If you didn’t have the pleasure of attending a screening at last year’s inaugural SUID Film Fest, I encourage you for your own sake to not let this opportunity escape you the second time round. This year the programmers have once again assembled a remarkable slate of films, many of which will be accompanied by Q&As with the directors and producers. As a film fan, it is close to utopia to have a festival of this quality here in our hometown. This year I (legally) got my hands on screener copies of some festival selections and have a few recommendations for films to check out this weekend.
Last Days Here is one of those rare films that leaves you wanting to shake the hand of everyone who played a part in bringing it to the screen. And maybe give them a hug, too. Trite as it may sound, who knew that a film about a near death, drug addicted struggling heavy metal singer (of a band called Pentagram, no less) could so fully revive my faith in humanity? If you only see one film at the fest, and can handle some fairly disturbing scenes of drug use and addiction, I’d say make it Last Days Here. This story, shot over the course of six years, is anything but predictable. It’s surprisingly lighthearted at moments, even funny, never mocking its subjects and treats its antihero Bobby Liebling with nonjudgmental respect and understanding. Saturday / 5 P.M. / Spirit Of The North
The Ballad of Genesis & Lady Jaye is a dreamlike voyeuristic trip through the minds of Genesis and Lady Jaye, the self-coined “pandrogynous” married couple who wish for nothing more than to go down in history as “one of the greatest love affairs of all time.” Over the course of their relationship the two joined themselves through extensive cosmetic surgery – striving to match their outer appearances to reflect the shared internal bond, smashing concepts of gender and individual along the way. I first heard about the pair’s life altering art project in 2003, yet didn’t truly grasp the extent and the ideologies behind it until experiencing this surreal doc. The film is also a striking autobiography of Genesis B. P-orridge, one of the most boundary pushing and influential figures in music/art history for the last 40 years. Genesis’s narration over the film reads like a private diary – I’ve rarely felt so injected into another’s psyche; the intimateness of this documentary is undeniable. It’s beautiful, sad, challenging and shocking. I would perhaps hesitate to recommend it to more conservative audience members (nudity does abound), however, I believe it could challenge many preconceived notions about gender, identity and alternative lifestyles if one enters with an open mind. Friday / 9:15 P.M. / Spirit Of The North / + Q&A
To watch Color Me Obsessed is to watch folklore happen in front of your eyes. The storytelling tradition is alive and well in America, never fear. The interviews in this film, too numerous to count, come from people on every spectrum of the radar – from fan, to colleague, to critic. These interviews build and catapult upon one another, creating an epic mythology of Minneapolis’s (arguably) greatest band. There are no appearances by the actual band in question, and no music at any point in the film, however, in some respects this only makes the mythology even greater, building the mystique. The music isn’t nearly as important as what the music does to people and the oral legacy it leaves behind. I was already a Replacements fan, but after seeing this film I feel as if I have to love them more – I need to lock myself in a room with their albums for a month and wait for the transformation to occur. Watching this made the music nerd inside me giddy with enthusiasm, made me a proud Minnesotan: that this seminal band came from our state! This is one convincing piece of work. And lack of music be damned – I’ve had Replacements tunes running through my head nonstop since watching this. Saturday / 8 P.M. / Spirit Of The North / + Q&A
All films are $7 – cheaper than the multiplex! Plus you can enjoy a beer or two at Zinema while you watch. Buy tickets at the door or online in advance. Or better yet, buy the all-access pass and see as many films as humanly possible.
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