The 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival took place Oct 29th- Nov 5th, and I was happily part of the audience; The Awesome people at Austin Chronicle gave me a pass and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. It was my 1st time going to the festival & only got to see 4 very different films (lame, they presented over 150!). Anyway, it was a very happy experience, you could see people of all ages talking, and discussing all kinds of topics; it was fun to see everyone being excited about their projects, or to know someone that was passionate about film. I saw many people just getting to their seats and turn around and ask, what do you do in the film industry? awesome conversations followed every time.
Even if you’re not in the industry, if you have the time, going is a must, nothing beats back to back movies, networking, nice conversations, and just the opportunity to have your minds blown!
Ok, so lets go to the movies:
The first movie I saw was “In Transit” directed by: Albert Maysles, Lynn True, David Usui, Nelson Walker III, Benjamin Wu
Its a documentary about people traveling on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, the longest train route in the US (a 3 day journey); It shows all kinds of stories and people; some direct, deep conversations, drinking games, kids being kids, etc.
One of the directors talked to us and explained that they would let people know that they were doing a documentary, and invited everyone to talk and share their stories, some did right away, some avoided it, others ended up sharing only because of boredom. There is so much philosophical value to this piece, and all filled with humor, some tears and whatnot. A must see!
* If you’re curios about it, here is the link for the movie: http://www.intransitfilm.com
Second Movie, Isolation, Director: Shane Dax Taylor
Man, where do I start?! Ok, I know… Its supposed to be based in real events; how do you make it seem so fake and without any kind of sense or logic?!!!! Bad acting, bunch of holes in the story, beautiful Bahama landscapes, a gorgeous actress I might say, and thats about it. It’s a thriller with very bad dialogs, it really seems like they inserted some phrases that “kids use now a days” into an already bad script.
Not everyone was bad, but the ones that were, really spoiled the few nice things about this one.
This was the premiere, I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes straight to video…
Third: Monsterman, directed by Antti Haase
Great and very humane story about this Finland Heavy Metal band “Lordi” who got all of the glory, fame and money years ago, and that its struggling to adapt in a Reality TV Show era, and ever-changing crowds.
The story is weirdly nice, interesting, hard and very funny (if you have a bit of a dark sense of humor I might say). Its again a reflection of a very raw, clean human experience living in extreme situations, with technology but more human felt than ever, if that makes any sense…
Here is the link of the movie in case you want to check it out: http://www.monstermanfilm.com/
Fourth: Baby Baby Baby, DirectorWriter: Brian Klugman
Soooo Funny! Im not a fan of Rom Coms but this one is so worth it! Great humor, silly but smart at the same time; filled with awesome acting by Cloris Leachman, Kelsey Grammer, William Shatner and James Roday (among many others).
Great script, talks about creative people and how dysfunctional that life might be; books, art, lots of very weird stories and vulnerability, all hilarious, I swear! The leading characters are very well written, and performed, honestly weeeell done!
Any way, this one doesn’t have an official website yet, but Im sure it’ll come out anytime now. Here is the trailer tho! Oh BTW, they won Comedy Vanguard Award at the Austin Film Festival 😉
So this is my not so short review about the Festival, that I forgot to say before, was very well organized, plus, clean, fast, friendly staff, nothing to complain about!
Count me in for next year!