Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Excellent Time!

Hosting John Ettensohn this weekend.

'Student Shorts' At The 16th Annual Sacramento Film And Music Festival

On Friday - September 11th, I went to see 'Student Shorts' at the 16th Annual Sacramento Film And Music Festival, and to cheer on Nora Unkel with her entry, "The Goblin Song". All the films were technically excellent. Here was the schedule:
5PM - Sacramento Student SHORTS

Tupilak – Dir. AJ Miller and David Walker - Sacramento State University (17:27)
Causation - Dir. Emonee LaRussa - AI Sacramento (9:07)
Nothing – Dir. Keith E. Curry Jr – Academy of Art Unversity (19:08)
Bait – Dir. Davon Davis – AI Sacramento (12:48)
Shrinkage - Dir. Rahne Keith - AI Sacramento (9:12)
Beyond – Dir. Xang Yang - AI Sacramento (8:51)
A Bum Trip – Dir. Kevin Dustin Pfannkuche and Jason DeBruhl – AI Sacramento (3:04)
Goblin Song – Dir. Nora Unkel - New York University Tisch (20:00)

I was surprised by the coherent point-of-view of all the films. There were commonalities, such as a grim, dreamy, disturbed paranoia, that all the filmmakers tended to have.

I attribute this common viewpoint to the fact that all the submitters are young - the post 9/11 generation at work - and despite their differences of subject material and stories, they all tend to look at the world from a similar perspective. Since most of the filmmakers were from the Sacramento area, there was also a tendency to use the Sierra Nevada as a filming location.

"Tupilak" was good - the enemy resides within! (or, at least in the Sierras.)

"Causation" annoyed me - I'm not much interested in video gaming and mind-meld technology, and losing the actors altogether in a silicon matrix seemed like a blessing.

"Nothing" puzzled me. It wandered through dark, forbidden, purposeless spaces before finding its message, but that transition seemed forced.

"Bait" was very grim: basically a slasher film. Despite the fact it was well-made, I hated its relentless darkness. (I noticed the striking-looking primary actress was in the audience - she needs better material!)

"Shrinkage" was amusing, but not much more than that.

"Beyond" I liked. A restless young woman feels her destiny lies elsewhere, heads to the Sierras for her purpose, is seized by aliens, and ends up in a galaxy far, far away, in a locale that also looks something like the Sierras, but with three large, gorgeous moons hovering in the sky. "Oh look, they're in Nevada County!" I said. (Zoe laughed at that.)

"A Bum Trip" could have been about Nevada County too. It was a Claymation animated psychedelic short. Very well done!

Nora's "The Goblin Song" (featuring the breathtaking Cody Craven among other excellent actors and actresses) shied away from the Sierra Nevada in favor of the Sacramento River Delta. Like the other films, disturbed dreaminess was there too, but it was literary in nature, based on a 19th-Century Italian poem, with the healthiest-looking sickly lead actress I've ever seen (but better to be healthy in order to please the crowd, since film audiences actually hate to see real, suffering people), and above all, it was a musical! And so well-made! With so many contributions from our Davis crowd! For these reasons, Nora's work was easily the best!

Nora (center) and her posse.

Nora Unkel Screens "The Goblin Song" In 'Student Shorts' At The 16th Annual Sacramento Film Festival

"The Goblin Song" Teaser Trailers

The Goblin Song- Teaser Trailer from Nora Unkel on Vimeo.

She did so well! Head and shoulders above the other films!

What An Absurd Economy We Have!

At Home Depot, astonished they sell beach pebble from India. That can't be the low-cost alternative, can it?

Ash Beach Pebble. $12.97 for 40 lb. bag. Better be the best pebble on the planet to be worth the freight.

De-Evolution of the GOP