Monday, April 27, 2009

A Long and Busy Week

Wow, I can't believe what a bad blogger I've been. I haven't had a new post for over a week! What will all my lovely readers do without my wise words about life in Salem?? Okay, I'm sure you were all fine, but I'm back now.

The Salem Film Festival was a great success. At least by my standards as a consumer of the event. It was pretty well organized, very well attended, and the films were fantastic. Most of the films I saw were either packed to the hilt with extra chairs set up in the theaters, or there was a second showing added. Sometimes both. It was really exciting to see that much attendance. The one thing I noticed was that I was often the youngest person in the room. Where were all the college students? It was actually pretty cheap, so that can't be it. I bought a Ten Flix pass and it turned out to be $60. That's $6 per film. And you could share it with as many people as you wanted (I took a friend to each film and they just paid me their share. It worked out really well).

I saw five films in all and I would recommend all of them. Well, technically one was a bunch of short films in one sitting, so I actually saw more than five. A couple of those I might only recommend to artistic types, but most of them were excellent.

So here's the list of films and my recommendations:

Crossroads on the Columbia - My pick from the short films. It is a documentary about giant Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) stations that investors want to install along the Columbia River. Right in salmon habitat. Hmmm. A very bad idea! You can find out more about LNG at Columbia Riverkeepers website. A

Kabei: Our Mother - A wonderful, touching film set in 1940's Japan. It was a poignant look at how the war affected life in Japan, and specifically the life of this family whose father was arrested for thought crimes. It was an emotional and wonderfully well-told story. A+

Sita Sings the Blues - An animated film done in three or four different animation styles, which makes it rich as well as a bit chaotic at times. It is the story of a modern women's life and breakup that plays out alongside an ancient Indian story about a woman named Sita who loses her love. Oh, and it's pretty much a musical that uses 1920's blues music as a backdrop. Can you see how it could be chaotic. It's pretty well done with great animation and a humorous narration style though, so all in all, I would recommend it. B

Good Dick - Yes, there are definitely adult themes in this one. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 16 and that only if they are mature. It is about a woman who has been molested as a child and how it affects her current love life. The guy who has his heart set on her is in for some very dark and sad situations, but he has a few dark spots in his soul as well, so he is up for the job. It is quirky and a little bit disturbing, but overall the film is extremely well made. The actors/producers/writers were there for questions afterwards and that was really interesting, as well. A

Ready? Ok! - This one was a film I would watch again. And again. And again. Seriously. It was full of quirky characters who are all dealing with their own inner demons, but it has such a positive overtone that I could watch it over and over. I don't usually re-watch movies that are too emotional or dark. Although, they might be excellent movies, I just don't like to cry that much. :) This one did not make me cry, but it did make my heart swell at times and that I can deal with. It centers around a young boy who would rather be on the cheerleading team than the wrestling team. The people around him strive to come to terms with their own lives and issues as they help him work through his. A+

I hope you got to some of the films at the festival, but if not you can still see some of them as they come through for real runs at Salem Cinema. The new theater is a beautiful, art deco style and with it's three theaters, will be able to show lots more great films.


KandN said...

Good to see you back! Thanks for the movie notes!

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