The idea of having to sit through the work of a group of amateur filmmakers seemed like a punishment. Generally, these short projects tend to lack originality as the filmmakers just copy their directing influences or write scripts only they find interesting. The two longer form presentations at the Rogue Film Festival about a suicide attempt and a swede of “Steel Magnolias” do little to dispel those thoughts.
What makes this a must see event are the 12 short political remix films. These satirical snippets take footage from news reports, TV broadcasts and films and twists them into smart and funny political jabs. Its similar to the work Michael Moore was doing when he still had a filmmaking hunger. The shorts touch on topics such as water conservation, oil, war and politics. The filmmakers deliver their political punches with such finesse you won’t see them coming until they slap you in the face.
Two are particularly strong standouts. Fresno’s Diran Lyons has mixed scenes from Jake Gyllenhaal movies with speeches by President Barack Obama. The conversations created from these elements is so seamless it as if the whole thing was filmed at one time. Lyons even slips into the surreal as in the scene where the Gyllenhaal watches himself on television as the dazed and confused soldier in “Jarhead.” This short film alone is worth the small price of admission.
But, it gets slightly better. Jonathan McIntosh, a San Francisco filmmaker, has created a brilliant film called “So You Think You Can Be President.” He masterfully weaves judging comments from the Fox series “So You Think You Can Dance” with Presidential debates. Along with the incredible craftsmanship he shows in making this film, McIntosh manages to make his points while standing on the political fence. The work is brilliant.
SHOW INFO: 8:15 p.m. tonight, 6:15 p.m. March 12, 8:15 p.m. March 12, 5:15 p.m. March 13, 7 p.m. March 13 at Mike Briggs Properties, 1212 N. Van Ness. Admission: $5.