Beer and Pavement

My True/False Preview: Films

Posted in Film by SM on February 28, 2011

It’s True/False week here in Middle Missouri. T/F is a documentary film festival that makes life worth living in these parts. This year, I have upgraded passes and will see even more nonfiction films than ever before. I have more to say about this in coming days, but here is my rundown of the films on my itinerary. These are not reviews. They are just preliminary thoughts on each film, sort of my first impressions based on short descriptions and trailers. It will be interesting to see how close or far off I am in my assessments before even seeing one film. Anyways, here it goes…

9a. Blood in the Mobile; Thu, Mar 3 5:30PM; Big Ragtag
Electronics are made out of precious metals that have to come from somewhere. At some point, all of us mobile phone lovers have to recognize this. This film will probably make me sick that I’ve ever made a cellular phone call.

7a. The Jubilee (w/ Benda Bilili!); Thu, Mar 3 7:30PM; Missouri Theatre
We’ll hit the MO just in time for a drinky-drink, but  Benda Bilili! is on our list. There’s nothing that says “True/False” like a film about paraplegic musicians from Kinshasa. Even if the film sucks, the environment will be electric, thanks to the booze served at the Jubilee.

34a. Secret Screening Purple; Thu, Mar 3 9:30PM; Forrest Theater
Any film about punks piques our interests. This will be our third film and third theater of the night and we usually don’t start seeing films until Friday. It should be a fun year.

8a. The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975; Fri, Mar 4 3:00PM; Big Ragtag
This was the must-see on our lists this year. I feel the Black Panther movement has  received a bum rap in recent years. It’s time to hear their story. I have high hopes for this film, but I suspect it will just let me down. Either way, I will be on the road right before this screening. I’m hoping to make it back to town in time to make it. If now, we reserved Sunday tickets as well.

42a. The Woman With Five Elephants; Fri, Mar 4 5:00PM; Forrest Theater
This was a filler. I suspect it will be boring and we’ll skip it so that we can eat. That means it will be the film of the festival and I’ll regret it as the filmmakers collect their Oscars a year from now.

26a. North From Calabria; Fri, Mar 4 6:30PM; The Chapel
We reserved this one because my wife has Polish roots and spent some time there. As is usual for this sort of film, I suspect it will be interesting and intimate, a worthwhile watch.

39a. To Be Heard; Fri, Mar 4 7:30PM; Little Ragtag
This was a priority on the feminist watch list. It’s about some female slam poetry from the Bronx. That alone should be a nice pairing with The Black Power Mix Tape.

36a. Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure; Fri, Mar 4 10:00PM; Little Ragtag
This one looks like it could be ridiculously funny…or mental masturbation. Still, I’m interested in hearing the story behind this DIY, punk enterprise of cassette tape recordings of two drunk neighbors. That late on a Friday will either encourage me to wait it out or skip out for the @ction Party.

20a. Hula & Natan; Sat, Mar 5 10:30AM; Windsor Cinema
No 5k fun run for us. All I read about this one is that it’s a comedy set on the Gaza Strip. Let the hilarity reign over the most fucked up region in the world!

19b. Habana Muda; Sat, Mar 5 12:30PM; Little Ragtag
This was not my pick. I read it as being about a threesome, but others read something more sinister and troubling than that. So, I’m in.

13b. The Burger and the King; Sat, Mar 5 3:30PM; Blue Note
Who doesn’t want to see a film about Elvis’ diet?

29b. The Redemption of General Butt Naked; Sat, Mar 5 5:30PM; The Hive
The title alone should interest you, but I can’t figure out what it has to do with anything. Basically, it’s about a Liberian warlord who turns his life over to God. That sounds fishy to me, which typically means T/F gold.

4c. The Arbor; Sat, Mar 5 8:00PM; Little Ragtag
In the description, this one sounds like a snooze-fest, but the trailer presents a lot of mystery and intrigue.  The combination of archival interviews and dramatic interpretations of actual events provides something I can get behind. I’m really interested to hear this story.

31c. Secret Screening Black; Sun, Mar 6 10:00AM; Little Ragtag
I’m certain this one was featured in a This American Life a while back, but that’s a secret of course. It features anarchists (with the assistance of the FBI) setting each other up to throw molotov cocktails at George Bush or something. Sounds like a party.

8c. The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975; Sun, Mar 6 12:30PM; Forrest Theater
See above. I’ll see it here, if I don’t see it Friday. If I see it Friday, some lucky person in the Q will get my seat.

28c. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth; Sun, Mar 6 3:00PM; Forrest Theater
From a regional standpoint, this looks to be an interesting take on the failed public housing experiment in St Louis. It’s also timely when investigating the failed American dream in these times of economic desperation.  I suspect the film will either be enormously intriguing or a bore. I predict the former.

25. Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story; Sun, Mar 6 5:30PM; Little Ragtag
A friend dragged her feat and didn’t score any tickets. I might give up my ticket and pass for one screening so that she can get away for 90 minutes.

23b. Life in a Day; Sun, Mar 6 8:00PM; Missouri Theatre
The closing film is an experiment in crowd sourcing. It should be a fun way to end the weekend.

That was a brief rundown of what I will see this coming Thursday through Sunday. On Wednesday, I’ll tell you what else I’ll be doing over the weekend. If you’re attending, tell me what you plan to see. What do you know about any of these films? If you want to know more, check out the T/F site.

(Sorry. There are no footnotes. I was lucky enough to find time for this post let alone numbered ramblings.)

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6 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on February 28, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I am so jealous. I love documentaries, and especially those lovely surprises where you find yourself entralled by a story you never knew existed/never thought you’d care about. Such a powerful, moving medium.

    Saying that, I’m seeking out The Burger and the King first.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on March 1, 2011 at 6:03 am

      Man, the surprises are the best. I always have a few films on the list that don’t thrill me, but I put them on as a way to fill a time slot. Then, I am pleasantly surprised. The Elvis doc does look like a early leader in my best-of category.

  2. Pizza Cottontail said, on February 28, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Looks like a good lineup this year. Beats the heck out of Tromadance, my town’s contribution to the film festival community.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on March 1, 2011 at 6:04 am

      Man, it’s always good. However, I wasn’t overly enthused last year, aside from the Red Chapel.

  3. Jert said, on February 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I predict that Zac will be drunk most of the weekend (and I will be helping him get that way!) Yay for T/F!

    • builderofcoalitions said, on March 1, 2011 at 6:05 am

      No way. It’s all about endurance. I’ll have 1.5-2 hour breaks from drinking to take in the Truth. You can’t find me in dark theaters.


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