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It is past the halfway point of the 2012 Florida Film Festival, and we’re in to the home stretch. After a huge variety of film types from independent to foreign Oscar nominated films, we arrived at a tiny indie film. ‘Dead Dad’ is considered a micro-budget film, well below the one million dollar mark. The film’s small budget was at times noticeable, but it may have also helped the very character driven story.
The relationship between the two brothers and one sister drove the movie to both funny and emotional places. The film was written by Ken J Adachi and Kyle Arrington, who both also directed and starred in the film respectively. They, among others, were in attendance, and hosted a Q&A after the screening. They were very gracious, and took the time to explain what it was like making a movie on such a limited budget.
The next screening I attended was for a Norwegian movie not yet released in the US: ‘Headhunters.’ ‘Headhunters’ is an action-thriller about an art heist gone wrong that leads to a brutal cat and mouse chase with twists and turns throughout. The movie was gripping and intense, and felt like a high quality thriller that could have come out of Hollywood. This movie stole the show for me, and should be on everyone’s radar when it arrives stateside.
Before I went to my next showing, I was at the bar at the Enzian Theater, where I experienced a great surprise. The legendary Cloris Leachman emerged from the theater, where they just screened ‘The Last Picture Show’, and began tending bar. She poured shots for the crowd that gathered, and I was lucky enough to get one.
After that affair, I attended the midnight feature ‘John Dies At The End’. This movie is nothing but b-movie horror comedy. It’s full of goofy monsters and deadpan one-liners, and it may have been one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen. The director, Don Coscarelli, was there for a Q&A afterwards. Coscarelli has a cult following with his previous movies like the Phantasm series, and many of the questions were about his older films and his cult style.
The next film I saw was a low budget British drama-comedy, ‘Up There’. It was about being in purgatory and proving your worth to get into heaven, while also dealing with your own demise. The concept of purgatory here was very good, and all of the inherent drama was broken down with some dry British humor.
To close out the festival, I attended the very last screening: the upcoming summer release ,’Your Sister’s Sister’. This movie stars, almost exclusively, Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie DeWitt. The movie is the three of them hanging out in a cabin, and all of the romantic complications that ensue.
That being said, it is not like any stereotypical romantic comedy you have seen. The movie is very charming, and the characters work very well together. There is a good amount of humor to keep it light throughout, and the story is very unique and clever. The story and the humor will no doubt keep your attention till the end.
After all that, the festival is over. It felt like forever, and no time at all. Ten days since the start, the Florida Film Festival 2012, comes to a successful end.
Image Courtesy of Florida Film Festival – Official