If highly paid and trained trained professionals can take a year or two and spend $60
million or so to come up with a film like, say, "Arthur," what chance do
relative amateurs with no money and a 48 hour production schedule have of
making something good? Especially when they are constrained by arbitrary,
somewhat bizarre strictures, including a requisite line of dialogue (such as "Yes,
I mean I hope so!"), a character (Marty
or Mary Quinzani - second in command), and a prop (a magnet). Those are the guidelines
of the annual 48 Hour Film Festival, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, and
maybe Hollywood should apply them to their own movies because it has resulted
in such gems as Brandon Aaskov's "The Lemonade Stand," a black comic variation
on "The Exorcist" and winner of numerous awards in the 2009 Boston competition.
That film and a compilation of 15 of the best from contests from around the world and
from various years will be screening tomorrow evening at 7 pm the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
And if you're interested in trying your own hand at whipping
out a cinematic masterpiece in two days, here's where
Meanwhile, other venues will be showing outstanding shorts by aspiring local
filmmakers. Such as the Boston International Film Festival, which will be
screening Brian Dorrington's "Action," a venture into
the now hot Boston crime genre shot in a John Cassavettes-like verité style and
including an ingenious, self-reflexive
twist. It will also screen tomorrow -- at
8:30 pm at the Loews Boston Common
And next week another award-winning local filmmaker will be
represented at the Independent Film Festival of Boston -- B.U.'s Charlie Anderson,
whose "All Day Yeah" won the Redstone
student film competition last year. I was honored to be on the jury that
awarded his film first prize, and at the time I described it as "a deceptively
simple, meticulously subtle, totally authentic tale of a disaffected
homeless teenager -- it reminds me of Gus Van Sant at his offbeat best."
It screens on
Thursday, April 28 at 9 pm as part of the "Shorts 2: Narrative 2" package.