Thursday, August 24, 2006

Microcinema Fest 2006: Friday Screenings

I MC'd this day at the Fest, and it was a good day to be introducing work, though some of them I had to watch backwards through the rear projection.

First up was LIVE ON TAPE DELAY, a sketch comedy show that played "barnside" last year and was about the funniest thing in the entire Fest, including things that were actually being shown. This year this wild show got its proper respect as part of the proceedings.

Next, Rewind veteran Jason Santo was given his due with a half-hour slot to play what he wanted, which he used to show the raunchy comedy APHRODISIAC. Santo is more well-known for his heavy drama, and I think though the raw humor sat a bit uneasily on his shoulders there was fun to be had throughout.

Then Palatine's own Marc Muszynski showed TOUGH LOVE, a noirish spy thriller that was stylishly done, but somewhat hindered by the fact that the two leads, both veteran spies and assassins, did not look old enough to order martinis (shaken, not stirred). Unfortunately this is a common problem to microcinema and rears its head again here, despite good production values.

MY IMAGINARY FRIEND LARS STEVENS from director Brian Amyot (who brought us DOUBLE DIP) was another caustic, oddball short about a guy with an imaginary friend who might not be so imaginary after all.

My pal Gary Lumpp screened THE ROAD TO next, a brief noir short with a lot of twists and turns packed into five minutes. Although not as polished as some entries, the storytelling caught the audience's attention.

Director BRIAN MCQUERY was up next with VACANT, a hard-nosed cop drama told in an energetic fashion. Interesting for its nonlinear storytelling, but the storyline felt as if it needed to expand past its roughly twenty-minute running time. We will see if McQuery grows this into a feature; it would be worth seeing.

After a break, we saw PAT GETS A CAT from director Adam Bertocci, about a lonely guy who adopts a cat, and begins imagining that it is a young woman. Some found it to be sweet, others a bit kinky, depending on one's mindset. A lot of talk about the subtext of this one at dinner later.

From New Zealand came FUTILE ATTRACTION, a winning comedy about two mismatched singles who are forced together on a reality show. A bit overlong, and hammers the same points a few times, but really nice performances from the whole cast made it enjoyable.

All that before dinner! Next time, the scariest movie I've seen in a long time. 'til then, give me a shout at

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