I've had a pretty busy weekend, but I did manage to catch a few flicks at the new Indie Spirit Film Festival. Although I only saw one film on Saturday, that seemed like the fun day to me - a bunch of strange films in strange locations scattered around the Springs. Sunday was all at the Pikes Peak Center, which was fine, but kind of huge for the size of the event. I didn't make it to the opening film on Friday, "Everyone But You," but director/star Eric Shiveley did bake me some cookies. Tasty!
- Saturday night, we went to the freediving documentary "Sink Faze" (I wanted to see the horror flicks, but my wife wasn't into it). Actually, calling this a documentary is pushing things a little - this is to freediving (scuba diving without an air tank) what a Warren Miller flick is to skiing. It didn't really try to explain the sport, or much about who the people were, it just presented the 2006 record-setting freedives. Still, the filming was pretty good and the sport itself is offbeat enough to make for compelling footage.
- Sunday, I went to "305," a "300" spoof by David and Dan Holechek. I'd been talking to the twin brothers, both Air Academy grads now living in Los Angeles, for the last couple months (I actually saw a link to the Youtube short the movie was based on and posted it to the TV Talk blog before I knew there was any local connection). I was interested to see whether the feature film would be as funny as the short. It wasn't, but it came pretty close. For a low-budget, green-screen spoof, I thought they did a pretty good job. The audience was laughing, which, as David Holechek said afterward, is the most important thing. "305" is out July 7 on DVD.
- Lastly, I saw "Minotauro," on the strong recommendation of festival co-founder Matt Stevens. This is, I swear to god, "El Mariachi" meets "Like Water for Chocolate." Wrap your mind around that one! It's not nearly as silly as "Mariachi," or as affected as "Chocolate," but there's some nice cinematography, good performances, and I found the final scenes moving. Now that I think of it, "Pan's Labyrinth" is probably a better comparison. The mixture of shoot-'em-up and family relationship drama was uneven in places, but on the whole it was well worth seeing.
Three films ain't much given that they screened more than 80 at the festival. If you saw something you liked, post a review in the comments section and I'll tack it onto this list.