F Film Festivals

Of course I like films.. generally speaking… what other medium keeps me in my seat, in the dark, compulsively munching on shit, actually believing that I can’t go on with my life until I see Marty McFly get back safe to good ol’1984. That is… provided he gets the 1.21 gigawatts.. how could Doc have been so careless?

So of course you’d expect me, as a film lover, to be a fan of those fantastical Film festivals, like Cannes, Venice, Berlin.. and fuckin.. Sundance; guess that’s a city too. Amsterdam’s got one, the International Documentary Film something (IDFA). All the intellectuals, so basically everyone in the whole city, and their big brains- head over to see anything and everything at the IDFA. They sit in huge theaters, medium rooms, and claustrophobic broom closets, so they can see films with titles that sound like “Beep Beep; How Cars Really Feel About America” or “Leave me Alone; the wishes of a Zimbabwean youth“. And obviously many of these films are masterpieces which might never see the light of the mass audience day.

Yet as an observer of the third IDFA since I arrived in the Dam, I don’t dig the scene anymore. Since I’m lazy and last minute, I pay a fairly steep price for whatever isn’t sold out when I get there. Usually this means I wind up watching some Australian dude’s home videos from 1980. Which, while compelling in that voyeuristic kind of way, bores the shit out of me. What’s that you say? Book early BM? It’s not that bad BM? I’m not listening. Because I found the underground way to do it.

I’m so hip, that I’m at the vanguard of a new trend. Have the filmfest at your house. How? Two words: Dutch Public Television. Ok that’s three words, you’re right. Point is, they have quite a few of the HOT documentaries on their website, archived for your convenience. My favorite this week? BIG BROTHER MIDDLE EAST.

Forget what you know about the stupid reality show, this is a documentary of how they planned and prepared a version done specifically for the entire middle east. The culture clashes and questions left me dumbfounded and drooling for more. I loved the candidates who came in and sang in Arabic and danced around, and then weren’t chosen because they “might be too eccentric for the audience.” I also loved seeing the Saudi minister of Information running around the house praising the whole thing, probably envisioning the big bucks ahead. All the staff as well as the participants were from many different arab nations, and one minute you could hear the differences in culture and values, and the next you couldn’t. Fascinating. Not all of it is in English, but much of it is, and I highly recommend it.

UPDATE: In the end, the show was pulled quite early in the game. But that’s a whole other story.

Now back to the bicyclemark underground documentary festival. (budfest)

Today’s Sounds: Jimmy Eat World – Futures (wonderfully good)