Dead and Buried Underground
I was praying that the theater would burst into flames, the projection booth explode, just so I could run out screaming....
I guess you might be wondering where I 've been. Maybe not. But the truth is I've been stunned into a sorta hibernation. I wanted to pen high praises for the festival I gushed about, but was punched in the gut by what I saw...or didn't. Not only were the films AWFUL—I was praying that the theater would burst into flames, the projection booth explode, just so I could run out screaming—but the presentation was so amateur that I thought I was back in high school where the dear AV geeks took care of things. Actually, those guys did a better job than the screw-ups in the booth at CUFF the night I attended.
Hey—I certainly know that "underground" means anything goes. You know I dig that stuff the most. So when did sloppy production values go hand in hand with this static dicey genre? It just adds to the growing pretentiousness of it all and scares all the civilians into Blockbuster...for good. It's quite enough to ask them to explore the other side of cinema, expand, open up their minds. Yet when they do, the projectionist drops the sound or the filmmaker doesn't believe in a cinematographer or microphones—c'mon, my job's hard enough already! Anything on celluloid is fine with me, express yourself, I wanna SEE and HEAR it all, but put some effort and creative juices toward the audio/visual aspects of the staging. Should we squint at it, rub our eyes, lean in closer because the sound is off or the scene is lit by just a light bulb in the hall? It was just too much too care. So I didn't. I turned off, shut down, wanted to go home. And don't tell me it's the money. I've seen films and videos shot with non-existent budgets that were easy to watch—and listen to; allowing whatever it was to breathe, reach out and touch us in our seats; shake us, break us if it could.
I was so disappointed in fact that I just left the whole festival behind me. I never looked back, not once. I didn't want to go through another messy evening of whatever slop was showing. It was like having to take a vicious leak on a dark and wooded 70-mile stretch of highway with the law right on your butt. The horror, the horror, the horror of it all. I would rather pour hot coffee on my lap: At least I'd be highly stimulated.
I could name names, trash directors and their efforts but I'm not gonna. I'm just gonna pray to Eisenstein or Kubrick that PRODUCTION is something these artists will put back into their films. All the praise of "powerful new filmmakers" is lost when any child can just aim a camera and shoot—Hey, that's good enough, it's the subject matter, jack—whatta lot of BULL. Pass that crap on to someone else, I ain't taking it anymore. If you can't mike it, light it, or project it properly, I'm just staying home. I've got so many DVDs to watch already and life's to short to waste it that buried underground.