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Cinequest 18 – March 2008 - Weekend Viewing and Anywhere, USA

user
Cinequest 18 is turning out to be a particularly strong festival this year. The quality of filmmaking on view is quite staggering, and, in this reviewer’s opinion, surpasses previous years for quality of storytelling and technical accomplishment.  Becoming John Ford – United StatesI began my weekend with this well-crafted and insightful documentary by director Nick Redman. Through archival footage, interviews with the great man’s contemporaries and film clips, a multi-dimensional portrait...

Cinequest 18 - Feb-March 2008 - The First Two Days

This year the Cinequest film festival offers movie lovers a festival of discovery, and thus far, they have not disappointed.Opera – MexicoOpera is a story divided into five acts, with each act more or less starting the same way. A girl (Magdelena Flores) wakes up, endures a boring road trip with her older lover (Arturo Rios), and we get to look at some scenery. Her lover is a writer, who scorns his novels in favor of paying gigs, such as the travel guide he is currently writing. This is ironic...

Cinequest 18 - The First Two Days

user
This year the Cinequest film festival offers movie lovers a festival of discovery, and thus far, they have not disappointed.Opera – MexicoOpera is a story divided into five acts, with each act more or less starting the same way. A girl (Magdelena Flores) wakes up, endures a boring road trip with her older lover (Arturo Rios), and we get to look at some scenery. Her lover is a writer, who scorns his novels in favor of paying gigs, such as the travel guide he is currently writing. This is ironic...

Welcome to Cinequest

Mr. Louie, Michael Keaton, Brooke Nevin, John Ratzenberger. Photos: Kuldip Gill and Neil Baker

High School Drag and Cannibals - just another day at Cinequest

user
There's nothing better than being able to attend screenings of films so diverse in their outlooks that it almost borders on the surreal. Now that Cinequest has concluded, and with this in mind, I would like to reflect upon couple more favorites of mine, Russell P. Marleau's The Curiosity of Chance, and Chris Power and Nathan Hynes' Long Pigs.The Curiosity of Chance is a hugely entertaining high school musical romp that is everything the John Hughes collection should have been. Russ M...

The Best of the Fest part 1 - Student Shorts, Monster Camp and Blood Car.

user
It is Monday, March 12th, and Cinequest has come to an end. This is a bitter-sweet moment; on the one hand I am already missing the frenetic buzz of running from film to forum and back to film, stopping to chat with filmmakers and attendees along the way and getting another caffeine dose in order to do it all over again. On the other hand, this now frees me up to actually get to the blog entries I have been meaning to assail you with, covering everything from my favorite festival films, to my fi...

What is a Maverick?

user
In the moments before the press conference kicked off on Saturday, Jens Hussey spoke a little about the term 'maverick'. He explained that the word originated from a Texas cattleman named Sam Maverick, who refused to brand his cattle, preferring instead to let them roam free, not 'following the herd'. This is the main principle of the Cinequest Film Festival, to embrace the maverick filmmaker, to promote new innovations and artistry in film and to present the visions of filmmakers who choose not...

The Maverick filmmaker

user
In the moments before the press conference kicked off on Saturday, Jens Hussey spoke a little about the term 'maverick'. He explained that the word originated from a Texas cattleman named Sam Maverick, who refused to brand his cattle, preferring instead to let them roam free, not 'following the herd'. This is the main principle of the Cinequest Film Festival, to embrace the maverick filmmaker, to promote new innovations and artistry in film and to present the visions of filmmaker...

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous - Saturday, March 3

user
My day began with the Day of Sight and Sound and Panasonic's P2 presentation, followed by a quick press conference, and then Carl Miller's presentation of his film, Retribution. I always feel that this day has the potential to be a powerful learning tool for local and visiting filmmakers, and for future sessions I would love to see cinematographers and sound designers invited in to share their knowledge with us. A guy can dream...I rounded off the day with two excellent films from opposi...

The Wisdom of JJ Abrams - Friday, March 2nd

"The truth is, there is no sure thing, and I would argue that when you are doing something that you do really care about, and are passionate about, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor, it will succeed."As part of the Day of Distribution, developed by Cinequest to further understanding and discussion of new distribution technologies, film community building and enterprising new business models, the packed audience at the San Jose Repertory Theater was treated to a sparkling 90-min...

Meet the Filmmakers - Terror (and lube) in the aisles - Friday, March 2nd

user
On Friday night I was treated to one of the strongest selections of twisted short films I have ever seen, Cinequest's Mindbenders. Not only were these films disturbing and extremely well produced, but the three directors I met personify everything that is great about independent filmmakers.This game is all about self-promotion, innovation and risk-taking, and Arthur, Ehran and Richard have these qualities in spades.Let's start with Arthur. Here's a fantastic example of self promotion...

A Typical Cinequest Day - Friday March 2nd

user
I thought I'd give you a quick run down of a typical day at the Cinequest Film Festival (at least for me).At 9:30 AM I was enjoying complimentary coffee in the foyer of the Rep Theater in San Jose, free coffee is always a great way to start the day. Then the Day of Distribution forums began with an insightful discussion on how to make an independent film that can be sold. This was followed by a great panel discussing the role of the media in promoting your film, and how to make the most from...

Meet the Filmmakers - Shorts Program #1 - Thursday, March 1st

user
Despite every good intention, it is not always possible to attend all the screenings during the ten days of Cinequest (due to real life getting in the way), so it was late in the evening when I finally swooped into Camera 12 to view the first of the short film programs, an eclectic group called 'Mirror, Mirror'.As I sat in the darkness, my face contorting into expressions of extreme joy or complete bewilderment, I marveled at the beauty of the short film format.There's a lot to be sa...

Meet the Filmmakers - Wednesday, February 28th

user
There is always an expectorant buzz surrounding San Jose's Cinequest Film Festival, and this 17th outing is no different. Following Halfdan's rabble rousing, and Mira Nair's stunning The Namesake, it was off to the Paragon for the opening salvoes of vodka laced networking.As a Brit, happily transplanted to California, I am especially interested in the European content on show here this year and, combining this with my love of short films, actively began my hunt for interesting filmma...

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