What an amazing year for film! Since I have been privileged to see this organization up close and personal as I started blogging for them in the middle of the year, I appreciate even more how vital NWFF is to the film community in the Northwest. I encourage one and all to contribute what they can to keep it running smoothly, in effect, to become partners with the organization that creates film history with their outstanding programming. I know monetarily it’s tough for all of us right now, and here are some low-budget alternatives you can do to show your support. Consider volunteering (it is SOOO WORTH IT–TRUST ME! & this blog needs YOUR opinions!) esp. as it gets you into wonderful films and events for free (in exchange for hours worked). One time donations or loans of time/equipment/or misc. items filmmakers need (consider becoming an extra for a day, perhaps?) are always appreciated–you can subscribe to the NWFF Callboard, which is constantly updated, to see how you can become involved in the making of a film–& lemme tell ya, the first time you see your name on a screen it’s a trip! Or you can simply set reminders for those films you want to come and see and COME–we are always happy to see you!
Ahem. So here we go,
1) GEORGE MELIES: IMPOSSIBLE VOYAGER: This program WAS film history, & actually inspired me to volunteer. A collaboration between THE SPROCKET SOCIETY and NWFF, it presented us with film history mixed with live performance, as we saw 100 year-old images, narrated in the original words written by one of the founders of the art of film (his most iconoclastic image is the rocket that hits the moon in the eye), and accompanied by music made on the instruments of the time. It was the ultimate “You Are There” experience. I STILL have goose bumps!
2) SILENCE BEFORE BACH: A film that can only be seen in a theater (at the filmmaker’s instruction), it literally changed my life with it’s elegant juxtaposition of music and images. I will love it ’til the day I die.
3) HARDCORE: SCREWBALL COMEDY: The class of all classes to take if you can’t get enough of the funniest films ever made. (Remember, YOU CAN‘T TAKE IT WITH YOU!) (Good news–the rumor is–MORE TO COME!)
4) LA FRANCE: The exception that proves the rule. Can you create a masterpiece by combining one subject and one art form that have nothing in common (like say, war and beautiful French love songs) ? Ce Magnifique! And it would not have played in the U.S. at all if NWFF hadn’t brought it in.
5) TAKING OFF: I just adore Milos Forman, and the fact NWFF managed to snag a copy of this rarely screened gem just shows how truly cool they are. I first saw this at SIFF at the Secret Festival many years past, and ever since I wrote that in my review acoupla months ago I’ve become concerned that the Secret Festival Police are after me (does blogging about a film after you signed a secrecy oath in your own blood constitute a violation of said oath?)
6) MR. LONELY: If only the world could live in such Harmony.
7) LOCAL SIGHTINGS FESTIVAL 2008: The saying is (approximately) that a prophet is never honored in his own land. L.S.F. 2008 is proof that that is complete bullshit! I saw many sophisticated and professional films (such as ARID LANDS), this year as part of the Festival. Remember how local boys (& I’ll name but 2) Matthew Barney and David Lynch had to start somewhere? That’s why I’ve found it’s important to attend this Festival, as well as support 911 Media Arts Center and other independent organizations who let local independent filmmakers voices be heard.
8) MOMMA‘S MAN: This semi-autobiographical work by Azazel Jacobs is beautifully shot in black and white, and tells the tale of one man and his relationship with his parents, wife and new baby. It’s easy to relate to as it’s the same way we all feel at times, overwhelmed by our adult responsibilities, and looking to escape them, if only for a little while. It’s both haunting and humorous at the same time, and a lovely valentine to childhood nostalgia.
9) THE ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON: The film that made me fall in love with ERIC ROHMER. It’s beauty, it’s innocence, it’s discussion of lofty ideals, put together as only an experienced Frenchman knows how. Sigh.
10) SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE (FROM THE QUEER THURSDAYS PROGRAM, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE FABU THREE DOLLAR BILL CINEMA): OK, so this may not exactly NWFF program, but ya gotta cut me some slack on this one–it was my BIRFDAY! And the large auditorium was filled to the rafters with people who tortured themselves by watching one of the WORST gay films ever made–and the director LIKED gays! So we all rushed out the minute the credits (?!) were finished in search of mind numbing substances to try and save some brain cells, to no avail. Funnier than hell, though.
Neener, neener Miz Ryan!