After my screening ended Saturday AM (which you can read about on the previous post here if you are so inclined) I had the whole day stretched before me with nothing to do but see other films, which if you know me at all is the closest I get to unbridled happiness. Walked up to the Boise Creative Center and saw a short called AND COUNTING and a feature called DEAD RIVER. Dead River was real unique, very deliberate in pace and confident in using long swaths of dialogue to propel the story forward and still managaing to be tense and poignant in parts. I really dug it.
Next film was across town. I followed my sputtering GPS which gave me the general idea and found myself at a place called Cathedral of the Rockies, which I presumed was the cool reverent name for a movie theater but was in fact, a house of worship. Walked in and sat down in the pews, an unfamilar exercise for me, and watched a short film called TO LIVE DELIBERATELY and a feature documentary titled QUEENS OF THE ROLEO about the dead sport of log rolling and how it relates to the women of Lewiston, ID. Learnt during the Q&A that the filmmaker Dave James is of Bend, Oregon extraction.
next up was back to the hotel for nap and sandwiches. met some other filmmakers at mixer and talked shop. Always my favorite part of festivals, aside from watching movies, is meeting other filmmakers and hearing how much their stories cohere or diverge from my own. Afterwards I got in uber and went back to Boise Creative Center to see the shot-in-Portland DEET N BAX SAVE THE WORLD, by the director Diablo Dean, which was memorable for a lot of graphic content and unmotivated nudity and weed. (Also for seeing some Portland talent and locations!) Not exactly the sort of film I seek out or am drawn too but I chose to recall that I was out of the house and unencumbered with kids and that helped me relax and enjoy myself a tiny bit more. (Ready access to beer/s probably would have helped too.) Sometimes I find my own film snobbishness gets in the way. This movie can likely find a robust life in the midnight/cult end of the pool.
Afterward we all headed to a bar called Reef in downtown Boise and I sat with Dave, the log-rolling documentarian, as he won prize for best documentary. Best narrative film went to the Portland-based HOMESKILLET by Phiamma Ellis, which I was eager to see but didn't b/c it screened at the same time as THE BLACK SEA. Between me and Dave Jones and Phiamma and Diablo Dean, Oregon was well represented at the fest.
All conversations effectively ended when a band got onstage so I headed back to the room.
The next morning I was about to eat at the Mariott Breakfast Bar when a fire alarm evacuated the whole hotel. After the all-clear, I headed back up to Ming Studios for a short film series. first up GREENLAND, which was awesome. perfectly pitched.
Then a short doc called CODE OAKLAND which had me weeping inside a few minutes and caused a swell of optimism in me. In it someone says "We live in the world we create" which resonated deeply with me and and has stayed near me since.
Afterward was a feature called RESURRECTING MCGINN(S) also at Ming Studios. I wasn't able to see the whole thing due to a technical snag that caused the film to not play properly. But I did get to see the first 20 min or so and found it compelling and unique.
Since there was a screening nearby at the Idaho Ballet, I walked two blocks over and got there just in time for GHOST OF A CHANCE which has as its claim to fame being an all-IDAHO enterprise, including a couple of staffers I met at the festival who were acting in movie. While clearly hampered by budget limitations there were some really effectively eerie parts and I found it enjoyable. I had to catch a ride to the airport before the screening ended though, so I had to duck out and didn't get to see the film in its entirety, not to mention a couple others that I had to miss.
All told, a pretty great spate and range of films, short and feature and narrative and documentary at this first iteration of the Boise Film Festival. Very much looking forward to future years and seeing how they grow and expand.