This posting is late because this morning arrived late. That was because last night got really, really late (as in, it got morning). I said I wanted to have one raucous night, and I have now more than filled my quota. After the super fun closing night party at the Middle East, a group of twenty or so diehards headed back to the Hotel Marlowe for an after-after party in my room. I can't even explain what made it so strange and fun, but it was. Todd Rohal (THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE), Robin and Rory Muir (DOWNTOWN LOCALS), Arin Crumley and Susan Buice (FOUR EYED MONSTERS, who I finally had the pleasure of chatting with this weekend, albeit much too briefly), Adam Roffman, festival MC's Josh and Andrew, Amanda Micheli (THIN), Alex Karpovsky (THE HOLE STORY), and a bunch of other nice people that I either forget or didn't actually meet, crammed into room 5** and polished off whatever alcohol Alex was able to snag from his parents' liquor cabinet (no, I'm not kidding). Just wait until you see the pictures from this gathering. Words can’t do it justice. Actually, the pictures won’t either, but you're going to see them anyway.
Cinematically, I had my first day away from the Somerville Theatre yesterday and instead set up shop at the Coolidge for a really great triple-feature. First up, Adam and Aaron Nee’s THE LAST ROMANTIC, which completely blew me away. If this thing doesn’t get some form of theatrical distribution--however small--then I fucking give up. It’s actually a tiny miracle of a film, pitch-perfectly written, strikingly photographed, and flawlessly acted by Adam Nee. It wasn’t until after the film that Adam told me he was heavily inspired by John Fante’s Arturo Bandini alter-ego, which makes perfect sense in hindsight. How is this film, as well as DOWNTOWN LOCALS, not in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival? Oh, because Tribeca only shows “world premieres” or something like that. I hate to break it to all of you Tribeca audiences out there, but because of that idiotic stipulation you guys are missing out on some films that should be the complete point of that fucking festival. Oh well, at least I got to see them somewhere. Thanks, Adam and Jason.
Next up, the Grand Jury Prize-winning THIN (directed by Lauren Greenfield and photographed by Amanda Micheli), which absolutely destroyed me. I almost had a childlike breakdown at several moments, but instead I curbed my emotions to mere tears flowing down my cheeks (which was embarrassing enough). Whenever you get a chance to see THIN, whether it be in a theatre or on HBO, be sure to bring tissues. I’m not kidding. Even thinking about it makes me want to cry.
Finally, we caught “Shorts Package #3: Animated Journeys.” My absolute favorite was Brad Neely’s idiotically genius COX AND COMBES’ WASHINGTON, which must be seen to be believed. A close second was Troy Morgan’s audacious and surprisingly moving DRAGON (not only was it his first foray into animation, both stop-motion and hand-drawn, but he also composed the haunting score). Every short was worth watching for one reason or another, although the aforementioned two (as well as THE WRAITH OF COBBLE HILL) really stood out for me.
Which leads us into the closing night party and subsequent after-after party silliness. Apologies to my neighbors at the Marlowe, I hope we didn’t keep you up all night. But once Karpovsky put on those Siegried and Roy-esque leopard- and panther-print robes and Rohal wrapped his head in a makeshift turbin, all bets were off.
Looks like my last film of the festival will be Linas Phillips’ WALKING TO WERNER, which I'm super excited about. Unfortunately, I never got to see THE PUFFY CHAIR, which was easily the most praised film of the festival in my newly formed circle, so I have to find a way to see it sooner than later. So many movies, not enough time...