Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008 Dead Channels Preview

Dead Channels runs from October 2 to 10. They are only showing films from October 3 to 9 with the 10th being the Closing Party. The festival runs at the Roxie for the entire festival and at the Parkway Speakeasy in Oakland on October 9 only. October 2 is the "Opening Night Gala Party" at the Vortex Room. The closing night party is at the Vortex Room. In fact, the Launch Party or whatever it was called was on Sept. 20 at the Vortex Room. The Vortex Room is located at 1082 Howard St. in San Francisco. The Vortex Room is a lounge/bar/Grind House film venue. The Vortex Room trips off the tongue, doesn't it?

Even though the festival schedule was officially released on Sept. 20, I knew what was playing. Michael Guillen at The Evening Class had already previewed most if not all the feature films on September 16. He even cross posted on Twitch. Also, the Roxie updated their on-line schedule last week so I was able to see the films playing there.

I won't spend much time covering the same ground Guillen has on his blog. Not to be hypercritical but Michael simply "appropriated" the Dead Channels Festival Guide synopses. That's not to say he didn't really have a chance encounter with Bruce Fletcher in Toronto but apparently he had access to the electronic version of the festival guide.

Dead Channels has 21 programs at the festival. A few films caught my attention:

GolgothaGolgotha - "An homage to German Expressionist silent films..." The website even has an old-timey, silent film intertitle card motiff. I don't know if the film can live up to expectations - homage to films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as well as eponymous reference to the Crucifixion. Anyone who is willing to give that a try deserves a screening. That reminds me of that silent film based on one of HP Lovecraft's Mythos stories from a few years ago. What was the name of that film?

Epitaph - 2007 Korean film set in 1942 that features not just Japanese Imperialism and all that entails but also hints at necrophilia. It has a striking poster too.

Cut-Throats Nine - 1972 Spanish Spaghetti Western billed as "The Most Violent Western EVER Filmed" in the film guide. This film is one of four presented by Cosmic Hex.Epitaph

A Visit From the Incubus - 28 minute short film by Anna Biller whose Viva! was a personal favorite from the 2007 Indiefest and played at many festivals world wide. This film was made in 2001.

Tokyo Gore Police - a late addition to this year's Hole in the Head gets a screening as Dead Channels. I found it enjoyable but not enough for a second viewing. I would like to see Machine Girl again.

I'm not sure how many films I will be able to see. I have work and family matters that may take precedence. I'll probably buy a pass to support the festival and my history has shown that once I buy a pass, I become obsessive about getting my money's worth. For Dead Channels, 15 films to break even point for a festival pass. 15 films in 7 days is pretty tough especially given that I may have other commitments. Of the 21 programs, 12 of them only screen once. One of those is Tokyo Gore Police which I have decided not to see since it screens at 10 PM on Saturday night. That means I have to see 15 of the remaining 20 programs or 75%.

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