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Friday, June 2, 2017

Blockbuster Video Micro-Cinema

On Friday, May 19th, I went to see a video screening at The Shop in Bloomfield. I got there early with Italian ice from Twisters. It was some tasty ice to eat as everything got set up. Things got started a little later than scheduled, but everything ran smoothly once we got out of the station. The Italian ice was a perfect treat for the show, and I would recommend getting some when you are at the Shop.

The first video shown was Pizza, by Raffael Righez and Marianna Neris from Brazil. It takes place from a first-person perspective as our hero walks around a strange house. They encounter weirdos in a bath and other places that I can't recall. Everything is pretty grimey and sort of like the "Double Life" ad for the original Playstation. Eventually, they end up huddled around a TV with the other weirdos. I liked the world that these weirdos exist in, though I would not want to live there. Maybe I would visit though?

The second video, To Be Weightless vs. To Be Empty, features a gymnast doing some stretches and telekinesis in a cartoony room, like something from Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Objects float around this sparse room and ambient discordant musick plays. It is uncomfortable. The sound reminds me of something I used to hear on WRCT in the middle of the night often. The video is viewable here on the director, Alexa Turnbull's, Vimeo. Turnbull is from Tallahassee, Florida.

Lenny Flatley's yr. still the one was brilliant. After opening with some lines from L. Rob Hubbard, a strange middle-aged woman seems to be answering to an interviewer or maybe telling her story to a radio show. She is clearly a lonely lady, talking about her imprisoned husband. It's sad but funny, and it is funny because it is sad. It is the story of many people, presented so normally. Eventually she takes a shower with her clothes on then awkwardly sings the titular song in a wedding dress. In the end I was sad; the weird cheer whirlwind had worn off. You can have yr own emotional whirlwind and be sad too, right here!

Then there was The Forecast, by sasCha MurmurZ and LAST KNOWN FOOTAGE. This was super funny, an ironic deadpan on new age health and climate change. Day glow colors abound, and executives are fools (as they are). The narration was perfect. The filmmakers are from Los Angeles.

Anna Azizzy's For Retired Gymnast was the last before the intermission. It was a semi-autobiographical tale of parental neglect, bad coaching, the socialization of young girls, and childhood dreams. Anna plays all of the characters in the film, so it is really funny. The comedic timing was perfect, and all of the voices are super funny. The main character, Harper Francis, inhabits a terrible McMansion world. Nobody wants her to do noise musick, and she has to hang out with the vapid, at least in their interactions with her, gym girls. The point is that everybody, including parents are pushed into vapidness. Later there is a video game parody that I found less funny, but it was okay. It seemed a little too obvious. Everybody gets what they deserve in the end, except not really. Anyway you can watch it here. There is more to it than at first glance. Also Anna did most of the musick. It's spooky and sparse.

Then there was an intermission. Nothing happened during this intermission.

After the nothingness of the void, the ginnungagap, Shannon Dailey's His Name is F--- was shown. I missed part of this, as I was avoiding in the void for a second. I must have missed a lot, because I did not remember much when rewatching it (which you can do here). It's a goofy film that starts out strong, but I think it gets a little side-tracked once the named character appears. It's about some good Christian boys doing some naughty stuff. The makeup and effects were not particularly good, though I think that may have been intentional. Seeing a tongue get eaten was pretty gross though.

David Allen's 1.1.88 was next. Allen is another filmmaker from Los Angeles. This was some cool VHS noise, but it went on a little long.

Channels Part 9: Saquasohuh(New Hope for the Dead), by Stu Steimer, was the third post-intermission film. This was similar to the last, but I feel like it had more meaning to it. Abstract textures filled the wall of the Shop. I felt moved, almost nostalgic for the failures of America compared to what could have been or what could be.

Twins, by Alexandra Velasco and Camila Saldarriaga, more coolsters from LA, played next. I loved this film. It was short and to the point. It gave me a bunch of strange ideas for my own projects. The colors have a VHS quality. The music reminded me of the main theme from Hotline Miami, while the plot reminded me of Red Cockroaches. It's an unnerving movie. Just watch it (here).

The second to last film was CUSHLASH by Rem Lezar, the last cool LA person. This was a funny look at music executives or maybe they are recruiting someone for a sports team? The music was funny, and the directing was good. It was more goofy, similar to His Name is F---. There were no weird VHS effects or abstract sound collages here. It almost could have been a well made, early Youtube video.

The final film shown was The Hallucinatory Vanguard, also by Lenny Flatley. The film starts off with some new age people talking about the benefits of LSD or weed (I don't remember which), and descends into some weird Manson Cult vibes. Actually, the whole film feels like a summer of dry heat in the American desert, under the guillotine of the 1970s. The Summer of Love is over. What should the revolutionairies of today do? How should they occupy their time? All you need is love, I guess.

Here are some bad pics while I await the next screening night that was promised to me at this one.







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