Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Cinequest (Part 1 of 2)

This year's Cinequest ran from February 26 to March 10 in San Jose.  I saw 36 programs (same as last year).  Unlike past years, the last few days of the 2013 Cinequest did not conflict with the first weekend of the 2013 SF Asian American Film Festival (now called CAAMFest).

As has been the case for the past several years, the primary venues were the Camera 12 Cinemas, the California Theater and the San Jose Rep.  I saw 25 programs at the Camera 12, seven at the California and four at the Rep.  I thought the attendance was down slightly but a press release stated over 100,000 attended this year (compared to > 90,000 last year).

Welcome Home starring Manah De Pauw; directed by Tom Heene; French, English & Dutch with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
An Inaccurate Memoir starring Xiaoming Huang & Yi Zhang; directed by Shu-peng Yang; Mandarin & Japanese with subtites; (2012)
Dose of Reality starring Fairuza Balk, Rick Ravanello & Ryan Merriman; directed by Christopher Glatis; (2013) - Official Website
White Lie starring David Birkin, Olivia Ross, Paul Bandey & Belinda Low; directed by Nyima Cartier; (2013)
Leave of Absence starring Jason Thompson & Heather Case Miller; directed by Jeff Prugh & Jason Thompson; (2013) - Official Website
The Pretty Time Bomb starring Bunngyou Dann, Minoru Teruya & Tomoko Hatori; directed by Shigekazu Shibamoto; Japanese with subtitles; (2012)
Sparks starring Chase Williamson & Ashley Bell; directed by Christopher Folino & Todd Burrows; (2013) - Official Website
Solace starring Rhoda Griffis, Ric Reitz, Robert Pralgo, Russell Comegys, Dupree Lewis Jr. & Dixie Light; directed by Vandon Gibbs; (2013) - Official Website
Congratulations! starring John Curran; directed by Mike Brune; (2013) - Official Website
The Kitchen starring Laura Prepon; directed by Ishai Setton; (2012) - Official Website
One Small Hitch starring Shane McRae & Aubrey Dollar; directed by John Burgess; (2012) - Official Website
The Believers; directed by Clayton Brown & Monica Long Ross; documentary; (2012) - Official Website
We Went to War; directed by Michael Grigsby & Rebekah Tolley; documentary; (2013) - Official Website
Chaos starring Isaach De Bankolé, Sonia Rolland & Niels Schneider; directed by Etienne Faure; French with subtitles; (2012) - Official Facebook
Twenty Million People starring Michael Ferrell & Devin Sanchez; directed by Michael Ferrell; (2013) - Official Website
Sweet Talk starring Jeffrey Vincent Parise & Natalie Zea; directed by Terri Hanauer; (2012) - Official Website
Detonator starring Lawrence Michael Levine & Benjamin Ellis Fine; directed by Damon Malucci & Keir Politz; (2013) - Official Website
Molly Maxwell starring Lola Tash & Charlie Carrick; directed by Sara St. Onge; (2013) - Official Facebook
Aftermath starring Anthony Michael Hall & Chris Penn; with Tony Danza, Leo Burmester & Elisabeth Röhm; directed by Thomas Farone; (2013)
Girl Shaped Love Drug starring Sacha Dhawan & Rachel Austin; directed by Simon Powell;
Made in China starring Odiseo Bichir & Victor Hernandez; directed by Gabriel Guzmán; Spanish with subitles; (2012) - Official Website
The Scar starring Marc Béland & Patrick Goyette; directed by Jimmy Larouche; French with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen; directed by Thomas Vinterberg; Danish with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
Old Stock starring Noah Reid; directed by James Genn; (2012) - Official Facebook
Eden starring Jaime Chung; with Matt O'Leary & Beau Bridges; directed by Megan Griffiths; (2012) - Official Website
Offline starring Wim Willaert & Anemone Valcke; directed by Peter Monsaert; Dutch & French with subtites; (2012)
Mystery starring Lei Hao & Xi Qi; directed by Ye Lou; Mandarin with subtitles; (2012)
Goldfish Go Home starring Takeshi Nagata; directed by Shohei Shiozaki; Japanese and Portuguese with subtitles; (2012)
The Dead Man and Being Happy starring José Sacristán; directed by Javier Rebollo; Spanish with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
Mon Ami starring Mike Kovac & Scott Wallis; directed by Rob Grant; (2012) - Official Website
Oh Boy starring Tom Schilling; directed by Jan Ole Gerster; German with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
The Almost Man starring Henrik Rafaelsen & Janne Heltberg Haarseth; directed by Marin Lund; Norwegian with subtitles; (2012)
In the Shadow starring Ivan Trojan; directed by David Ondricek; Czech with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
The Playback Singer starring Ross Partrdige, Piyush Mishra & Navi Rawata; directed by Suju Vijayan; some Hindi with subtitles; (2012) - Official Website
Habanastation starring Ernesto Escalona & Andy Fornanis; directed by Ian Padrón; Spanish with subtitles; (2011)
Loveless Zoritsa starring Ljuma Penov; directed by Hristina Hatziharalabous & Radoslav Pavkovic; Serbian with subtitles; (2012)

I did not see any short film programs but several short films preceded features.  In the listing below, PTP stands for Picture the Possibilities, a Cinequest initiative to "to empower creativity and innovation that improves lives and communities worldwide."  "Empower," "creativity" and "innovation" are words which are used freqeuntly at Cinequest and the Silicon Valley.  Frankly, they have fallen into ubiquity and lost their resonance with me.

Wild Geese starring Barb Rossmeis; directed by Brittany Ballard & Jamil Walker Smith; 6 minutes; (2012)
Couch starring Perry Silver; directed by Ian Gelfand; 6 minutes; (2013)
The Great Journey (PTP); Watch Video
Better Than a C (PTP); Watch Video
No Rest for the Wicked: A Basil & Moebius Adventure starring Zachary Levi & Ray Park; with Malcolm McDowell; directed by Ryan Schifrin; 17 minutes; (2011) - Official Website
The Global Citizen (PTP); Watch Video
David Sedaris' The Learning Curve starring Matthew Gray Gubler; directed by Phil McCarty; 16 minutes; (2012) - Official Website
Where We Are Safe (PTP); Watch Video
Fish Tale: Secret Life of Plankton; documentary; directed by Christian Sardet, Noe Sardet & Sharif Mirshak; 6 minutes; (2012)
Examination starring Joe Peers; directed by Beryl Richards; 10 minutes; (2012) - Official Website
Jack's Not Sick Anymore starring Lauren Ashley Carter & Kristin Malko; directed by Chloe Domont; 13 minutes; (2012)
Right Here Among Us (PTP); Watch Video

Kill No Evil was supposed to play before An Inaccurate Memoir. I believe that was the only exception to the schedule.

I wanted to see the feature film She Doesn't Want to Sleep Alone but it was pulled from the lineup at the last minute.

As usual, there was a myriad of great films at Cinequest.  Cinequest has easily become my favorite film festival in the Bay Area.  I am beginning to believe it is the concentration of venues in the downtown San Jose area which elevates the festival.  They screen six films roughly simultaneously.  They stagger the start times somewhat but the combination of cafes, bars, casual eateries and Cinequest sponsored social events creates synergies and excitement during the festival.  Cinequest achieves this better than any other festival I attend.  It helps that Cinequest has the effective monopoly on San Jose film festivals.

I finally made it over to La Victoria Taqueria (La Vic) to try their famous "orange sauce."  It's quite tasty; apparently the secret to the color and flavor is chorizo.

During the festival, Pauly's Famous Franks n Fries opened on Third Street.  The Mexico City dog was very good.

For the past few years, I have seen so many films at Cinequest that I need to split the post up.  More on the films tomorrow.

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