PEACE, LOVE & SUN
Country knows it's better to look good than feel good
a day of decompression following the whirlwind tour of France (see
previous entry), I
boarded a Sun Country Airlines plane to Minneapolis for the Central
Standard Film Festival. Have you ever heard of Sun Country? I
thought they were the orange juice people. Anyway, the flight
attendants all looked like former Eastern employees -- efficient,
courteous and well over 30.
was expecting the twin city to be cool and fall-like, but it was hot
and sticky. Alex Albanese and I checked in to our hotel and walked over to
the theater, which was just across the river. Since the theater
wasn't open yet, we had a cocktail at the adjoining bar, which
featured the "Joe Pearson Mojito." Mr. Pearson was a turn
of the (20th) century bartender. A fine drink, perfect for the
Pearson & unknown helper
time eventually rolled around and the theater began to fill up. You
never know what you're going to get in this mad festival world and I
have seen more than my share of 250 seat theaters with 30 people in
them. Happily, Todd Hansen and his crew did their job; EvenHand
played to a capacity crowd -- and an overflow screening of about 40
people who watched the film on video. The audience was among the best
we've had. They laughed in all the right places and responded
wonderfully to the dramatic climax. I was honestly reluctant to
participate in the Central Standard Film Festival, but I couldn't have
been happier with the outcome. While it's probably not a festival that
will ever attract distributors or a significant representation of
industry attendees, it is well positioned to become a solid American
rocks the house
put on his usual great show at the after-party, which was sponsored by
the Sundance Channel. Alex and Bill
Dawes, who was also in attendance,
went off to a bar for the balance of the night, but I stayed at the
party and chatted with Karen Cantrel, the Sundance rep, and a number
of Doughty fans. I learned how important it is to have Doughty on board. Several
people told me that they came to the screening because they were fans
of Mike, but loved the film. We will definitely feature an on-camera
interview with Mike Doughty on the DVD, as well as a couple of his
songs from the film.
and a couple of Doughty's fans
AM on Thursday and Alex and Mike & I were off to the airport. I
was transporting the film print, which I really hate doing. The two
cans together weigh 50 pounds and I forgot the damn trolley. Make
an indie film and increase your upper body strength.
dirty laundry, reload clean and it's off to Woodstock in the
minivan. A vintage Volvo would have been more appropriate, but hey,
I'm a family man. Kim and Lovisa joined me for this, the final EvenHand
Fat Cop Cypress Chick-apalooza festival love-fest. While she had
a legitimate excuse, Lisa still gets
demerits for not being there. In a move reminiscent of the old Logsville
Lodge days, we shared a little apartment down the road in
Bearsville. The kick-off party was that night, which was
great, but our first screening was at 11 AM the next morning which
was not great. 11 AM is the equivalent of the crack of dawn in
Woodstock and even I didn't want to be there. The audience was
mostly middle aged couples with only a handful of youngsters. Pretty
thin crowd, but good questions in the Q&A, which is always nice.
is one of the greatest people-watching places. There are more
characters per capita than in most major cities in the Western
hemisphere. And yes, there are a lot of hippies in Woodstock, too.
In the hard-to-define category, the
kick-off party featured a guy wearing a furry cap and what looked like a
leather dog muzzle, no
shirt and something vaguely promotional scrawled on his back in
Sharpie. He was handing out the flyer below.
text on the back read:
different in their propagandistic goals, neither organic nor Biotech
avenues of expression can appreciate hardcore Sado-Masochistic
metaphors applied to their preferred process.
Both are willing
to concede the essential dominance over nature that farming/pharming
and heirloom/transgenic livestock represent.
neither will cop to the inherent fetishism and overt control issues
that are expressed by these ways of being.
they get points for generally good grammar.
took Friday night off from partying, needing some recovery time
before the Sat. AM panel and our final screening. As Denzel
Washington saved the world in a submarine, I drifted off to sleep.
CRITICS AND FILMMAKERS was interesting. Honestly, I felt that the film
critics kind of hogged the discussion and frequently veered from a
specific discussion of indie filmmaker issues to a broader
examination of the role of critics in the entertainment business.
Interesting stuff, but not a topic on which I could make much of a
contribution. When the conversation meandered back to the indie world I
did manage to make what I hope were salient points.
stop, the Upstate theater in Rhinebeck for the 4:30 PM EvenHand screening.
Io showed up for the screening
with a friend. It was nice surprise to have her there for this, the final
domestic film festival screening.
thrilled at the crowd milling about in front of the theater until I
realized that Bus 174 was screening in the theater next door.
Bus 174 is a Brazilian doc about a street kid that hijacks a
bus in Rio (the official website did not respond when I went there). It was the only other film I saw at Woodstock and I
quite liked it. It was obviously a hot ticket and attracted a pretty
good audience. The EvenHand crowd was decent, but would
probably have been better with less aggressive counter-programming.
Another fact of festival life: you're inevitably going to have some
lousy time-slots and some great films playing opposite yours. The
fact is, EvenHand has had a great festival run and I would not
expect a programmer to give it a premium slot in the schedule after
showing at so many other festivals. There are plenty of new films that deserve
noticed the other day that the EvenHand listing on the
Internet Movie Database has started getting votes. If you have seen
the film, please take a minute and
register your vote there. Here's a link:
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© 2003 Cypress