Sunday, March 4, 2012

Phil attends CINEQUEST 22: Day Four-March 2, 2012

Hello my faithful readers and welcome to Day Four of the Cinequest Film Festival! Now today I saw four films, including a cool, scary midnight film. So let's start this party off right now!

BEST INTENTIONS: Directed by Adrian Sitaru, the film follows Alex, who I would describe as a erratic, neurotic, a control freak, and a severe mommy's boy. When his mother is diagnosed as a stroke victim and is hospitalized, Alex's inability to stay calm suffers as his anger and mistrust of the hospital staff escalates while his mother's health simultaneously gets better. Alex soon spirals out of control, thus pushing away those who love him, mainly his parents and his girlfriend.

What I loved about the film was the ingenious why it was shot. Instead of the usual set ups, each scene was told from the POV (point of view) perspective of someone within the scene. From Alex to his mother, his father, doctors, friends, patients, it really gave the film depth, it's as if we're right there in the film experiencing it all first hand. Another great film to watch. The film will be shown again on Wednesday, March 7th at 4pm and again on Saturday, March 10th at 11:15am. Also check out the film's official Facebook page at

FORGETTING THE GIRL: Directed by Nate Taylor, this psychological drama stars Christopher Denham as Kevin Wolfe, a New York photographer who is a nice but very shy and awkward guy. He asks out every single one of his models and actresses, but the end result is always the same: no. As a result, Kevin tries to forget each girl by doing some sort of activity. Determined to uncover the mystery surrounding his little sister's death (she drowned in the family pool at age 6), he is positive that there is that one girl out there who can make him forget about her. Little does he realize that his assistant Jamie (Lindsay Beamish from SHORTBUS) is in love with him, which will only make things more complicated for Kevin.

The film was preceded by a comedy short entitled HEAT WAVE. It was Joey Grossfield and told the story of the sunbathing girls on a hot rooftop. One of them calls her ex-boyfriend looking for her blue dress and ends up getting an earful from him. So she passes the phone around to her girlfriends all the while the ex is oblivious to the it! Very funny short film. Also worth noting is that the girl that called the ex was none other than Digital Playground contract porn star Stoya!

This film was a complete surprise. While it sounded interesting in the festival program, I was really blown away by how complex the film was. One could say it's a psychological examination of the human mind, while blending humor and thought provoking issues of loneliness and grief of losing a loved one. Rejection and abandonment issues also rises to the surface. After the screening, both Taylor and Beamish participated in a great Q&A session. (Also this reviewer was able to score an interview with director Nate Taylor. Make sure to read that interview on Monday!) The film will be shown again on Sunday. March 4th at 9pm and again on Tuesday, March 6th at 2:30pm. Visit the film's official website at

MIMESIS: Directed by Douglas Schulze, the film asks that age old question, "Why watch a horror movie, when you can live it?" Using George Romero's 1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as a template, the film follows a group of seven strangers who attend a party only to be drugged, kidnapped and waking up to participate in reliving NOTLD by fighting off a group of what appears to be zombies. But looks can be deceiving, as the strangers soon discover that they are pawns in a bigger game that none of them could've predicted. Also look for a special appearance by veteran horror actors Sid Haig (SPIDER BABY, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) and Courtney Gains (CHILDREN OF THE CORN).

The film does provide some good thrill and chills, and by using an established film as the basis, director Schulze crafted a very good film that does make you think if there are people out there who do try to recreate their favorite horror films in our world. There is a difference between the real world and the "reel" world and the film explores both sides of this topic. The film will be shown again on Thursday, March 8th at 2:30pm. Visit the film's official Facebook page at

The final film I saw today was the midnight screening of POV: A CURSED FILM (POV NOROWARETA FIRUMU). This Japanese horror flick had a warning at the beginning, stating that the filmmakers weren't sure if they should show the film, and to please not tell anyone about the it, nor reveal the ending of it. So I guess you'll just have to see the film for yourself. The film will be shown again on Friday, March 9th at 10:15pm. Also check out the film's official website at

Another night of movie magic here at Cinequest! Remember the festival will be running till March 11th so there's plenty of 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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