This past weekend was spent at Cinequest 16, where I attended a screening of The Second Death. This was my first experience attending a festival screening as one of the film’s makers (storyboard artist and actor). The film was a part of Shorts Program 8: Mindbenders which began at about midnight and ran approximately two hours, Friday and Saturday. There were a number of interesting films included in the lineup. One that has apparently been making the rounds at festivals for a little while now was Lucky, in which a man locked in the trunk of a car, seeks to free himself and gain control of the unmanned, yet speeding car he finds himself a passenger on. Another was Slice of Heaven, showing the strangely mundane actions of a woman (SPOILER ALERT) harvesting feces from a bacon-grease fed infant to serve as fertilizer (END SPOILER) for her bucolic suburban garden. And another worth mention, was Rats, a black and white short based on the comic-story of the same name by Frank Miller. Sparing us the comic-book effects and devices, but still preserving Miller’s story, composition, chiaroscuro, and sense of timing. With these films alone, we certainly were in good company.
Somewhat regretfully, I skipped out on participating in the Q&A section of the screening. Although by about a quarter after two in the morning, I don’t think it was the most provocative of Q&A’s anyway. A few hours of mindbending social ineptitude followed back at the Montgomery Hotel and made for a Sunday that was a bit rough around the edges, but I did manage to see another entertaining short and an outstanding, albeit immensely depressing, feature in the evening before trucking back to L.A. I do wish I had the luxury of spending a bit more time at the festival to see films and meet filmmakers, but it’s at least kindled more of an interest to do more of that sort of thing in the future.