HellZiggy (hellziggy) wrote,

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The weekend

The movies I saw:
Dear Pillow
Deadpan Wes Slack lives with his divorced dad in a sprawling housing complex in Austin, Texas. Wes is 17 years-old and he has a problem: he's never had sex. What's worse, everyone around Wes is obsessed with sex: his ever-absent father has drawers filled with porn; his former best friend sends him letters detailing sexual escapades, and Wes's loner neighbor Dusty writes for "Dear Pillow," a "hot letters" publication filled with made-up fantasies supposedly from women. Wes wants to write for "Dear Pillow" too, and he has a secret weapon: through his apartment walls he "listens" to women having phone sex. Austin filmmakers Bryan Poyser and Jacob Vaughan's Dear Pillow astutely observes the stark differences between sexual fantasy and sexual intimacy. In the lonely, person-filled apartments of America, what you dream up by yourself might be a lot more strange than what's actually happening next door.

Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Jacob Vaughan
Cinematographer: Jacob Vaughan
Editor: Jacob Vaughan
Music: Jeff McLaughlin
Cast: Rusty Kelley, Gary Chason, Viviane Vives, Cory Criswell, John Erler

This was a strange quirky movie, but it's really good. The dialogue was all about porn & it was very explicit, but they didn't show anything. If you saw the movie with the sound off you would have no almost no clue that there was anything in it about sex. It ended up winning the Audience Choice award for Narrative Feature.

The Central Standard Film Festival is honored and proud to premiere the long-awaited documentary from Dan Luke, Laurie Stern and Lu Lippold: Wellstone!. Whether you supported their politics or not, everyone agrees Paul and Sheila Wellstone were one in a million. Scrappy, populist, ambitious, impatient, tenacious, fair, and most of all hopeful, Paul and Sheila Wellstone believed in standing up for what was right, and fighting to help people achieve the American dream. From Virginia and high school wrestling days, to marrying sweetheart Sheila, Wellstone! movingly lays out the details of a relationship that led Paul to Carleton College and public service. With interviews from the critical players, Wellstone! shows the ads, the debates and the clips of Paul's first David vs. Goliath Senate race and his constant appeal to conscience as he served in the Congress. But whatever Paul was doing, two things were unchanging: Sheila was by his side, and Paul was speaking his mind. The lives Paul and Sheila Wellstone lived will make your heart soar, and ache. Paul always said anyone could stand up and fight for people the way he did. But when he died, maybe the saddest thing of all, was that everyone knew that wasn't quite true.

Directors: Lu Lippold, Dan Luke, Laurie Stern
Executive Producer: Shayna Berkowitz
Producer: Pamela Colby
Cinematographer: Bob Durland, Ed Matney
Narrated by Jane Kaczmarek

This documentary was beautifully done. Even if you didn't agree with his politics, you had to admire his convictions. There were a few times this movie had me sniffling.

American Beer
Gentlemen...Start your livers! Since the best beer in America is locally-made and available, Brooklyn filmmaker Paul Kermizian and four friends hit the road to visit a button-busting 38 breweries in 40 days! In the 1970's, there were only 50 major beer bottlers in the U.S. Today there are over 1,700 individual brewmasters throughout the country bottling their personal experiences as tinkerers, closet brewers, cooks and
entrepreneurs in the form of unique beer recipes. Some of these former you-name-its have become the most recent captains of industry; others might better be described as drunks! All their stories about beer and beer-making are inspired: crazy ingredients, brewing in basements, starting from scratch, sampling the wares, fighting the big three brewers, and of course, the perfect cure for hangovers. And speaking of hangovers,
don't forget about our road-tripping, glass-tipping lads behind the camera. From Maine to Oregon, they must sample at least five pints of the best beer in America each night for over a month! That adds up to a lot of drinks, drunks, chucks, cheeseburgers, naps and new belt notches. Can our fearless filmmakers get to New Orleans before cirrhosis sets in! In the true, ahem, spirit of Central Standard, American Beer amusingly shows how much more interesting, inspired, and rewarding America is once you tap into a keg of our subculture and, well, flush the mainstream!

Director: Paul Kermizian
Producer: Paul Kermizian
Cinematographer: Jon Miller
Editor: Paul Kermizian
Music: Bob Gilligan
Featuring: Jeremy Goldberg, Paul Kermizian, Jon Miller, Robert Purvis, Richard Sterling

The only similarity between this movie & Wellstone! is that they are both documentaries. It's just 5 guys drinking their way across the country. I did learn something from this movie though. I learned that it is legal to have an open botttle of beer in your car in Wyoming as long as you are out of the major city limits, and the driver doesn't drink any. See? Documentaries are educational! I missed the very beginning of this movie, but there was no plot so it was ok.

Busting Out
If you're a woman and you've ever thought, "What's the deal with breasts?", or you're a man and you've ever thought, "What's the deal with breasts?", Busting Out is the film for you!

Documentary filmmaker Francine Strickwerda lost her mother to breast cancer at about the time she herself began to "develop," so she always wondered: are they supposed to be good or bad? Busting Out is her answer. Part personal documentary, part socio-political documentary and part pop documentary, Strickwerda and Smith's film guides us through the history and politics of the breast in American culture and in other cultures around the world. Ideal breast size, shape, prominence, exposure and even functions (secondary: sexual stimulation, primary: feeding babies) are predominantly determined by current gender politics. Men standing in the cold shouting "Show us your rack!"; a mother taking her daughter to buy her first bra; John Ashcroft's obsession with the bared breasts of a statue; the new frankness about cancer scars - all are shown and explained in Strickwerda and Smith's film. Bittersweet, provocative, tantalizing and funny, Busting Out offers everybody a revealing glimpse into the world of being female.

Directors: Francine Strickwerda, Laurel Spellman Smith
Producers: Francine Strickwerda, Laurel Spellman Smith
Cinematographer: Roy Wilson
Editor: Roy Wilson
Music: Erik Aho

Another fabulous documentary! It's all about breasts. Big breasts, little breasts, American breasts, foreign breasts, etc. It was very well done, but they have have a tough time marketing it in this post-Nipplegate era.

It's a gray day at the landfill. Everyday is gray in rural Western North Carolina in winter. All the world feels mean and dark: the back roads, strip malls, trailer parks, abandoned mines, convenience store parking lots. And things are about to get even worse for Jason Griffin. His backhoe just turned up the body of a dead woman at the landfill. When the cops show up to investigate, they just tell Jason to forget he saw anything. If the good things in life feel like they're falling out from under Jason, it's because they are. North Carolina writer-director Paul Schattel wanted to capture the "wonderfully bleak" look and feel of life in the economically depressed rural areas of his home state - "the dark heart of the South." With unflinching starkness reminiscent of Kubrik's Full Metal Jacket - and an uncommon eye for seeing the sublime in the ordinary - Schattel and his talented players expertly guide us down into the invisible underworld of rural methamphetamine-use, and the subtle, cascading effect of bad choices. It's a long way down.

Director: Paul Schattel
Producer: Paul Schattel
Cinematographer: Steve Agnew
Editor: Paul Schattel
Music: Jason Smith
Cast: Bryan Marshall, Robin Spriggs, Kelly O’Neal, J.R. Hooper, Patrick Green, Caitlin Rose

After a day of just documentaries and shorts it was a refreshing change to see a feature, and this was a good one. It's a dark movie, very much influenced by David Lynch. I also really dug the music in this movie. It's by a dude named Richard Buckner.

That's just the first 5 movies, taking us through the end of Saturday. We've got 5 more movies on Sunday (4 features, 1 doc), and 2 shorts collections. I will do those either later tonight or tomorrow.

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