Lineup explores social issues
In partnership with the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis Fringe Film Festival is continuing Aug. 15-16 at the Lockerbie Methodist Church, 237 N. East St. All tickets are $10 and you must also buy a Fringe Badge — a one-time purchase of $3. See next week's issue for more on the IndyFringe live performances that run Aug. 22-31.
“FLOW” (For Love of Water) 4 stars
Director Irena Salina; 93 min. USA
“FLOW” jerks its audience awake by challenging and debunking common beliefs regarding the world’s most important resource: water. Salina examines Nestle (and other bottled water companies), along with Suez, Vivendi and other water-for-profit corporations in their refusal to acknowledge a problem exists. Why is water a commodity? And who has the right to own water? How do we explain the exploitation of the poorest in the world by the wealthiest? Salina, whose film was recently screened at Sundance and last month at Lockerbie United Methodist Church, interviews previous employees of water companies, activists, water profiteers and those unable to pay for a resource most of us take for granted. Although the film is alarming, its optimistic finale encourages us to change our behavior. After watching Salina’s documentary, you’ll think twice about buying that Dasani. Visit www.flowthefilm.com to learn more.
Friday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.
“The World in Two Round Trips”
Director: David Schurmann; 80 min. Brazil
(Editors note: We did not view this film before press time.) Synopsis: In 1519 Portuguese Admiral Ferdinand Magellan risked his reputation by traveling the opposite direction taken by major explorers of his day and wound up proving the world was round.
“The Jesus Guy” 2 stars
Director: Sean Tracey; 65 min. USA
It is tempting to believe that the Jesus Guy, donned only in robes, has a genuine interest in the public. He never accepts monetary or food donations, relying only on the generous hospitality of locals (usually women) while preaching general Christianity. However, his flaws tend to overwhelm his message. He refuses to give his name, referring to himself as “What’s-Your-Name?” (a habit that becomes increasingly irritating as the film progresses), he abruptly leaves the women who share their homes and tables (leaving them distraught or angry) and ironically makes himself available for the media, appearing twice on “20/20,” in addition to the various local newspapers and television stations. Despite the filmmaker’s attempt to juxtapose this shoeless drifter with pastors who rake in hundreds of followers (and their cash), it is difficult to believe his intent. The film has garnered plenty of attention and appeared in numerous festivals. http://thejesusguy.com/
Saturday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.
“Jesus’ Castle” 3 stars
Director: Eric Hopper; 7 min. USA
This seven-minute short examines a makeshift palace built by Antonito resident Cano (his niece named him). This pot advocate genuinely believes in his mission and continues to build this castle, dedicated to Jesus and fellow Christians, after 20-plus years. His commitment is commendable, as his life is devoted to the construction of this monument. Cano’s friend, Martinez, confidently supports his friend’s mission while dismissing locals’ skepticism. This quiet film portrays a simple guy, who “little by little” adds to his dream. This film precedes “The Jesus Guy.”
SHORTS: These will be screened together Saturday, Aug. 16, starting at 7 p.m.
“Bitch” 4 stars
Director: Lilah Vandenburgh;15 min. USA
Vandenburgh’s hilarious short is a well-filmed B&W comedy about a woman that is angry and willing to unleash her wrath on anyone that walks her way. The montage of meanness captures her “bitchy” moments as she attempts to nab her match: a brutish 20-something unwilling to take her shit. A fun 15 minutes.
“A Day’s Work” 4 stars
Director: Rajeev Dasani; 17 min. USA
This short follows Enrique, an immigrant forced to work exploitative gigs in order to save to bring his mother and brother from Mexico. As he assists formerly affluent Californians to pack up their home, he is caught in a volatile situation that illuminates the cultural tension in this country.
“kids + money” 3 stars
Director: Lauren Greenfield; 32 min. USA
Greenfield interviews teenagers obsessed with money and how to obtain it. Materialism barely describes their quest to buy, spend and beg (usually from parents who cannot afford their child’s spending sprees). A child actor from a popular Nickelodeon show appears and discusses what it is like to support one’s family at 16. In a word: disturbing.
“Lapsus" 3 stars
Director Juan Pablo Zaramella; 4 min. Argentina
Short, sweet and animated, this Argentinean cartoon is a nice break from the more serious shorts in the fest’s lineup.
“Ten to Two” 4 stars
Director: Mathijs Geijskes; 6 min. Netherlands
Ab’s routine is disrupted when he gets involved in a terrible accident. Although ironic, the film is a serious narrative and tears are juxtaposed with laughs. A packed six minutes.
“Spider” 4 stars
Director: Nash Edgerton; 9 min. Australia
An intense nine minutes as the protagonist’s fate is determined by his practical jokes. “Spider” is an extreme short film.
"An Alternative to Slitting Your Wrists" 3 stars
Director: Owen Lowry; 82 min. USA
Filmmaker Lowry attempts to resuscitate himself from self-destructive behavior and depression by filming his year-long quest to do 52 things he has never done. His friends rally around him and partake in his more bizarre goals (squirrel fishing, for example) and he rebuilds his relationship with his father by recording a song about their deceased cat, Oprah. Although he lives in Chicago, the film goes back and forth across the Midwest, Chicago placed in between. Thus, the city represents Lowry and his crisis — trapped between an abusive past and a healthier (and hopefully, happier) future. Although we do not see him accomplish the entire list, the film shows us the more important items. The filmmaker will be in attendance and is holding a Q&A session after the screening on Aug. 16. Film begins at 7 p.m.