On Friday, I arrived at the festival in time to catch the documentary “The Source,” by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos. The film documented the Aquarian “family” from California who were led by Father Yod. One of the members of the cult devoted her time to documenting their every movie which makes up for much of the films footage. It was put together extremely well, with a good variety of interviews from ex-members.. some of whom seem to miss those days and some who regret it. I’m a huge fan of finding out about any sort of counter culture from the past, and I recommend you check this one out if it becomes available to you.
Next I caught “Compliance,” a film about a prank phone call gone wrong which was based on a string of true stories. I thought it was well made– there were some serious decisions that had to be made as far as taste goes and I commend Zobel. (One man in the audience did not!) Several people walked out, which was kind of to be expected because the film is about a pretty crazy situation that should make you uncomfortable. I thought Zobel made interesting choices with the characters. Did the film make me uncomfortable.. yes it did. The phone call goes on and on and it starts to feel tedious.. but that’s how the victims felt. I think the film does a good job at showing the aftermath to “release the tension,” as Zobel put it in the Q&A. I think it’s important for people to check out movies like “Compliance,” to think about how things like these cases happen.
After “Compliance,” I woofed down a salad (YOU CARE!) and attended a packed screening of Michael Mohan’s “Save the Date.” It was a good balance with the other films I had seen. Mohan (the director and co-writer) provided well written complex characters who felt like real people. I was happy to see that even though we have a “cool girl” with Lizzy Caplan’s character, her sister who was played by Allison Brie wasn’t a one note annoying b. She had a complexity and she knew she was becoming someone she wasn’t. I was happy to see Martin Starr playing a “real person” and a fiancee with a lady! Mark Webber and Lizzy Caplan had a definite chemistry that worked and I think the art work that the film was based on worked well throughout the film. It’s a good look at modern romance. What do we all think about love when most of our parents are divorced or unhappy? “Save the Date” reminded me of a more laid back “500 Days of Summer” with real chemistry and realistic characters.
“The Patron Saints” was like nothing I had ever seen before. Partners Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky filmed over a 5 year span at a nursing home documenting the daily life of it’s residents. It works as this powerful assortment of scenes .. a quiet camera in a room catching what can be sad, happy, funny and almost disturbing moments with these people who are no longer a part of society. You enter a world when you watch “The Patron Saints”and it’s impossible to not think about growing old and what happens to us when we’re alive while our mind and body start to quit us.
part 3 part 4