Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Indie Memphis Daily: Wednesday Guide

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 10:47 AM

An abbreviated version of our daily guide as the fest winds down:

Pick of the Day: Hometowner Shorts #2 (6:45 p.m.)

Adam Remsen in Scrambled Eggs
  • Adam Remsen in Scrambled Eggs
Among the six local short films in this program are two award winners from this festival and two new films from past Hometowner Award feature-film winners. Ryan Parker's Woke Up Ugly won the jury award for best local short, while Kenneth Coker's Iwa won a special jury award for "visual storytelling." The program also features Family Tree by Kentucker Audley (Team Picture) and Scrambled Eggs from C. Scott McCoy (Automusik Can Do No Wrong).

Scrambled Eggs is the only one of the bunch we've been able to screen. Greg Akers weighs in:

Scrambled Eggs is a short film suffused with great ideas and visuals, solid acting, and vivid moods. Directed by C. Scott McCoy and written by and starring Adam Remsen, the film is about a man dealing with depression and malaise in the transition between being married (and walking in on his cheating wife) and whatever comes next. Remsen’s character befriends the pizza guy (Brett Magdovitz), has some bad dates at the Cove, and connects with a girl over the Fems. (The film also features music by the Ohio Briars and Pisshorse.) Notable especially for a nice one-take featuring bottle rockets, cigarettes, and beer, and the indelible image of a wedding ring on a golf tee, Scrambled Eggs packs a punch for such a short run time. — Greg Akers

Feature Pick: Women in Trouble (9:15 p.m.)

Director Sebastian Gutierrez lining up a shot for Women in Trouble.
  • Director Sebastian Gutierrez lining up a shot for Women in Trouble.
Something like a California attempt at a Pedro Almodovar flick, writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez's Women in Trouble assembles a herd of attractive actresses (Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton, Connie Britton, Emmanuelle Chriqui) and puts them in provocative situations and various states of undress. Yet it also privileges their viewpoints and ties their stories together in fluid fashion. Featuring a score from Robyn Hitchcock, who appears at Indie Memphis tomorrow and may introduce tonight's screening. — Chris Herrington

Documentary Pick: God's Architects (6:30 p.m.)

Gods Architects
  • God's Architects
With God's Architects, filmmaker Zack Godshall brings the intimately photographed and lushly scored sensibilities of Errol Morris' Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control to five stories about visionary builders who believe they're on a mission from God.

Godshall likes to photograph non-actors in unconventional settings. His previous feature, a comedy called Lo & Behold, used real interviews with New Orleans residents to punctuate the fictional story of young insurance adjustor learning the ropes of his business in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In God's Architects, his camera lingers over every colorful surface while the documentary's equally colorful subjects reveal their building secrets, share their tragedies, and make lucid, heartfelt confessions of faith.

Leonard Knight, a pint-sized Howard Finster-type, uses his special adobe to sculpt an artificial mountain in the California desert. H.D. Dennis, a ninety-two-year-old preacher in Vicksburg, Mississippi, shouts a gospel of “Seek and ye shall find,” but admits he's as inspired by his doubting wife as he is by the Lord. Floyd Banks Jr. sees the image of dead people appearing on the walls of his East Tennessee fortress, while Kenny Hill turns a plot of land in Chauvin, Louisiana, into an elaborate sculpture garden.

Of all the characters in Godshall's menagerie, Shelby Ravellette of Omaha, Arkansas, comes the closest to stealing the show. Guided by his Masonic principles and inspired by stories about the Knights Templar, his castle represents the fulfillment of a promise to a daughter who died tragically. Like many of his fellow builders, Ravellette is a tangle of sophisticated ideas and arrested developments. His castle's turrets are spaced to be exactly a bottle rocket's flight apart.

Being a Southern film festival, Indie Memphis regularly showcases films about folk and visionary artists. God's Architects is one of the more unique and captivating takes on this tried and true subject matter. — Chris Davis

Local Pick: The Best of the L'il Film Fest (9 p.m.)
Live From Memphis' L'il Film Fest showcases favorites from its recent contests, including last weekend's two winners — HG Ray's jury-award-winning Spacecrane 2010 and Adam Remsen's audience-award-winning Frankenstein vs. Dracula: The Opera!.

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