IFFBoston Day 1 … er … 2

Due to unforeseen logistical problems, namely a mover who never showed up and left me waiting in an apartment the entire day, I missed IFFBoston‘s opening night last night. The film was Hal Hartley’s latest, Fay Grim, a sequel of sorts to Henry Fool, and as I am not a huge fan, I was not hugely disappointed to miss it. I was mostly just bummed to miss the festivities. And it’s a film I’m sure I’ll get another opportunity to see.

On the slate tonight is a Greek film called Kinetta, which my Greek friend Serpico will be proud of me for making time to see.

“Against the backdrop of a deserted resort town, three otherwise unconnected people—a chambermaid, a photographer, and a government official—meet to re-enact murders. But these documented re-enactments have nothing to do with crime-solving or for that matter any other discernable productive purpose; rather, the three appear to perform out of a perversely pleasurable fascination with death and with male-female power dynamics. They work with few props, but the government man, who provides the “scripts,” insists on such detailed blocking that their movements are mechanical, slow, awkward, and unprofessional. What emerges from this strange relationship is a meditation on despair, restlessness, and a disturbing attachment to prescribed roles.”

There are two other films competing for my attention tonight:

The Good Times Kid. “What would you do if you met yourself? Rodolfo Cano (Azazel Jacobs) and Rodolfo Cano (Gerardo Naranjo), by chance, cross paths. But there is more to these men in common than just their names. Both Rodolfos flounder through life, barely getting involved and want to step back even further. Rodolfo is exasperated with his girlfriend, Diaz (Sara Diaz), and walks out on her. Rodolfo walks in on her. These multiple chance meetings have created the most magical night for any of them and as the night flows on and on, each character’s secrets slowly rise to the surface. As the sun starts the next day, we finally see who each character really is.”

Gretchen. “Wildly expressionistic and deeply strange, this expansion of Steve Collins’ SXSW prize-winning short film GRETCHEN AND THE NIGHT DANGER follows Courtney Davis’ titular foot-clomping high-school casualty, adrift in ugly sweaters and laugh-out-loud pig-tail holders, and still always undone by her misguided love for bad boys. Stringy-longhaired chain-smoking Ricky hasn’t been treating Gretchen right, which – for reasons it is probably best not to get into here – leads to our heroine spending a fair amount of time at the Shady Acres Center for Emotional Growth. … an eerie echo of a recently bad affair sends Gretchen on the road to track down her long lost father (News Radio genius and Texas indie film hero Stephen Root). The results of this reconciliation are both heartbreaking and darkly hilarious, as Collins finds a way to convey the awkward outsider ethos that appreciates and accepts his main character’s pathos without ever devolving into NAPOLEON DYNAMITE-styled mockery.”

Gretchen has gotten good reviews but that mention of Napoleon Dynamite is possibly enough to keep me away. And I’m working up a post about how indie film–and indie culture more generally–is annoyingly obsessed with the childlike, the childish, with childhood in general. I think it’s damaging and I’m tired of seeing it. I thought it was exclusively an American thing but I heard recently that a recent trend in France is people drinking cocktails out of baby bottles in bars. WTF.

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