I can’t easily pigeonhole IndieFest amongst Bay Area film festivals. It’s not about a genre, such as Noir City or DocFest. It’s not aimed at certain people, such as Frameline or CAAMFest. Nor is it a fancy red-carpet affair like SFFilm or Mill Valley.
Instead, it focuses on low-budget, unusual, often weird films that will probably never get a week’s run in a regular Bay Area movie theater. But that doesn’t necessarily mean these movies are bad; it just means they’re not commercial.
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then the Bigfoot
As I write this, I’ve seen one film at the festival, Little Woods, an intense drama about desperately poor people in desperate situations. Former drug dealer Ollie (Tessa Thompson) is in her last days of parole, without a good job, and suddenly needing a lot of money to save her home and help her pregnant sister (Lily James). (Ollie was adopted, which explains why the sisters look so different). My stomach turned as I watched Ollie go back to selling drugs, and at every bad choice she made (and she’s supposed to be the smart sister). The film is suspenseful but in no way pleasant or conventionally entertaining. It often seems to be asking not for empathy but for pity.
I give this film a B. You can see it on Friday, February 8, 7:00, at the Victoria Theatre.
Among the film’s I haven’t seen, these ones seem interesting:
- The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot: Sam Elliot stars as…well, the title seems to tell it all.
- Mermaids and Manatees: A new father in Silicon Valley leaves his 7-month-old daughter in the hands of an unreliable old friend. I hope it’s a comedy.
- Centerline: In this near-future tale from Japan, a self-driving car’s AI is indicted for intentionally causing an accident.
- Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through The Gateway Chosen By The Holy Storsh: I just love the title. It appears to be a very broad, black comedy.
Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss…
There’s more than just movies going on. And not every movie will be shown as they were originally attended.
Watching football doesn’t sound like a film festival event. But in Super Bowl LIII: Men In Tights, local comedians will provide their own commentary to the biggest game of the year.
IndieFest always has a Lebowski party. This year they turn the Coen Brothers’ comedy into a Rocky Horror experience with The Big Lebowski Shadow Cast. A live-on-stage performance will supplement the movie.
It’s going to be a weird couple of weeks.