BAM!

NY was a blast.

I went down on the 17th for BAMCinemafest. The Catechism Cataclysm was just as fun the second time around (I saw it first at SXSW). This was my first time attending a Rooftop Films event, although it was held in a parking lot across the street from BAM Rose Cinemas, so maybe it should have been called “Parking Lot Films”? Anyway, I got to see a lot of people, like the film’s director, Todd Rohal, its stars, Steve Little and Robert Longstreet, as well as Michael Tully, Sophia Takal, and Lawrence Levine.

Sunday Night, I saw The Color Wheel with my friend Brian, who runs The Film Panel Notetaker. The Color Wheel is a very offbeat road movie about two siblings who set out on a road trip after JR (Carlen Altman) is dumped by her professor (Bob Byington). Michael Tully called the film a sitcom version of Frownland. The Color Wheel has similar themes that more mainstream independent films have, but with the “developed” aspect removed, The Color Wheel‘s characters are more absurd (in the existentialist sense of the term) rather than cartoonish. At the Q&A following the screening, Carlen Altman, the co-star and co-writer of the film, was genuinely grateful to be there:

“This is the first time I’ve finished a creative endeavor,” she said. (Okay, these weren’t her exact words, but she said something very similar.)

There was an after party at some bar in Fort Greene with a German name that I don’t remember. Director Robert Greene (Kati With An I), bought me a Radeberger and I got down. I had an opportunity to talk to The Color Wheel‘s director, Alex Ross Perry. I had an extended conversation with Aaron Katz, who was in town for a wedding (he currently lives in Pittsbugh). I also talked to Katz’s fellow NCSA alumni, Zach Clark (director of Modern Love is Automatic). In particular, we talked about a panel he appeared on at SXSW. I also met someone–and I apologize for forgetting his name–who has been working on a non-fiction book on the so-called “mumblecore” movement.

The following evening, I attended a short film showcase, which featured Howling at the Moon, which I first saw at SXSW. I saw Barry Jenkins’ new short, Remigration, about a young family that gets an opportunity to move back into San Francisco after gentrification drove them out. You can watch the movie here.

The short that was particularly flooring for me was Dustin Guy Defa’s Family Nightmare. Defa took VHS home movies shot by his family, and re-dubbed and distorted their voices. It’s funny until the very end, when you find out what happened to the people seen in the footage. After the showcase, I spoke to both Dustin and Barry at length. It was so great to see Barry again!

I returned on Tuesday Night. Thursday Night, I watched The Odd Couple (which I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen before) on Netflix instant streaming. I watched it because my friend Eileen said that one of the real life counterparts of the characters in Questions? Comments? Concerns??? reminded her of Felix, Jack Lemmon’s character in the film. Here’s a clip (courtesy of TCM’s website) that illustrates her point. I would say that the guy is anal retentive, but Felix is a little more exaggerated and extreme than he is. While we’re at it, let’s play the legendary theme song.

Monday, I’m heading to the Workforce Office in Canandaigua to try and convince the state to give me funds to train me for a new job. Let’s hope things can work out…

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