Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Phil attends CINEQUEST 22: Day Eight-March 6, 2012

Morning everybody and welcome to Day Eight of my trip to the Cinequest Film Festival! I saw another amazing five films so let's get this show on the road!

My first film of the day was WARRIOR WOMAN, a really intense drama directed by Julie Reichert. The film stars Karen Young as Alice, a breast cancer survivor who is still being haunted by her horrific surgery. Because of her surgery and treatment, she is broke, stressed, and just frustrated with her situation in life. When Alice's student Thuy asks her for help and to save her from her abusive husband, they get in Alice's car and drive off searching for salvation. Her car breaks down they are towed to a car repair garage that offer the help they're seeking. They are taken to a house were a group of atypical women who live their lives on their own terms. Among these strong women, Alice begins to come to term with her surgery and grows as a person and as a woman.

The movie is a powerful film about womanhood, sisterhood, and to always be true to yourself. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women. It's something that filmmaker Reichert knows all too well. She too is a breast cancer survivor and during her Q&A, she was very candid about her experience and stated that the film was based on her story. Combining metaphors and symbolism with a emotional subject matter and strong acting on the part of Young, WARRIOR WOMAN was an amazing film that both women and men should see. Today was unfortunately the last screening of the film, but you can learn more about the film by visiting its official website at

Film number two for me was the Slovenian drama A TRIP (IZLET). The film is about three best friends Ziva, Gregor, and Andrej. Gregor is a soldier who is about to embark on a mission to Afghanistan and Ziva is going to study abroad. Andrej is their gay friend who hates everything, himself included. The group sets out on their annual roadtrip through the very beautiful Slovenian countryside. During their trip, the three reminisce about the past, old high school memories while avoiding their problems facing them now as adults. Soon their memories begin to unearth buried emotions and lies as they ponder why they become friends to begin with.

Here is a film that I could relate to: sometimes it's fun to live in the past, especially if it was fun. We all think back to our youth and high school days with fond memories, when life was simple and we didn't have a care in the world. Now as adults, we are burden with responsibilities with work and paying bills and such. Here the three friends slowly realize that they cannot avoid growing up so they try to relive the past one last time before they enter the adult world. Again another great film but like WARRIOR WOMAN, today was the last screening of the film as well. However you can visit their official Facebook page at

Film number three of the day was MUST COME DOWN, directed by Kenny Riches. This drama/comedy focuses on Holly (Ashley Burch), a jobless twenty-one year old who is having difficulty getting over her recent breakup. She spends her time buying Styrofoam and making tombstones so she can "bury her relationship." Her life becomes interesting though when she meets Ashley (David Fetzer) at the bust stop that she frequents. Ashley is in his late twenties who comes to town to relive his childhood by planning to break into the house that he grew up in with his parents before their divorce destroyed his world. The two become close friends as they revel to one another their faults and insecurities while drawing strength from them.

Both Fetzer and Burch attended the screening and participated in a fun Q&A session with the audience. He revealed that the house the Ashley breaks into was in real life the house that he grew up in! His parents are also divorced and he based the film on his own life. Overall a really touching and funny film that I enjoyed very much. Yet again, today was the last screening of the movie, but you can still visit the film's official website at

The fourth film of the day was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the sexiest films I have ever seen. FOUR LOVERS could be best described as a French movie about sex, or a sexy French movie or a sexy French sex film about sex. Anyway, the film's about two married couples who meet, strike up a friendship, and have hot and nasty sex with each other's spouses! That's pretty much it people!

Actually I really liked this film. It was the most adult orientated film at the festival. It was a film that was about adults and about adult subject matter and treated it with maturity. It was refreshing to see that since most films aimed at adults as of late are more immature and somewhat crass, so this was like a breathe of fresh air. And yes, today was the last screening of the film (noticed the trend here follks!). Bu if you would like to know more about the movie, visit the film's official French website (its alternate title is HAPPY FEW) at

The fifth and final film I saw today was the awesome documentary BEL BORBA WAS HERE (BEL BORBA AQUI). The film doesn't follow the standard documentary storytelling. Instead, directors Burt Sun and Andre Costantini document Borba's uncanny artistic abilities as the we see him work on a series of projects that are just absolutely astounding! Known as "The People's Picasso," his art decorates his hometown of Salvador and we see first hand his methods at bringing his artwork to life.

The documentary was preceded by a short film called  L TRAIN, about a young girl who has a difficult life, until she sees someone struggling with being handicapped that brings her life into perspective.

I met Bel Borba earlier in the week and I told him I would see the film. Unfortunately he had to leave this morning to go back to Brazil, but both of the filmmakers were here to participate in a Q&A session. Just an awe inspiring documentary about how one person can bring art to the masses and by improving his town for the better. The film will be screened again on Thursday, March 8th at 1:30pm.

Another incredible day of movie watching! Remember the festival runs till March 11th so there's still time for you to join in on the fun here in San Jose! To view the festival's film schedule and purchase tickets and passes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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