Cinequest 2008, March 5-6 Highlights

Has there been enough praise of A Better Life to make it overpraised yet? Is the violence symbolic, metaphorical, cleansing or just there to hold the movie together? Have a squint, then: noon today Thursday at Camera 12. Great logo, anyway.

7pm on Thursday at C12 is this critic’s darling, Who Is K.K. Downey? [...]

Memoir Meltdowns

One of the most intriguing entries at Cinequest, Who Is K.K. Downey? shows Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at Cinequest. (Read Richard von Busack’s review at Somehow, the topic of authors faking memoirs continues to be ever fresh, which may something about how carefully our book editors are vetting their projects. Just recently, Belgian writer [...]

Michael Keaton—Maverick Man

Michael Keaton accepts his Maverick Spirit Award on Saturday, March 1, at the California Theater in San Jose as part of this year’s Cinequest. For full coveage of the festival, check out

(Photo by Felipe Buitrago)

Yesterday, and today at Cinequest (March 3 and 4)

Saw a good part of Una Vida Mejor on the grounds that I’d run into Atlanta filmmaker Andrew James at the lounge upstairs at the Hotel Montgomery. He seemed a little perplexed by the reception of his film; there’d been walkouts. His film, which means “A Better Life” in Spanish, is an impressionistic series of [...]

Cthulhu calls at Cinequest

*The Call of Cthulhu
Even The Yemenite—we don’t pronounce the Mad Arab’s proper name around here, because you never know who or what is listening—might have shuddered at Andrew Leman’s loving and ambitious 45-minute pastiche of German Expressionism. Using vintage costuming, black-and-white photography, make-up, miniatures, music and stop-motion animation, the director and Lovecraft cultist shows [...]

Cinequest, 2008 – Who Likes Short Shorts?

Soft: Shorts Program 4 Standout

Director Simon Ellis’ short film Soft was surely the favorite at the March 1 screening of Shorts Program 4: Signals, Noise and Silence at Camera 12. The most powerful film of the bunch, Soft had audiences members yelling enthusiastic “woots” when the film’

s main antagonist finally got a cricket [...]

Cinequest, 2008—The Aerial

*May Contain Spoilers* The Aerial, March 3 at 5pm, March 8 at 11:30pm, at Camera 12)

Apparently this writer wasn’t the only one who didn’t get the Holocaust references in The Aerial. During the California Theatre’s showing of Esteban Sapir’s visually impressive silent film on Saturday night, the audience erupted into surprised laughter when the image of [...]

Cinequest, 2008—“How to Wrangle a Star…” like pulling teeth…

“It’s a Saturday afternoon and everybody’s hung over…” – Jens Hussey

Such was the general malaise of the crowd and presenters at Cinequest’s March 1 panel “How to Wrangle a Star…and the Money” at the San Jose Repertory Theatre.

Walden Media Business Affairs head Jim Meenaghan and Comerica Entertainment Group vice president Jeff Colvin looked and sounded [...]

Cinequest, 2008—K.K. Downey Is an Upper’s reviewers keep working their DVD players overtime previewing Cinequest films (read full coverage of festival). Richard von Busack found this gem and recommends it to both film and book fans:

*Who Is K.K. Downey?

(U.S.) “He said, ‘Hey, kid. Do you want to snort some China?’ I liked the way it sounded, like I could fit [...]