ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

Great Danes! SF IndieFest 14 opens Thursday at San Francisco’s Roxie Theatre, 14 days of brilliant, weird, and doggie! independent films, February 9-14, 2012

The 14th Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival  (IndieFest)  starts Thursday, February 9th, 2012 bringing two weeks of the very best of category-defying independent film on the planet to San Francisco’s Roxie Theater.  This year’s line-up includes 30 features, nine documentaries, six locally produced films, six shorts programs, and a host of special events.  And there are more inspired wild theme parties than ever before, all over San Francisco, including an opening night Spinal Tap Tribute, the (9th Annual!) Big Lebowski Party, a Roller Disco (half-price if you show up in costume), and a special Valentine’s Day Love Bites: 80’s Power Ballad Sing-a-long.   But the program that most captured ARThound’s attention is Everything Is Terrible!, which includes the film DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! which is composed entirely of found VHS dog footage and an accompanying “live in the fur show” program.  The film promises to be a diamond in the Ruff and its creators, the Chicago –based collective Everything Is Terrible!, will be in full body mascot delivering a psychedelic show which they promise will pick up where Cirque Du Soleil and The Rock-A-Fire Explosion took off.  

But wait—there is a serious component to DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! and the zany group behind it.  Everything Is Terrible! is a collective of seven furry, lovable internet monsters who are first order archivists and artists─they take forgotten VHS tapes of all kinds and edit them down into easily digestible videos that go viral.  They trolled old VHS footage for over a year to produce this feature-length film.  

DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ!  is a zany remake of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s brilliantly weird 1973 psychedelic cult classic The Holy Mountain (La Montaña Sagrada).  This epic─screened at Cannes in 1973, honored as a Cannes Classic in 2006, and released on Blue-ray last year─is the journey of a Christ-like vagabond and thief who encounters a spiritual guru who introduces him to six wealthy individuals who each symbolize a planet in the solar system.  Together, they embark on a spiritual pilgrimage to the holy mountain, to unseat the gods and become immortal themselves.  Lots of drugs were consumer in its making.   As much as The Holy Mountain was a product of its time, so is DOGGIEWOGGIEZ! POOCHIEWOOCHIEZ! 

Sergio Caballero’s feature debut Finisterrae is another film that seems destined for cult status and cleverly uses humor and absurdity to deflect from its metaphysically hefty theme.  Two Russian –speaking ghosts, in white sheets (evoking large trick-or-treaters) embark on a fantastical pilgrimage to the Spanish holy city of Santiago de Compostela in search of new bodies to inhabit.  One of them occasionally rides a dappled gray horse or a wheelchair and the other carries around a colourful wind flag as they travel through rich landscapes that are the stuff of dreams and home to some fantastical oddities.  There’s a forest of trees wearing plastic ears and whispering in Catalan, a vivid flashback to Catalan video art of the 1980’s, and a singing hippie.  All this, cased in lush and languid cinematography, is a container for a philosophical discussion on the meaning of life and dreams.  As weird as it all sounds, the film is mesmerizing and comes together as a powerful surreal odyssey.  Finisterrae grabbed the top award at the 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam.  Finisterrae’s director, Caballero, a multidisciplinary musician and artist, is also the co-director of Bacelona’s acclaimed Sónar, the International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art.

Stay-tuned to ARThound for more IndieFest coverage.  And if you missed last year’s IndieFest coverage, you likely missed another doggie classic, “Worst In Show,” a riveting behind-the-scenes documentary by filmmakers Don Lewis of Petaluma and John Beck of Benecia that covered the entrants in Petaluma’s 2010 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.  Click here to ARThound’s coverage.    

Details:  “Everything is Terrible 2012” is Friday, February 17, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. at Roxie Cinemas, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia) in San Francisco.  Tickets are $15.00; buy them here.

General Information about IndieFest:  All screenings take place at the Roxie Cinemas, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia) in San Francisco.  Film tickets are $11 for each regular screening and $20 for Opening Night (includes the film plus the after-party). 5-film vouchers are $50, 10-film vouchers are $90; $160 for FilmFestPass good for all films and parties.  The parties are $10 each or free with ANY festival ticket stub. Remember, passholders are always admitted first. For advance tickets or more information, call 1-800-838-3006 or click on www.sfindie.com.

Same day tickets are only available at the venue. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. For all screenings, please arrive at least 15 minutes before show time to assure seating.)

February 5, 2012 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worst In Show premieres tonight at IndieFest–a humorous documentary about Petaluma’s annual world’s ugliest dog contest

Every dog has its day, but tonight is reserved for the ugly dog.  Tonight, local filmmakers Don Lewis of Petaluma and John Beck of Benecia and a few of the contestants in Petaluma’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest will appear at San Francisco’s Roxie Theatre at IndieFest for the world premiere of Worst in Show, a riveting hour long documentary on the contest that put them all on the map.

Unlike the very popular 2000 mockumentary Best in Show by filmmaker Christopher Guest, Worst in Show follows real contestants—both human and canine—behinds the scenes on the 2009 and 2010 ugly dog circuit that culminates in Petaluma’s annual “Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest.”  While there are many ugly dog contests, this one, the most popular event at Petaluma’s Sonoma Marin Fair, has been around for 22 years and has a global following.    

In Worst in Show, the dogs steal the scenes as their owners interact under completely self-imposed pressure for a very small prize $1600 and the chance to be in the limelight until displaced.  Some competitors are relentless in their pursuit of the limelight. 

Dane Andrews, an actor from Sunnyvale, has been on the ugly circuit since he was 11 and has shown 3 generations of Chinese cresteds, a hairless breed which some people consider naturally ugly.  Rascal won in the contest in 2002 and Dane appears throughout the film pimping the dog with a gusto and compteitiveness that puts many people off.   John Adler, sporting a mohawk that seems to math his crested’s sparse tufts has the fire in him to be the next Dane.  When both are upstaged by Miles, a Boxer-mix rescue dog with a major underbite, owned by low-key Miles Egstad from Citrus Heights, CA, egos are bruised.   

Pabst quickly won the hearts of the audience who chanted “Pabst, Pabst, Pabst” creating an enthusiastic ruccous and the celebrity judges followed suit giving him wins in all three rounds of the competition. This was the first time in seven years a mutt won the competition, upstaging the long-run of Crested wins.  

The film screens tonight February 9th at 9:15 p.m. and February 13th at 2:30 p.m as part of the 13th Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival (IndieFest).  The festival features 85 absolutely independent films and videos and unspools February 3-17, 2011 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street in San Francisco.   For tickets or more information, telephone (415) 820-3907 or  http://www.sfindie.com.

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment