Rocha's been listening to prudes like me, evidently. That moniker is gone this year, replaced by San Antonio Underground Film Festival. Now, one could pick another appellatory bone here, as this "film" festival will be screened entirely on projected video, whether the original work was shot on tape or celluloid. Some claim this fits a do-it-yourself, punk rock aesthetic; others, myself included, believe that VHS is the format of the Devil, and that it's much more punk rock to get a clattery old projector to show your handmade films.
|A scene from Resurgence II (actors unidentified, but one is definitely naked). This film screens Saturday, June 15.|
At any rate, Rocha and company are ready to show you some moving pictures. From the intriguing-looking doc Three Nights at Ground Zero, which chronicles the experience of two young men trying to help in the aftermath of September 11, to the self-explanatory exploitation of Cheerleader Ninjas, it promises to be a diversely programmed event. While originality is surely encouraged, it isn't a prerequisite: witness Waiters' blatant rip-off of the scene in Kevin Smith's Clerks during which labor relations at the Death Star are hotly debated — this time around, it's slave labor in Willy Wonka's factory.
Oh yeah — there's also a Flash animated film in there somewhere in which George Burns and Frank Sinatra blow up to Godzilla's size and demolish downtown Las Vegas. It may look better on paper than in pixels, but at least it ain't Bad Company ... JD
Looking for Leonard
Written and directed by Matt Bissonnette and Steve Clark (Montreal, Quebec), featuring Kim Huffman, Joel Bissonnette, Ben Ratner. Running time: 89 minutes.
Apparently taking attitude cues from Jim Jarmusch and crime/love allegory tips from Hal Hartley, Leonard follows a trio of small time crooks with pop culture issues. When the men in the group decide to move up to bigger capers, the woman is left behind to seek her romantic destiny with a Czech immigrant she meets at a drug store. Somehow, an obsession with the work of Leonard Cohen plays a part in the unfolding drama.
Written and directed by Joseph H. Biancaniello (Santa Monica, CA), featuring Jon Bernthal, Amy L. Drown, Sean Carrigan, Susan McMahon, Ken Arnold. Running time: 93 minutes.
Synopsis: It's all about sex, evidently. Manny is a neurotic young man, terrified of contracting venereal disease. As he tries to work out his romantic and sexual philosophies with various women (two of whom are named Mary — can you say "Madonna/whore complex"?), he attempts to inflict his pain on best buddy Brian, an aspiring boxer who could use some fire in his belly. Sounds like somebody's been watching a lot of early Scorsese, if you ask us.
Pan y Libertad
Directed by Yvette Pita (Austin, TX). Running time: nine minutes.
The press materials summarize the film thus: "A love triangle between Omar, a Cuban who found his way to the U.S. on a raft, his new American girlfriend, and the wife he left behind." But that's lending this film more structure than it seems to want; basically, it's a loose patchwork of documentary glimpses of Omar as he abandons his Cuban family, waving goodbye to them over the telephone, and the rather clueless American gal who adopts him. In New York-gritty black and white.
San Antonio Underground Film Festival
Shows start 12pm Friday, June 14; 10am Saturday, June 15; and 11am Sunday, June 16.
$8 (per day)
318 W. Houston
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