time, they would be re-released. Best and fastest investments were on sure thing by the sure thing artist, with a company that did its own marketing and had its own distribution line.

Recently, the Cinemark chain is moving in this direction. I have had the unique pleasure of seeing Chinatown and Lawrence Of Arabia on grand, wide screen, digitally cleaned and sound checked. 

The real gripe I have is that there is desperate need for a large gathering of humans to be in the dark and entranced by the illusion of motion on screen before them.

This leads to something very similar to the mixtape community. Various folks from a wide/wildly interesting collections of backgrounds will go to a place and say, in essence or in simple exact words: Here is a list of songs I like in the order I like and I can explain it or not pending your personal level of tolerance for the Fanboy Tirade, similar to a Fillibuster and easier to stop.

Baseball bats work fine, I'm told. All I know is that something smacked me upside the head and morning came suddenly with a blinding headache.

Film festivals were ways for colleges and their students to make a little extra money and have some fun as well. Important Films Of Great Societal Import were shown (usually by the university film, theater or TV students) alongside works that were made to go BOO and move on.

The Microfest should be local. You, two other people, but only people that, at first, you know well. No less than two movies to be seen, no more than three. Must be cool, great, amazing, hip, hep, hot, chill, evil mean wicked bad and nasty. The good ones: The Good Shit. The OH HELL YEAH films.

Tonight, I sat up a Microfest. I will be in attendance, obviously, but none other. Maybe later...

Regardless, here are the first three films I will be showing at my wee fest:

The Conversation, the film Francis Ford Coppola made between the first two Godfather films. It stars Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Harrison Ford and Cindy Williams. Sheer brilliance, showing that FFC did indeed know his stuff. Literally, a masterpiece that inspired a second masterpiece bookending a third, totally different masterpiece. Tone, performances, story: this is not the Corleone Saga, it is stand alone and brilliant. (If the next film is a NO for you, then I would here suggest as an alternate film Enemy Of The State, which has an almost perfect storyline that suggests that it is an actual sequel to The Conversation, but isn't. Will Smith is really rather good, and Hackman shows up as Not The Same Character At All, Oh No Really.)

THX1138 by some guy named George Lucas. Fella showed a lot of promise, whatever became of him? And yes, for the record, I mean it. As a director, IMHO, Lucas directed two, and two only at this time, films that are even remotely worth a damn. THX1138, obviously, is one of those. This particular film, however, came in a gaudy dual disc packaging scheme, thinking that any Fan Of Old Lucas (or FOOLs) would have some kind of spasm, rush out in a mad panic suggesting personal best getting on Darwin's list. Which did not happen with me. Nope. When I walked into a shop that was selling off donated goods, finding it in near mint condition? Okay, then, I am as bad as any Star Wars Franchise Sorry Sell Outs, maybe worse because I am a snob besides.

Watching the original two picks, as indicated, allows for a coffee klatsch, wine tasting, whatever I just know I am sleeping on the floor here tonight kind of bull session. It is the use of sound, by the way, more than anything else, that makes me want to see them back-to-back. Also, early films by directors who apparently have lost their way and need to call their muses back. Miss you guys! (Oh, the only other watchable Lucas film? American Graffiti. What else?) Watching the alternate film, the theme is so perfectly interlaced between the films that it does look for all the world as a sequel, but with Will Smith as the lead, and Gene Hackman playing Harry Not Caul.

Falling Down. After THX1138. This combination allows for a totally different interpretation of THX and makes one of the rare Grand Slam films of Joel Schumacher. (8mm is my favorite.) Dehumanization, alienation and the worlds polar shift to 33 1/3ยบ off kilter, these two are warped, strange visions from a land far far away and in a reality most people have never considered.

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