PUT YOUR LEFT FOOT IN, PUT YOUR LEFT FOOT OUT >>
If you flip through the Hollywood rags you'll hit story after story about how the suck-ass economy has been hard on the folks who make and distribute films. "Talk to the hand" is a common response from the Hollywood Man to those people with a flick in the can. The DVD business is increasingly finicky. Video on demand is making up some ground for some distributors, and some viewers, but it's uphill out there for everyone not named James Cameron. In some ways, it's easier than ever to see a movie, but it's the same marketable clone.
Which is why events like the 5th annual Tacoma Film Festival are more important than ever. This is where a future sleeper hit makes its inroad, and where many films get their best (and sometimes only) crack at the wider audience than the neighborhood barbecue. Plus the social incubator of filmmakers and film fans that come together in Tacoma Oct. 7-14 provides the kind of nerd-on-nerd contact you just can't get from streaming at home.
The Weekly Volcano designed the 2010 Tacoma Film Festival program guide, which will hit the South Sound streets Thursday, Sept. 16. We have spent some quality time with the TFF's schedule, and it's safe to say Tacoma will be entertained.
Rumor has it that The Grand's brain trust will post the full schedule on its website today. As a TFF tease, below are the opening and closing night films. You'll note that they're Northwest films, with the two main features official selections of the 2010 SXSW Film Festivals, among others.
You may purchase tickets to the opening and closing nights, as well as all access and weekend passes to the festival here.
Thursday, Oct. 7
- Directed by Aaron Katz
- Drama (96 min) - NW Film
After abandoning a promising academic career in forensic science, aimless Doug returns to Portland to live with his more responsible big sister Gail. He quickly lands a dead-end job in an ice factory, but his latent passion for detective work is stoked when his ex-girlfriend goes missing. Armed with a handful of arcane clues, Doug enlists Gail and co-worker Carlos in a ramshackle investigation that draws the slacker sleuths into Portland's not-quite-seedy underground.
- Official Selection: 2010 SXSW, Los Angeles, San Francisco Film Festivals
- 6 p.m. opening reception with food and cash bar, film at 7:45 p.m., Annie Wright Kemper Theater, 827 N. Tacoma Ave., $17 Grand Cinema members, $20 non-members, $11 movie only
Thursday, Oct. 14
- Directed by Craig Johnson
- Comedy (88 min) - NW Film
Craig Johnson's poised and poignant first feature follows Sam (Mark Duplass), an, unbeknownst to him, washed-up rocker in the early stages of haggard. Jobless and apartment-less, he crashes with his aunt (a compassionate Melissa Leo) as a last resort and becomes reluctant camping-trip chaperone to her teenage son and a pal. But in the stirring Pacific Northwest wilderness a surprising discovery turns dire - and the distance from boy to man must be covered overnight. Duplass's ballsy and at times balls-out performance is a winner, particularly when Sam at long last takes stock of himself: it ain't pretty.
- Official Selection: 2010 SXSW, Newport Beach and Seattle International Film Festivals. More information on the film at trueadolescents.com
Here and Gone
Plays with True Adolescents
- Directed by Zachary Gore
- Drama (6 min) - NW Film
A short silent pixilation about lost love, the worth of memory and our connection to place.
- 6:30 p.m., The Grand Cinema, $15 Grand Cinema members, $17 non-members
LINK: South Sound movie times