Monday, February 8, 2021

Slamdance 2021 Curtain Raiser

Slamdance starts Friday and runs until the 25th.  Normally the festival runs at the same time as Sundance but in the virtual world we live in it pushed back two weeks so it has a clear shot a space all its own. 

And that is good thing this year since it's a longer and more expansive festival with more films, more madness and killer price tag (its ten bucks for EVERYTHING)  that you can go into cinematic overload and maybe never come out the other end.

I can't recommend the festival enough because, frankly, it always had the more interesting films of the two dances. In all seriousness this is a fest where I load up my best of the year list, and as Nate Hood will attest, one tends to find a film or two that changes your life forever. That is not hyperbole but true with the festival highlighting some small gems with big impact over the years.

As this posts I am scrambling to get ahead on the coverage. While I have had access to the press library for a couple of weeks now I have only seen a small number of films. Blame it on the other festivals I've been covering. Not to worry I am working hard and the coverage will be as crazed in years past.

Coverage will begin Friday when the embargoes lift. Additionally I will be putting things up as I see it. I say this as a word or warning to the filmmakers and PR people who sent me films- I have a lot films in my pile and even more in the press library and its gonna take a bit to see it all. 

For those wondering what I've liked, the must sees so far are:

BAD ATTITUDE: THE ART OF SPAIN RODRIGUEZ-  a great biography of the legendary comix artist.

AFTER AMERICA-intriguing film made by de-escalation workers exploring their fears. Its not about their job but their lives ourside it. Not for everyone but it has some great things to ponder.

ME TO PLAY- two actors perform Beckett's Endgame  before Parkinson's sidelines them forever. Its a moving doc that echoed for me with friends who have the disease.

24,483 DREAMS OF DEATH- what happens when an AI is asked to create a world based on watching a Mario Bava film over and over again.

ISAAC-Soviet era noir meets Kafka

TINY RIPPLE OF HOPE- Portrait of community activist Jahmal Cole will make you feel good.

LITTLE BROOMSTICK RIDER- one of a kind web series about a magician and a royal court told with cut out figures is just a completely twisted delight.

A BRIXTON TALE a good story with a great cast. 

The sort REVELATIONS is an awesome look at off kilter relationships and includes one of my favorite lines in any film ever (and which sums up my life)"Oh shit this is the face that is going to ruin my life. This is the face I am going to be fantasizing about on my deathbed" 

18th & GRAND: THE OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM STORY the closing night film of the festival is a glorious portrait of the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles and the woman who ran it. A great film that highlights not just a place but a whole city.

However lest the filmmakers and PR people swallow their tongues at not being included remember I haven't had a chance to fully wade in yet.

Okay time for me to get back to the trenches and for you to go buy a pass.

YES GO BUY A PASS. Its ten bucks but there are over a hundred films, do the math. More to the point with the price being for everything , you can just jump to the next film if you don't like something with out feeling you've lost money.

For information on the fest go here.

For coverage of the festival check back regularly starting on Friday.Slamdance

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