Monday, March 23, 2009

ASIFA East Screening Recap

Over the last two weeks the selection process for the ASIFA East Festival took place. Here is my recap of it as if it were the last film of the independent evening, Don Hertzfeldt’s, I Am So Proud of you.

I woke up on Thursday morning to the sound of bagpipes playing. Don’t know why though, Tuesday was St. Patricks day.
My father played the accordion when I was a child. I would go into the basement and drag out a huge suitcase in which it lived. He would remove it from the suitcase and work the bellows in and out in order to make it sing. One summer day while playing the accordion in our back yard, my father was hit by a train.
I slipped in the shower and hit my head while singing the song my father used to play. I woke up again to the water hitting me in the face as I lay on the bottom of the tub. I got dressed and headed out to go about the rest of the day. On the way to the subway I stood on the corner waiting for the light when the woman next to me began speaking in French. I didn’t really understand anything she was saying. I had studied French in school but I didn’t really remember any of it.

She seemed to be pointing at something on the ground while asking me a question. The light changed and people crossed but I just stood there to find out what it was that she wanted. The longer I stood there the more she was saying began to make sense to me. She was saying something about a hat, and her daughter.I next noticed that she was wearing a giant Russian style fur hat which seemed to be made out of cat heads. She bent down and picked up the thing on the ground she was pointing at and picked it up. It turned out to be cat which had been hit by a car and apparently was taking it home to make a hat for her daughter and was making sure I didn’t want the cat as well. I told her “no.” She then put it in her bag and walked away.
My head began to start hurting again as I rode the train to a film screening. When I arrived the room was filled with people who seemed to know me, however I no longer recognized them.
I sat down and fell in and out of consciousness as images of cowboy chickens, animal crackers, fish croquettes, super rejects, love, a parasite's delight, knocking hipsters off bikes on a broccoli bridge, big babies, the numbers 7, 8, 9, women punching bags and jumping rope, time machines,
films on rooftops, Steven Colbert, my sisters butt, a rainforest, slapping cats, horny dogs, children being born, 85 year old children, bums running, square and round headed war, dish lovin’ spoons and cows jumping moons, puppets singing song, an owl and rabbit playing checkers, an evil Santa Claus, a mother talking with her son, dancing robots, people drinking coffee, spaghetti made out of pick-up-sticks, hands fighting, a Spanish raccoon, an invisible boy and a giant swirling mass flashed before my eyes.
After the film I went to a bar to see if a drink would help the pounding I my head. Everyone there was drinking beer, congratulating each other and saying “I am so proud of you.”


Elliot Cowan said...

A slice of fried gold.

David B. Levy said...

Very nice post, Justin.
And, it brings up some thought about this new Hertzfeldt short. I really enjoyed it and I think its a fine companion piece to Everything Will Be Okay.

Some comments on the asifaeast exposure sheet blog reveal that not everyone appreciated this film. I think some of Hertzfeldt's fans don't want him to evolve. I've used this analogy before, but it's very much like the folkies who shunned Dylan for going electric. The artist goes where he/she needs to go. I find the journey a fascinating thing to watch.

Elliot Cowan said...

Dave - I think you're a fascinating thing to watch.

justsim said...

Dave-I really enjoy the journey of watching an animator progress as well. That's one of the best things about going to the ASIFA screenings year to year. There are a number of film makers who I look forward to seeing something new every year.

Elliot-Just between the two of us, I think Dave is a fascinating thing to watch as well