Blatantly opinion: The Maryland Film Festival is the best weekend to live in Baltimore. I had a really great time, most days were 10+ hours and I managed to see a lot of great films. Sunday, I woke up kind of bummed out about not having a license.. searched my room and car, with no luck and decided to ride dirty (this is just a reference to not having a license, I didn’t have a gun or drugs on me) over to the film festival.
After walking around a bit I decided to see The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best at MICA. I thought it was an interesting perspective. The main character was dealing with a break-up, but that was never annoying or overly-dramatized. I’d describe it as a quirky comedy with a touch of drama! I want to say it’s a more realistic road trip movie.. but they were creating songs together while they were driving.. literally the driver was playing an instrument.. musicians out there: is this possible? The film also had a cameo by an aged Andrew McCarthy! haven’t seen that guy in awhile. Have I expressed my childhood obsession with “Mannequin?” no? well.. I liked it kind of a lot. Anyway, I enjoyed the performances by both of the males leads Ryan O’Nan (who also directed the film) and Michael Weston and I think if you like indie comedies you should check it out.
The next film I saw was “Gayby.” This is one of the few films that I had found a trailer for before watching, so I knew it was going to be semi-funny… but it ended up being REALLY funny. The film was about best friends in college who are now in their 30’s and decide to have a baby together despite the fact that they don’t want to “be together” because the character Jenn is straight and Matt is gay. Director Jonathan Lisecki played a smaller role in the film and made up for a lot of the laugh out loud moments. I caught the beginning of the Q&A and it was apparent that Lisecki is naturally hilarious. “Gayby” works because it’s not just a situational comedy, it’s a look at what it’s like to be single in your 30’s.. there’s equal parts of humor and sadness.
The closing night film was “Dark Horse” by Todd Solondz, who was present for an introduction and Q&A. Solondz like his films had a kind of offbeat tone introducing the film. I couldn’t tell if he was in character or if that’s just TODD! He introduced the film by saying it was his saddest film yet. The film followed an overweight man who is in his 40’s, lives at home with his parents, “works” for his dad, likes track suits and women who show no interest in him. The style and look of the film seemed to be a step up from Solondz past work “Welcome to the Dollhouse” or “Happiness.” The supporting cast was pretty A-list with Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow, Selma Blair and Justin Bartha. Solondz makes movies about people who the general population don’t want to watch but could probably relate to more than most Hollywood films. I thought the movie was funny, but mostly sad. One of the main plot points (SPOILER) is that Selma Blair’s character has Hepatitis so she might actually consider marrying someone she has no attraction to because she’s worried she’ll end up alone. Again there’s humor in this but it’s definitely coupled with offbeat sadness.
The party kicked off after the Q&A with Todd Solodnz. The beer and wine were a flowing and the disco music was pumping. I think it took a good hour before most people were drunk enough to let loose and dance.. but dance did they ever. There was a serious circle with people dancing in the middle.
Also the good people of Pixalated made a return. I have to say having them there was an awesome idea because it probably cut back on how many people were snapping away with their own cell phones.. instead everyone could just stumble drunkenly in front of a well-lit photo shoot set-up and get some good photos to remember the night. Now when you’re getting your photo taken and you are also drinking 50% of the photos are going to be horrible, but the other half might be fun!
here is a video of the whole night’s worth of photos!