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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

The Swedies: Swede Fest XII awards

1292850_10151576155731595_1138219569_oSwede Fest XII (that’s 12 for those who don’t count in Rocky numerals) happened this weekend at the Tower Theatre. It was a packed house.

While the semi-annual celebration of sweded films isn’t actually judged, The Beehive has made it habit to hand out awards for what we see as the best of the fest. You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site. Winners receive their names in this post (which they can feel free to link on IMDB) and my sincerest admiration (seriously, the efforts are inspiring).

And the Swedies go to:

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Tonight: The Germ viewing party

The Germ film festival is a catalyst for local filmmakers. It’s a reason to create, the little push that could move them from talking about a project to actually getting it done. It lays out a set of criteria (a germ) that the filmmakers can interpret however they see fit.

For instance, the inspiration could be a song (“Tables and Chairs” by Andrew Bird) or photograph (“Near Greenwood, Mississippi” by William Eggleston) or a word (summer). Maybe the film has to be shot on a camera phone, or include at least for characters or a line of dialog in a foreign language. From there, it’s up to the filmmaker.

Since its inception last January, the festival has screened 75 short films and had more than 1,100 different directors, producers, writers, actors and attendees either create work or attend the screenings. That includes me.

The seventh Germ screening, happens 7 p.m. tonight at Windsong
Productions
, 7676 N. Palm Ave., Suite 104. This will be the last one for the year.

You can see all the Germ entries on its website.

Announced: Swede Fest 12 is Nov. 9

1292850_10151576155731595_1138219569_oGet our your cardboard and your Flip Cam because Swede Fest 12 is taking place 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Tower Theater. If you don’t know about the festival (which was the first of its kind), here’s a quick summary from the organizers.

Swede Fest gives everyone who participates the unforgettable experience of seeing their work on the big screen. A “sweded” film is a summarized, low-budget recreation of a popular movie, starring you! “Sweding” takes the best and worst movies that come out of Hollywood and combines them with the creativity and ingenuity of their greatest fans.

Entries for the festival are being accepted now through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 4. Film enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to submit. Films must be no longer than four minutes and suitable for all ages.

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Win tickets to: Fresno Filmworks double feature

GimmeTheLoot-poster-web-275x425 Fresno Filmworks has built an audience by filling the void created by the city’s cineplex monopoly. The group screens first-run films (both international and American, both feature and documentary) that would otherwise get delegated to the Netflix cue (or Amazon Prime, I suppose). The films tend toward the unconventional (for those with blockbuster tastes) and the venue is no multiplex. JohnnyX-poster-web-275x425

Like, you can order a scotch in the lobby. And drink it. In the theater.

For June, Filmworks is pushing even those boundaries some, with its first ever double feature. That’s two different independent films in one night. The award-winning independent comedy “Gimme The Loot,” will screen at 5:30 p.m., followed by the campy B-movie throwback “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X,” at 8 p.m.

As a bonus, “Johnny X” director Paul Bunnell, star Will Keenan, costume designer Kristina West and executive producer Mark Willoughby will be on hand after the screening to talk about the film.

As a double bonus, there will be an after-party at The Voice Shop. Admission is free with a ticket stub from either program. There will be music, snacks and a cash bar.

Filmworks has generously offered us tickets to give away to our readers. To enter, simple leave a comment below telling us what’s the best movie you’ve seen Filmworks present (I particularly liked “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”). The contest will close at noon, June 13. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email.

We will give out one pair of tickets to each show, so be sure to tell us which you’d like to see.

You can read more about each film over at the Filmwork’s Film Forum blog. Check out the film trailers (and the full contest rules) below.

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Swede Fest + “Be Kind Rewind,” May 19

SwedeFest11-PosterHere is a Swede Fest two-for-one.

  • Fresno’s favorite low- (or no) budget film festival, Swede Fest, returns to the Tower Theatre 6 p.m. May 19. For those not familiar, this is the only film festival dedicated to sweded films. A “sweded” film is a summarized recreation of a Hollywood movie using friends as actors (and directors and camera people). Homemade props and costumes are also encouraged. This will be the festival’s 11th installment.
  • Before the festival, Fresno Filmworks will present a special screening of “Be Kind Rewind,” the 2008 film that inspired the whole “sweding” movement. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance at the Tower Theatre box office or the Filmworks website. Admission to Swede Fest is free.
  • If you are interest in submitting a film, entries are being accepted through May 13. You have until 11:59 p.m. Films should be under four minutes in length and suitable for all ages. Contact organizers for more information on the event, rules for submission or to see entries from past Swede Fests.

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Get a tattoo, get passes to the Fresno Film Festival

tattoo-promoIf you look closely at the poster for this year’s Fresno Film Festival (which kicks off next weekend), you will see the woman has the Fresno Filmworks’ logo tattooed on her arm. A bold choice, if I do say.

Playing on that theme, Fresno Filmworks and Faithful & True Tattoo are offering up two festival passes to anyone willing to get the Filmworks’ logo tattooed on their body. Just stop into the shop anytime between noon and 8 p.m. tomorrow. Looks like tattoos are $30. So you’ll get a cool tattoo and save some money on the festival passes. That is a win-win. It’s really too bad Travis Sheridan isn’t in town anymore.

For more info on the festival itself, here’s a video:

Latest film not painful for Johnny Knoxville

Coming up with the first question to ask Johnny Knoxville is always easy. After watching him be beaten, electrocuted, gored, smashed and had his manhood hit with almost anything heavy imaginable, the big concern is how Knoxville is feeling. He’s not as big a “Jackass” these days but one has to wonder how much of the aftermath of all the physical abuse he took over the years in the name of the TV show and movies remains.

“I’m feeling pretty good because everything’s completely healed right now. But there have been a few breaks and sprains and concussions. Not lately. Knock on wood,” says Knoxville during an interview for his latest film “The Last Stand,” that opened in theaters today.

Knoxville plays a gun hoarder who comes to the aid of the local sheriff (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to stop a drug cartel leader headed to their quiet community.

I worry about Knoxville because while he might seem like a raving maniac when you watch him on TV or film, he’s actually a very nice guy. He’s nice but you never want to turn your back on him or you might suddenly find a set of battery cables attached to your derriere.

Once the health issue was covered, Knoxville got to talk about why he would have worked through any pain to be in this movie. His favorite scenes is where Schwarzenegger is firing a massive gun out of the back of a school bus and Knoxville’s character is feeding him the bullets.

“Doing an action sequence with Arnold Schwarzenegger was it for me. It’s one of the highlights of my career — and life. Just to be on a set with him, to film a movie with him, was surreal for me,” Knoxville. “But he makes it so easy for you because he’s so open and pleasant and the most gregarious person I ever met. He just loves to be around people and make movies.”

And he never once hit or kicked Knoxville in the groin.