Friday, November 7, 2008

The Dallas Video Festival has begun!

The first night of the 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival was a great success! We’re so excited to be in our third decade of programming innovative, though-provoking video art in north Texas. Come out to see the baroque of the digital age.

Everyone loved Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, which actually exceeded my wildest expectations. What an awesome film. It deserves its title as best fan film ever made. In the market scene, Indy’s self-satisfied smirk after taking out the Egyptian scimitar warrior had me rolling. From start to finish, I was beaming, looking forward to what they were going to do next. I wish everyone I know had come to see it, because then they would have shared in the delight. When the film about the making of this film is released on DVD, perhaps they can include the Adaptation as a bonus feature. Everyone needs to see it!

A huge crowd came to see Champ: The Steve Mitchell Story, which is a touching documentary about a man who overcomes serious physical handicaps to become an excellent boxer. His life story would make an excellent feature film, (he’s a real-life Rocky!), if only Hollywood would listen. Thankfully, local documentarians Elizabeth Spear and Mark Birnbaum have shed some light on his story for us.

I also enjoyed a compilation of German music videos. Two in particular, one for a song called “Blood Sample” and another, “Good Morning Stranger,” were really cool. Blood Sample is, in fact, a visual-sample, a mash-up of 70s glamour ads, and a dissolution into some distant corner of the television universe. Come to think of it, even Good Morning is a post-modern collage of visual culture, but brilliantly enshrines YouTube videos, the clips and glimpses of which represent the thousands of ways people have chosen to say “good morning” all over the planet (we can see the music video “narrator” searching YouTube on-screen for terms like “good morning” or “waking”).

Don’t miss the installation pieces in the foyer outside the HBO and AMS theaters. 88 Constellations is interactive Flash art which transports the viewer through worm holes in space to arrive at fragments of knowledge, loosely connected by whimsical philosophies of fancy and linguistic curiosities. Non-linear lovers of Wikipedia, this is for you.

Tonight’s program will be just as exciting, between feature A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy, and The Wrecking Crew, a documentary about backup musicians of the 60s. Don’t miss our AWESOME Guts ‘n Glory competition, and festival-favorite The Pleasure of Being Robbed.

For further reading, KERA blogger Stephen Becker has provided a write-up about the programming tonight. Thank you for your excellent coverage Stephen!

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