Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blurry Pictures of Dynamic Directors, Pt. 2

All taken by me at the 38th Seattle International Film Festival.

Click here for part one. 

With the assistance of former SIFFBlog contributor Gillian Gaar, I was finally able to figure out how to use the flash function on my digital camera, so I actually captured a non-blurry picture of the directors and three of the subjects from The Source (below). Now I just need to figure out a better red-eye elimination program than the one I've been using! 

An under-lit Benjamen Logan at Pacific Place

Logan co-directed Bad Brains: A Band in DC with Mandy Stein. I wrote about the screening here. One of my favorite documentaries at SIFF '12.

Ti West answers questions at the Egyptian's midnight screening

Director West (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) came to the fest this year to help promote shaky-cam horror anthology V/H/S. His segment, among the finest of the five, features actor/director Joe Swanberg.

Most of the others, including the framing device, were harder to watch due to the intentionally-amateurish, found footage-style camera work, which recalls Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers, but I found the whole thing worthwhile--not always the case with anthologies (the most recent one I've seen: 1972's tripartite Tales from the Crypt). I even liked Swanberg's Skype installment, and his work doesn't always sit right with me.

There are no big name actors in V/H/S, but the filmmakers generate plenty of good scares. That said, several women sitting in my row walked out about 20 minutes into the screening. West acknowledged that there's a significant streak of misogyny running through the enterprise, and there is, but I never got the impression that the directors were condoning it (it's also worth noting that women aren't the only gender to disrobe in the films). On the contrary, the more vile proponents get their just deserts.  

Dan Doody, Alan Brennan, and Jenn Murray at Pacific Place

Earthbound, a sci-fi comedy-romance, represents Dublin director Brennan's first feature. It also stars David Morrissey and Rafe Spall, son of Timothy Spall. Brennan said that Morrissey did all of his shooting in a day, but he appears throughout the film in hologram form. This works better than it sounds, though the comparisons to Sir Alec Guinness's Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars are unavoidable--and probably intentional.  

Co-directors Maria Demopoulos and Jody Wille with Family members

The Source was another one of my favorite documentaries at SIFF '12
(I wrote about the screening here). Above: author/photographer Isis Aquarian (with Omne and Makushla) proclaimed the audience at the Harvard Exit as the most appreciative so far, expressing gratitude that we "got it," since Demopoulos and Wille did not appear to have had any intention to either venerate or demonize Father Yod (Jim Baker) and the hundreds of followers who contributed to his Utopian society.