Thursday features a treat for fans of local film with "Memphis Fried Movie," a presentation of short films made by the Corduroy Wednesday Film Company and filmmaker G.B. Shannon. If you've attended any Indie Memphis or other short-film screenings in the last seven or eight years, you've probably seen something by one of these creators. Their films are festival regulars, and for good reason: These are high-quality productions with excellent acting, incisive scripts, and huge entertainment value. Seeing them all at one shot at Malco's Studio on the Square will make for a great time.
Corduroy Wednesday is the collective of filmmakers Edward Valibus, Benjamin Rednour, and Erik Morrison. Shannon is a frequent collaborator, and they all share a complementary style and wit and call upon a troupe of actors.
There are many highlights of "Memphis Fried Movie," but perhaps none fresher than Songs in the Key of Death, a terrific 12-minute film that premiered at Indie Memphis last month. The mockumentary was written by Shannon and Valibus and directed by the latter. It takes place after a zombie apocalypse (the Dark Resurrection of the Undead) has occurred. The one bright spot about zombies: They have perfect pitch! Billie Worley stars as FJ Ackerman, an entrepreneur who tunes pianos with zombie vocalizations and rents the monsters out for parties. The film is organized as a fake CBS News Sunday Morning-type piece, with the Flyer's Chris Davis as a Charles Kuralt stand-in. The whole thing is exceptionally fun.
Songs in the Key of Death was just accepted to the Oxford Film Festival, taking place in February 2014, a fact which underscores why "Memphis Fried Movie" exists in the first place: Admission to the event is pay what you can, because the filmmakers are trying to raise some funds for expenses such as festival entry fees.
The films are virtually no budget, but you can't tell. Valibus says, "The films we are screening are very DIY but with the idea that if we can make the audience think we spent a lot of money to produce it, well, that's just as good if not better than spending lots of money to make a high-production-value film. If you gave us a million dollars, we'll try to make it look like 10 million was spent."
Two other standouts in Thursday's omnibus are Genesis on Demand (a brilliant piece starring Ben Siler as a god-like designer stuck on deadline in corporate hell) and Woke Up Ugly (a tale made by and starring Shannon that strikes at the heart of what it's like to not feel good enough to be loved).
Oh, I also can't fail to mention the hilarious CottonBallLand, which is like an episode of Drunk History set in Memphis.
On hand at "Memphis Fried Movie" will be special-edition posters for Songs in the Key of Death, designed by Memphian (and Flyer graphic designer) Lauren Rae Holtermann.
"Memphis Fried Movie"
Thursday, December 12th
7 and 9 p.m.
Studio on the Square
Pay what you can