Thursday, March 14, 2019

Phil attends the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival: Day Nine - March 13, 2019

Hello film fanatics and welcome of Day Nine of my trip to the 29th Annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival!! So far I've seen some excellent movies and having blast seeing old friends and making new ones! After all, what else do you do at film festivals? Oh yeah, watch movies!! And with that, I made my way back down to 3Below Theaters & Lounge in Downtown San Jose to watch my first movie of that day, the romantic comedy BITE ME!
In New York City, there is a subculture of people who identify themselves as vampires. A young woman named Sara (Naomi McDougall Jones) is one of those individuals. While she does drink blood to stay healthy, she doesn't sleep in a coffin, can walk in the daytime, has a job, and her vampire "church" is being audited by the IRS for back taxes. He life takes a turn in an unexpected direction when she meets James (Christian Coulson), the IRS agent assigned to her audit case. Before you know it, the two fall for each other, much to the chagrin of her roommates Chrissy (Naomi Grossman) and Lily (Mahira Kakkar). So how does a vampire find love in New York City, and can love truly conquer all in the real world?

Wow! I was not expecting the film to be quite like this! Meaning, this movie blew my mind!! I was expecting a horror comedy, not a romantic comedy/drama that deals with all-too-real problems that we face in our everyday lives. While there is horror in the film, it's modern day horrors: dead-end jobs, money problems, prejudices, and the fear of never finding that special person to love for the rest of your life. Naomi McDougall Jones soars as Sara; she just exudes talent and is absolutely wonderful in the film! Her on-screen chemistry with her co-star Christian Coulson is so believable that I fell head over heels in love with these two characters! And, in case you are not able to see the film during the festival, the filmmakers are taking the film on tour this spring. Dubbed "The Joyful Vampire Tour of America," the movie will be screened at independent theaters in 20-30 cities! Visit the film's official website to learn more about the tour, and make sure you see it here at Cinequest! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

BITE ME will be screened one last time on SundayMarch 17th at 10:45am at the Century 20 Redwood City.
For film number two, I headed over to the historic California Theatre to watch the Chinese sci-fi film LAST SUNRISE. On one particular day, life changed forever, as the sun flickered and then suddenly faded, leaving Earth in a state of cold darkness. Amateur astronomer Sun Yang (Jue Zhang) along with his neighbor Chen Mu (Yue Zhang) must travel to seek shelter in the area called District Four. Along the way, they must learn to survive their new environment as they trek through this cold and dark, yet beautiful new world.

Now this was an astounding and beautifully made sci-fi movie with a voice! The film is an antithesis to what American science fiction films are. Here is a movie that is smart, unique, and provides us with hope instead of death and violence, like our films. Kudos to co-writer/director Wen Ren for crafting a film that dares to go against the norm of traditional Hollywood films and charting a new course for his highly intelligent, emotionally charged, character driven, and highly original sci-fi film that I hope will be seen by the entire world! 5 out of 5 stars!

LAST SUNRISE will be screened one last time on Saturday, March 16th at 6:30pm at the Century 20 Redwood City.

And that cinephiles was Day Nine of the 29th Annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival!! And there's still plenty more films to watch! Remember the festival ends on Sunday, March 17th so make sure you come out here to Downtown San Jose and see some art! To view the festival's film schedule, purchase tickets and passes, visit their official website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

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