Monday, March 24, 2014

After Midnight

Anyone who came of age in the 1970s knows all about midnight movies.  Those were the days of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead and anything by John Waters.  Going to a midnight movie then was as much of a party as taking in a flick. 

But you need a special kind of movie to host such an event.  Not just any horror movie will do.  And they don't have to be a horror film.  Boobs and booze comedies make great midnight fare.  For the intellectual hemp heads, there is the absurdist school of, "dude, you just blew my mind," late night mind munch. 

Dances With Films has a long history of holding up the tradition of the classic midnight movie.  From The Corridor, to Chastity Bites, to Disorientation, and many more – we have done our best to keep the party going.  Last year when we expanded to 11 days, aka two weekends, it meant we doubled our midnight movie slots.  We're doing the same this year.

Why do I bring this up?  Because I don't think I've seen 4 midnight-movie-worthy submissions.  If you have a film you think a classy "discovery" type festival like Dances With Films might not accept – you're wrong.  We love crass, campy, crap (said with love).  Got a horror movie that sticks to the 3-Bs rule (Blood, Beasts and Boobs) – send it in.  Drunken frat boys trying to re-create a 1980's John Cusack movie?  Love it.  After the Dances With Kids have gone to bed - we're going to get the party started!

Speaking of movies we love – we discovered some new ones at this week's short screening.  I particularly liked a film that incorporated the sound mix as a major character in the story.  Nice work!

Something we saw last year, and a bit more this year, have been compilations of 4 or 5 episodes of a web series.  These can be fun, but they have a couple of drawbacks.  First, they've already premiered.  They're on the web.  How are we going to get people off of their couches to come see something they've already seen, and can see again anytime they like?  Next, is a lack of an ending.  By definition, a continuing series does just that, continues.  If the episode arc comes to a natural end, like a Tom Baker-era Dr. Who 4-episode story, then fine.  If not, it doesn't work well as a short.

Finally, as we come close to the end of the viewing process, we start to screen the movies with an "N" scribbled on the DVD in blue Sharpe.  The "N" stands for none, as in Premieres.  Not a World Premiere, not an American Premiere, not a West Coast or LA Premiere.  These movies can be frustrating, as they are usually good.  But because they have been seen so much on the circuit, we're less likely to program them, in favor of equally good movies that haven't had those opportunities. 

Often the World Premiere filmmakers have done their homework.  They know our reputation.  They have put other festivals on hold in hopes of a Dances With Films premiere.  Are they going to get preferential treatment?
You betcha!
Thanks for reading.  Good luck.

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