Mar 7, 2008

DC Fest dispatch

While most of independent film world descends on Austin this week for the increasingly posh film portion of SXSW, the tenth annual DC Independent Film Festival opened in the nation's capital last night with Alex Cox's tribute to cinephilia, The Searchers 2.0. Very little works about the film, a road movie in which two down and out ex-actors plot their revenge against an aging screenwriter for whom they have a lasting contempt. They enlist a driver (the younger man's beautiful, estranged daughter) and set out to Utah's historic monument valley, home to many of the great John Ford's westerns, for a screening of a film they were in as young men, written by there nemesis. It's a long journey for the audience, the films ninety-five minute running time feeling much longer as this unimpressively lensed, poorly acted, simultaneously pretentious and silly exercise unfolds. The picture reunites the Repo Man director with actor Sy Richardson, who may want to reconsider coming out of retirement.

Other titles on tap for the eleven day fest include academy award nominated documentarian Adrian Belic's terrific Beyond The Call, Christopher Sollars' C Red Blue J, Darius Clark Monroe's Midway and nearing the end of its festival run, Moon Molson's Pop Foul. A music festival runs concurrently with the film festival (truly making this the poor man's SXSW), but in a coup only a festival in this city could score, DCIFF does provide the opportunity for filmmakers to meet with members of Congress in their "advocacy forum" to discuss film industry related issues.