Most film festivals fall into one of three categories:
- Genre festivals, like Noir City and the the Silent Film Festival, concentrate on a particular kind of film.
- Ethnic festivals, like the Jewish Film Festival and Frameline, concentrate on a particular kind of filmgoer.
- General festivals, like the San Francisco Film Festival and Mill Valley, don’t specialize. They show any films they think are worth showing, to an audience that loves cinema.
The upcoming IndieFest fits uneasily between categories 1 and 3. Technically, it’s a genre festival, concentrating on independent films. But that’s a very broad genre these days, and almost everything at a general festival qualifies.
Despite this hybrid identity, or perhaps because of it, IndieFest celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with a line-up of movies that I know pretty much nothing about. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
However, if you liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as much as I did, you’ve got a good chance of liking the opening night feature, The We and I, also directed by Michel Gondry. It’s a study of adolescents in all their confusion, cruelty, and humor. The festival closes with Inside Lara Roxx, a drama about AIDS in the porn industry.
Also of interest: The Revisionairies, a documentary about a creationist trying to control what our children are taught.
But the festival isn’t all serious. Manborg follows a group of misfits as they fight to save the world from "Count Draculon’s robo-Nazi-vampires from Hell." Every film festival should have at least one movie like that.
But there is one film scheduled that I’ve seen. And it’s the one that’s ended up on more of my weekly newsletters than any other: The Big Lebowski–at a midnight screening.
Now I just hope I have time to see some of these films.