Thursday, May 26, 2011

DC 48 Hour Film Project 2011: I saw one set of the "best"; a couple films about teachers, and a couple sci-fi's stand out

I attended one screening of “The Best of the 48 Hour Film Festival” this evening at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD, at 7 PM.

The required script line was “I’m taking things one day at a time” and the required prop was a pencil.

Here’s the formal list of all the 13 films according to the site:

Number 2” by Spectrum (adventure).  A hit (disguised as a burglarly) has consequences three years later, and a man winds hanged upside down.  Maybe a spoof on Disney’s “I Am Number 4”, but not filmed in Ohio (it should be).

Write Hand Man” by Greenview Terrace (comedy). This is a satire on disability, if such a concept works. An appealing young man has a chromosomal abnormality making his fingers into pencils (rather like the tips of Lady Gaga’s shoulders). The team leader, wearing a Nationals Cap, sat in the row before me.

Finding Angora Mynx” by Spastic Spatula LTD (spoof). Just remember that most transvestites, or men who wear panty hose, are straight. This film provides no exception.

A Formal Affaire” by The Lower 48 (romance).  Didn’t register that much with me. I'm not much for EDS dress codes. 

Bob” by Crowded Elevator (black comedy), directed by Big Tony, written by Andrew Bradley. This one touched a serious topic, teachers getting involved with students (like “Wuss” at the Baltimore film festival). It’s usually a serious crime in itself. In this case, the student has knocked off the teacher with a pencil, something the teacher’s wife had wanted to do. But the problem is important, as I have noted before.

Casting Call” by 3/4 Films (layered black comedy), directed by Chad Vossen. This is a bit of a variation of the former. A number of rather handsome actors audition for the part of a “teacher” in a proposed indie film. (It could be my own “Do Ask Do Tell”). The trouble is, something bad happens to each one of them. It’s a trap.

Mayapple”, by Actors With Strings (Fantasy or Sci-Fi, maybe even Freudian horror). This film was shot just in 4:3 aspect. But it was one of the most interesting, a takeoff on “Gulliver’s Travels” (the Hollywood film I did not see). A very handsome and virile actor (”Phillip”) lies, fully clothed, in a field, slowly attacked by Lilliputians (as puppets). They get as far as cutting off some of his pantlegs and shirtsleeves.  Then he outwits them. Could this little gem have been inspired by Carter Smith’s “Bugcrush”?  Strand Releasing would like this one.

Restraint” by Cavegirl Productions (comedy). Didn’t stick for me.  I think people can tell a lot about me by which movies make enough impression on me to blog about them.

Scott” by Courtesy Flush Films (fantasy and comic horror). A father is concerned about his adult son’s incipient breakdown in a boudoir-bathroom. The trouble is, both of them are scheduled for “The Event”  -- 
maybe to make them immortal, but puppets in some bigger god’s world. A very curious concept.

Tenure” by Frozen Penguins (modern film noir).  The use of “Penguins” for a production company name is interesting because of the documentary “March of the Penguins” with Morgan Freeman. But this little gem is not about commitment to reproduction. As one could guess, decisions at a local college as to which professors or teachers to keep and which not to could invoke a backlash, here violent. That last idea might not sit well with some people, given some recent history (2007, and then again this year).

Relative” by WIT Films (family entertainment).  Loyalty to blood is a moral absolute to some people (even “Jake 2.0” for those who remember the UPN series).

Partners in Crime” by Unknown Penguin (modern film noir). Gangsters rule here, in the home, in full Technicolor, although the social climate suggests the movie plots of the 1940s.

Breaking the Bond” by “Lee Mellow & His Ambient Rock Gods” (animated sci-fi). Go ahead and read about grapheme on Wikipedia. Professor Michio Kaku talked about molecular transistors made from grapheme in his book “Physics of the Future” (my books blog, May 23). This allotrope of carbon is considered important for future experiments in quantum theory. AP chemistry students ought to know something about this before their AP credit exams.

The format of the contest reminds me of the “director’s contest” of Project Greenlight, which ought to be revived. I found a 48 Hour team at the Westover Market in Arlington in 2009, making a comedy.

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