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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Looking back at the film fest

    The Arizona International Film Festival presented Tucsonans with an incredible variety of entertainment from comedic shorts to feature length dramas. Arts reporters Brandon Specktor, Marisa D. Fisher, and Steven Kwan weigh in on what they saw.

    “”Unsung””

    Pepe Urquijo’s documentary short of R.C. Tomlinson manages to capture a vivid portrait of the relatively unknown and criminally neglected reggae singer. Tomlinson struggles to find an audience in a market that’s attracted to younger talent. That Tomlinson never wavers in his belief of his talent and of his music is made all the more amazing when we get to hear him sing freestyle.

    “”Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What””

    Director Renee Scheltema embarks on a journey of scientific and spiritual exploration of five “”miracles of the mind”” in this lively documentary. Similar to the Buddha, Scheltema is spurred on her journey by her daughter’s vision of a friend’s mom, her own urge to call her father just before his accident, and a spoon bent in her kitchen on camera by a professional spoonbender. She approaches her subjects – bent spoon in hand – without the overly serious tone that have dragged down other similar documentaries.

    “”Days of Being Wrinkle Free””

    Jeremy P. Provost and Joshua J. Provost

    The gist: A tale of one man’s love and loss most profound, set in the most banal of locations: the Laundromat. Told in Mandarin with English subtitles.

    Response: At once deep and hilarious. The extended metaphor of humans as clothes both trivializes and romanticizes the human condition, and the unusual use of Mandarin narration of an event taking place in an ostensibly American Laundromat, told by an ostensibly American character, adds a certain humor and poetry to a relatable narrative. My personal favorite of the festival.

    “”Red Door””

    David Pike, USA, 2008, 34 min.

    “”Is it darkness, behind there, or is it salvation?”” asks Todd Transona of the red door he has been set to guard in his solitary cell of an office. An apocalyptic event may well be taking place in the outside world, but he is cloistered inside with his voice recorder and disturbing visions of blood that make him wonder just what it is that lies beyond.

    “”Manual Práctico del Amigo Imaginario (Abreviado)””

    Ciro Altabás, Spain, 2008, 19 min.

    Winner of Best Comedy Short

    It’s a difficult time to be an imaginary friend. Spandex-wearing superhero Captain Kiloton is hosting the annual conference, where attendees include princesses and oversize animals who are out of work because their friends don’t believe in them anymore. Captain Kiloton has been lucky; his friend Fernando has turned to him for help for 20 years now. But when Fernando gets an unexpected visit from a girl who was his childhood playmate, his attentions turn to her and his relationship with Captain Kiloton becomes much less important. The setting of the film is believably magical and the tone tongue-in-cheek.

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