TCFF19: DAY 3+4 Reviews: Greywood’s Plot + Documentaries: The Truth About Marriage & Salvage

It’s already Day 4 at TCFF! Well, time sure flies when you’re having fun! Here’s a video recap from Saturday, courtesy of TCFF’s awesome media producers Ellie Drews & Kirstie House:


Greywood’s Plot

Greywood’s Plot, directed by MN-based director Josh Stifter (whom Ruth interviewed for his film The Good Exorcist), is a fantastically fun and funky horror comedy. Shot in black and black and white, it’s a throwback to old late night comedy shows.

The movie follows two lifelong friends who receive a mysterious VHS tape containing some footage of a vampire-type animal. They decide to go on and adventure into the woods to investigate the validity of the tape and in the process hope to make a documentary about it. The journey becomes much more than they expected as the terrifying truth is uncovered.

This full-length horror-comedy film made almost entirely by Stifter and his friends. It also stars his longtime collaborator Daniel Degnan who was in The Good Exorcist. Josh along with directing, also served as the co-writer and producer, while Nathan Strauss was the assistant director, executive producer and special effects artist and Keith Radichel rounded out the team as the films antagonist. Shot in Detroit lakes in a friend’s family’s small hunting shack the film is 100% Minnesota made. Even the extras were residents of Detroit lakes, serving as tree zombies.

Josh has been in the movie business for years, working with both Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez. He has a background in special effects which I think adds to the really playful and imaginative kind of horror comedy he makes. I also really appreciate the way he incorporated the surrounding woods and fields of Detroit Lakes. It would have been easy enough to keep the film contained in the shack but by expanding the films location it creates a much more immersive environment.

– Review by Jessie Zumeta


The Truth About Marriage (Documentary)

This documentary by filmmaker Roger Nygard (“Trekkies”) follows three not-so-ordinary couples to see how things turned out several years after the honeymoon. The film presents challenging ideas about relationships, as it answers the question: Why is marriage so hard for people?

Engaging and entertaining examination by veteran documentary filmmaker, Roger Nygard, into the complicated subject of marriage. As the saying goes, everyone’s got an opinion! And they are insightful and, sometimes, humorous. I liked the fact that there was a mix of a vast variety of “experts,” along with a variety of real life couples—some that were in untraditional arrangements. It’s another great film by him that’s a fantastic conversation starter. The film examines the history of marriage, how it’s evolved, and what we expect from it now. In the end, it’s up to us to decide: what is it’s purpose?

– Review by Kelly Lamplear-Dash

A feature-length documentary about the city dump in Yellowknife, Canada. In Yellowknife, the remote capitol of the Northwest Territories, the town dump is the city’s most popular and notorious manmade attraction, mined by a colorful community of thrifty locals. But the new city administration is determined to see it tamed, and the battle for Yellowknife’s identity is on.

An “A” for effort. This film is a unique peek into the salvage subculture of a small town in Yellowknife, Canada, which has a history of mining. There was great use of historical footage and stills. I would have like to seen more. There was an interesting cast of characters; however, maybe too many.

I am interested in the themes of re-use, re-purpose, recycling, minimum waste, environmental impact, and dumpster diving for food. It also touched on the issues of community interest versus politics coupled with the ever-increasing issue of gentrification. This film was trying to do a lot, but could have been cut back a little. Maybe even been a short. I really did appreciate it.


Stay tuned for more TCFF reviews and interviews!

 

 

TCFF Day 4: Secretariat, Flourtown, Nature of Existence

TCFF day 4 has come and went, and we’re about to close the 5-day film festival with FAIR GAME later tonight. Executive Producer Bill Pohlad will be on-hand at this red carpet event to introduce the movie at 7pm. Do you have your tickets yet? The online ticket sales is closed right now, but you may still purchase tickets at the box office before the show using cash or check.

I volunteered again all afternoon yesterday, doing various tasks such as passing out schedules at the ticket booth, tearing out tickets of people going into the screening, and handing out rush tickets (or stand-by tickets) of Secretariat to people who might be interested. It’s kind of expected that people are cautious about strangers handing out stuff in a public area, you practically see ’em as they walk toward you. The best you can do is put on the best smile you can muster and try to use the word ‘free’ or ‘complimentary’ in there somewhere 😀 A mother & daughter were actually looking to see a movie and had been interested to see Secretariat, so their eyes lit up when we gave each of them a rush ticket. That really made the whole thing worthwhile.

One of the two main features of Day 4 is The Nature of Existence, directed by Minnesota’s own filmmaker Roger Nygard, who did TREKKIES back in 1997. This time he took on a more spiritual/metaphysical quest by traveling the globe to interview various people and start by asking the biggest question: “why do we exist?” After a four-year world-wide odyssey beginning in 2005, he had over 450 hours of footage to boil down to an hour and a half worth of feature-length documentary. You can check out the reviews of this at RottenTomatoes. I ran into Mr. Nygard during my shift but as I was wearing my volunteering hat, I didn’t get a chance to ask him any question of my own. I personally would like to know if he had learned anything from this journey, and what his real motivation was in making this. At first glance it seems that despite its thought-provoking appeal, it’d probably raise far more questions than answer… which makes me think that the tag line in the poster (every mystery of human existence… explained in one movie) is nothing more than wishful thinking.

After my shift, I checked out Secretariat, the ‘horse movie’ as everyone calls it, which was a rousing good fun. I don’t know much about the subject matter, but I really enjoyed it. The movie was preceded by a short movie Flourtown, about a couple who search for a reason to live after their boys die, and make a surprising discovery in their own lives as artists. It’s a really beautifully-filmed short, created by William Slichter who uses his background in Fine Arts in his storytelling. Check out the trailer:

Another volunteer shift beckons, so watch for my review of Secretariat and Fair Game hopefully tomorrow. Stay tuned!