Top Ten Film Festival Films of 2003
This year I went to a bunch of film festivals. From Cinequest
and Sonoma to the traveling arm of the Ann Arbor Fest to The
Animation Show, I saw a lot of movies that would normally
fly beneath the radar. Here are the gems of those viewings,
well worth your time in tracking down.
appearances, this isn't a defense of the furry lifestyle...
Jester by Maija Di Giorgio- This was an awesome documentary
about a stand-up comic who was on the verge of huge success
when she had an on-stage meltdown. They don't show the breakdown,
but supposedly she was tossing obscenities at the audience
and not in a funny way. As a part of her therapy, Di Giorgio
documented her attempt to get back into the business.
are some great interviews with big name comedy stars like
Richard Belzer, Phyllis Diller, George Carlin, and a depressing
view of the world that Richard Pryor is forced to live in.
The real stars are Maija and her crew, and especially her
boyfriend / aspiring stand-up / maniac Kenny, who may be the
most frightening man on Earth.
I Was a Mathlete Until I Met Margo Maris by Joe Denk-
A fantastic short film that falls somewhere between Growing
Pains and Freaks and Geeks. It was a punk rock
love story in one breath, a sad tale of the alienation for
the D+D set the next. It moved so well between the two, I
was blown away.
You Seen This Man? By Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck- A
Documentary Short that kicked my ass around the room. A New
York City artist starts putting up signs about selling individual
crackers, pencil erasers, whatever, all as a way to
I'm still not sure. This is funny, fast, smart and easily
the best piece of art philosophy that I've ever seen on film.
to the Neighborhood by Gay Walch and Kurt Inderbitzin.
It got my best drama of Cinequest tip, and it was a great
film. The music by The Good alone is enough to get my attention,
but the stories that it featured and the way it flowed earns
it a top ten of the year vote.
of a Burning Man by Un Su Lee and Paul Barnett- A
great documentary on Burning Man. You can read my review here.
(And Garcia gets a bonus for earning Fanboy Planet its
first moment in the quote whore spotlight, as newspaper ads
by Ted Gessing- I saw this for the first time at the Ann Arbor
Film Festival. This is what a documentary should do: entertain,
inform, and ultimate, make you smile. It's hilarious at times
as we watch people who love, hate, or cook these little Louisiana
critters talk about why they are so cool, evil, or tasty.
Backyard by Paul Hough- Read
the review, buy the DVD!
Anonymous by Michael Keller- A fanboy movie if there
ever was one. You can read my review here.
Rookie by Satoshi Isaka- Baseball movies are all the
same: everything hinges on that final batter who the pitcher
has never been able to strike out. Well, this one isn't much
different, except that it's Japanese and the pitcher is Mr.
Rookie, a masked player for the Hashin Tigers. It's a great
story of a man stretched thin trying to do his regular office
job and be the Japanese League's star reliever. There is great
comedy and wonderful familial relations and this one would
be nice to see in a US Video release.
fabled Tiger Mask...
Arrangements by Melissa Scaramucci- My roommate really
wants me to get this on tape for the house. A great comedy
that takes place in a flower shop. Few films make me laugh
as much as I did on the first Cinequest screening of Making
Arrangements. You can read my review here.