Saturday, February 26, 2011

for those of us who tire

for those of us who tire
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
There's a service for that.
Off Folsom in Boulder.


Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Posting by cameraphone from
the Boulder bike trail.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Razor Wire - The DMU Portal.
Photo by Skinny Bald Guy

It's not clear to me whether the programing for the 2011 Boulder International Film Festival skewed, on the whole, to films about political oppression and violence and the struggle of humanity in the unrelenting face of each of these, or if I just gravitate to depravity like a bad boyfriend.

Either way, I got an eyeful over the last three days. Now it's your turn.

The Green Wave
Because I followed it on the social networks and in the news, I thought I knew all there was to know about the 2009 uprising in Iran. I didn't.

Insert unspeakable atrocities and human rights abuses here.

The film was promoted as being strung together out of social, user-generated content. This isn't entirely true. While the Green Wave makes use of UGC -- chiefly low res video clips and a scattering of tweets (which the filmmakers refer to charmingly as "twitter messages" and omit the expected "@" attribution so we don't know who has said these things) -- the core of the film is constructed of old-school talking head interviews yoked together by the animated illustrations of Alireza Darvish.

Contains a harrowing prison scene, something that is always guaranteed to capture my attention, because I harbor an irrational fear of unjust imprisonment without hope of release.

THE GREEN WAVE teaser (ENGLISH) from Jan Krueger on Vimeo.

The Woman with the Five Elephants
More war. More political imprisonment. More past events that percolate into the present, inescapable. Plus Dostoevsky.

My favorite film of the weekend because of its humanity, decency, intelligence -- and moral ambiguity.

More war. More moral ambiguity. Threat of prison. And bonus political insight/personal connection from Mikkel of Shady Acres fame »

Nostalgia de la Luz // Nostalgia for the Light
A remarkable meditation on place, politics, memory and the unknowable moment. Beautifully filmed, extraordinarily insightful, it leveled me like the films of Ron Fricke even though it bears no narrative resemblance (I'm thinking Baraka and Koyaanisqatsi, not Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith).

Prison bit: Concentration camp in the Atacama desert.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BIFFin' it

BIFFin' it
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
The Boulder International Film Festival has been hit and miss.

MISS: Crazy bad intro reel that plays before all the films that's almost exclusively pulsing corporate logos and entirely devoid of tone and character. BIFF: take a clue from SIFF and SxSW who shoot super cool shorts to fill this slot and promote the festival. Corporate credits belong in the CREDITS. That's what they're there for.

MISS: Overpriced VIP pass for a festival that's way too short. Festivals flow better with a pass in hand: lines are shorter, admission is guaranteed, and you save hours of administrative hassle because there are no decisions to be made until half an hour before curtain. When the festival spans a week or two you can pace yourself and still get your money's worth. Not so with the steep price tag for BIFF. By the time I'm done on Sunday I will have averaged fifty bucks a film. At least I'm supporting filmmaking. I hope.

MISS: Single screenings for most films. Introduce at least two per piece and we're halfway to a longer, better-paced festival.

MISS: Spotty projection at the Boulder Theater. Something's up with the machine they're using to screen the films and the screen goes dark at regular intervals.

HIT: The films have been stellar, which makes up for the misses.

More on the movies soon -- after I've heard Mr. James Franco expound on his mastery of the universe.

Odds are on a miss.

Posting by cameraphone from the Boulder Theater.
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