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? [...]

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—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 [...]

Movie Vehicles at Cinequest 2008

They often call movies “vehicles,” and the point was driven home Friday evening (Feb. 29) on Day 3 of this year’s Cinequest film festival in downtown San Jose. For the premiere showing of  Sherman’s Way, a comedy about a California road trip in a classic MGB convertible, some cherry examples of the lead roadster [...]

Cinequest 2008—Let the Coverage Begin‘s extensive coverage of Cinequest 2008, running Feb. 27–March 9 in downtown San Jose, can be read here. We’ve got reviews of a big chunk of the films—features, documentaries and shorts—showing at the festival, just about everything that would actually play in our DVDs (some global agency, maybe the U.N., needs to put an end [...]