Monday, April 26, 2010

IFFB 2010: pics from day 5

I caught MY SUICIDE (kudos to IFFB organizer Dan for calling out "Teen Suicide: Don't Do It!" as part of his announcement for seating the film! =) and loved it. It's a familiar high school angsty set-up story, but told from a POV with a mastery of new media soaking in the vocabulary of pop culture and film. So, really, how am I NOT gonna love it, right?

I did go in with my guard a bit up, a bit cautious, concerned about being blasted with eMpTyVee-regurgitated youthy coolness, or even worse, an amalgam of film school projects like NATURAL BORN KILLERS, but the film delivers something much more authentic in voice and style, something that feels real and true to a teen's voice (our "hero", Archie) and sensibilities. Sure there's cliche stuff woven into the plot and characters, but hey, things sometimes become cliche for a reason, right? And we're talking about teen angst and suicide, sadly, pretty unavoidable in that territory.

Anyhow, director David Lee Miller conducted a short Q&A after the film...

A question about David Carradine's passing came up. (I was initially a bit skeptical about the introduction and role of his character, Archie's filmmaker idol, into this teen angst stew, but it plays out really well, with heart.) Miller explaned that MY SUICIDE was not the last film that he worked on, that Carradine loved the material and his grizzled guru of a character and they had to force any pay on him for his work (SAG rules), and that given his natural and powerful lust for life, there is no way that his death was a suicide.

After staying for the Q&A session after MY SUICIDE, I rushed to make the SHORTS 6: NARRATIVES program, but was turned away at the door—no seats. Blerg. So, I opted for ORGASM, INC, a documentary on the big pharma's quest for a "female viagra," which, it turns out, takes many more forms than a simple pill. In its survey of the industry's research and development of this medical drug/treatment/device (yikes!), the film traces how the term and phenomenon now known as "female sexual dysfunction" kind of brought itself into being, essentially creating/identifying a very general and common set of "symptoms" as a disease that requires a "cure." Frickin evil. The film's personalities and their experiences keep thing entertaining and even humorous, even when discussing some extreme procedures and propaganda developed in the pursuit of this and related "cures."

Director Liz Canner conducted a post-show Q&A...

Unfortunately, I didn't get to stick around for much of it, as my last film of the evening, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, was likely gonna be packed. I wanted to get in line early enough to wrangle a good seat in the main auditorium.

Thanks to KP for joining for MY SUICIDE, and to JD for getting dibs on a good spot in line for THE KILLER INSIDE ME (as well as filling in a couple of plotty blanks that my overtired movie-assimilator, my so-called-brain, didn't manage to fill on its own, ack). KILLER rocks in a period AMERICAN PSYCHO kinda way, y'know, without any pussyfooting about whether Bad Stuff happens. =) I really dig the pitch perfectness of the mood and era of the film, and gotta say, Casey Affleck is pretty amazing as the Bad Man in this. I'm right pleased with all the noiry film I've gotten to see on the big screen in the last few weeks, and from all parts of the world (TERRIBLY HAPPY, MOTHER, THE SQUARE, RED RIDING, and at the IFFB, PERRIER'S BOUNTY, DOWN TERRACE, and KILLER INSIDE ME). I'd be very happy if this is a wave that has yet to crest in cinema for the next year or so.

Just sayin'

Hey, here's a snap of my IFFB 2010 additions to my inventory of enchanted loot!
Kindest thanks to filmmakers John Hawkes and Amber Benson for indulging a fanboy's requests! They've given me the autograph of the man who brought Sol Star to DEADWOOD and (the voice of) Utah Johnny Montana to BRISCO COUNTY, as well as a smiley face from the woman who brought Tara Maclay to UC Sunnydale. I hope that their WristStrong bracelets serve them well, raising awareness, in themselves and others, of their precious and alas, oft-overlooked connecting bit of flesh between hand and arm (please pardon the medical jargon). Wear and share them in good health and continued storytelling greatness!

Keep on keepin on~


Arvin Bautista said...

How was the turnout/crowd of the screening for My Suicide?

cabinboy said...

Unfortunately, it didn't screen in one of the large rooms, but I'm certain the screening sold out.

You're the man behind the paint-on-video and animation? BEAUTiful and wonderfully fun stuff! Way to make the most of some really awesome creative opportunities! I mean, c'mon, getting to riff on THE DEER HUNTER and THE MATRIX! w Joe Mantegna?! in a film featuring David Carradine!

I wish MY SUICIDE had gotten a second screening during the festival, so that I could harass friends to check it out, but this year's fest looks to have pretty much maxed out screening opportunities in the venues available to them.

Arvin Bautista said...

Haha, thanks. I'm also Archie's web designer/illustrator. My sister lives in Boston but the festival hadn't done much of a job putting screening schedules up online ahead of time, so I don't even know if she and her friends knew to make it. Sucks indeed that it was just one screening.

Anyway, we're so far still on track to release in the second half of the year, so don't hesitate to join the facebook page (, it's the best way to spread the word and the news on our film.

Thanks for the update on the screening!

cabinboy said...

Just saw an article about this film creating a lot of stir and inspiration for outreach, only the film is now called ARCHIE'S FINAL PROJECT.

Not sure if it's getting exposure in theaters or other channels right now, but I'll be looking for it. I wonder if there have been any edits since its IFFB screening last year...