Here’s the best of what’s screening over the weekend at VideoFest:
Animated Shorts – The highlight of this package of four films is Don Hertzfeldt’s I Am So Proud of You. The 21 minute film is the next in the animator’s “Everything Will be OK” series and follows a man learning about some family secrets. It’s not as sublimely funny as his Oscar-nominated Rejection, though it’s equally strange. Still, Hertzfeldt’s manipulation of his simple line drawings will have you constantly asking, “How’d he do that?”
Animated Shorts screens at 6:15 p.m.
Albert Maysles Presents – The famed documentarian will be in town to show a pair of films that look at some of the biggest celebrities of the 20th Century. Muhammad and Larry follows Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes as they prepared to duke it out in the ring in 1980. The film recently aired as part of ESPN’s 30 in 30 sports documentary series. Maysles will also show Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out – a concert film that shows the Rolling Stones on stage performing as well as yucking it up backstage with Jimi Hendrix. Maysles made the film with Ian Markiewicz, who will be in town to receive an award from the festival.
Albert Maysles Presents screens at 8:30 p.m.
A Reason to Live – Dallas filmmakers Allen Mondell and Cynthia Salzman Mondell new a couple whose son committed suicide. The experience left the Mondells with many of the same questions that the parents surely had – primarily, how are the warning signs so easy to miss? A Reason to Live compiles interviews with teens who suffered from depression and attempted suicide and talks to their parents as well to try and prevent future tragedy. This should be required viewing for any parent with a teenager in the house
A Reason to Live screens at noon.
YouTube: A History – VideoFest opens its doors this year to the wide world of online video. A pair of UTD doctoral students currated the program, which shows everything from silly viral videos with millions of hits to shorts that expand the possibilities of online video. Click here to listen to a recent KERA radio story on the program.
YouTube: A History screens at noon.
Texas Show – Of note in this year’s compilation are a pair of shorts with strong North Texas ties. Dig Deep features Kettle Art’s Frank Campagna discussing the changing face of his beloved Deep Ellum, from the demolition of the Good Latimer Tunnel to the entrance of the DART Green Line. The film was made by Manny Mendoza and Mark Birnbaum, whose newspaper documentary, Stop the Presses, aired recently on Channel 13. Sleet/Snow was produced by student filmmakers at UTA and previously screened at this year’s AFI Dallas International Film Festival. And it’s worth a second showing. It follows a guy and his girl friend (but not his girlfriend – yet, anyway) as they drive to Odessa to pick up a painting he bought. In just 13 minutes, the characters are able to work through a complicated and satisfying emotional arc.
The Texas Show screens at 8 p.m.