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2008 New York Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 24, 2008

As I noted earlier, this year marks the very last ever New York Underground Film Festival, which will run this April 2-8. While I haven’t been in many years, the times I did go the festival made a huge impact on me, so I’m really sad to see it end.

However, it seems like they’re going out in a blaze of glory from the massive lineup below. One of the things they’re doing is showing compilations of short films from NYUFF’s past. There’s three separate events under the collective title “NYUFF Is Enough.” Some of these shorts played the years I went, so I’ve noted them in the lineup below with links to my original reviews — although you’ll probably have to scroll through massive entries since I maniacally saw as many films as I could then.

Some Underground Film Journal-centric programming notes: Superstar animator Martha Colburn has two films this year. One is Destiny Manifesto, which I reviewed when Sundance had a bunch of shorts online; and the other is What’s On? during one of the retrospective programs, which I haven’t seen. Personally I would have picked Spiders in Love: An Arachnogasmic Musical, which was my first introduction to her work, but I’m sure What’s On? is great, too.

Also, Josh Koury returns to NYUFF with his doc We Are Wizards, which just had a triumphant world premiere at SXSW. While I haven’t seen it yet, most of the reviews from SXSW we read online seemed to really dig the flick. Finally, Jeff Krulik‘s fascinating and hilarious King of Porn is playing during the first “NYUFF Is Enough” event.

April 2

8:00 p.m.: Heavy Metal in Baghdad, dir. Eddy Moretti. Acrassicuada is Iraq’s only heavy metal band and this documentary followed them around from 2003 to 2006 as they did their best to keep a difficult country to keep rocking. It wasn’t easy, though, when a missile destroys their practice space and the members eventually become too afraid to even go out. Some proceeds from this screening will go to a fund to help out the band.

April 3

6:30 p.m.: “Where’s the Love?”
The Third Body, dir. Peggy Ahwesh (Watch online)
Light Is Waiting, dir. Michael Robinson (Watch online)
i.Mirror, dir. Cao Fei
Every (Text, Image, Sound, Movie) on My Cell Phone, dir. Darrin Martin
Night Tide (for Sailors, Mermaids, Mystics), dir. Drew Heitzler

7:00 p.m.: “Inside, Outside, Upside Down”
Unfolding Continuum, dir. Nate Boyce
Huge Flag, dir. Jessie Stead
Number One, dir. Leighton Pierce
Neighbors, dir. Robert Todd
Office Suite, dir. Robert Todd
Discoveries on the Forrest Floor 1-3, dir. Charlotte Pryce
Observando el Cielo, dir. Jeanne Liotta

8:00 p.m.: “Government Radiation”
The Film – An Epic Adventure, or The Other Kwai, dir. Jesper Nordahl
Broad Day, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Hobbit Love Is the Greatest Love, dir. Steve Reinke
Playing Dead, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Destiny Manifesto, dir. Martha Colburn
Untitled #1 (from the series Earth People 2507), dir. Nao Bustamante
Key to the City, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Stranger Comes to Town, dir. Jacqueline Goss
Degradation #1: X-ray: Part 2, Government Radiation, dir. James June Schneider

8:45 p.m.: Hoopeston, dir. Thomas Bender. Hoopeston is a real town just outside of Chicago that went from being the global capital of sweet corn production to a devastated community in just a few short years. Meet some of the more intriguing residents, including a Wiccan who founds the nation’s first witch school, a beads industry transplant from Virginia Beach, a pagan CEO and the young leader of the Corellian Tradition.

9:45 p.m.: Kenedi Is Getting Married, dir. Zelimir Zilnik. Kenedi Hasani is desperate for cash, so he goes the Midnight Cowboy route and alternates between hustling old widows and gay men. But, one of his hustles might open the door to getting married and getting set for life.

10:30 p.m.: East of the Tar Pits, dir. Gary LeGault. Former Warhol superstar, Holly Woodlawn stars as a New York housewife who moves to California on a pilgrimage to Barbra Streisand’s old Malibu ranch and hooks up with an old flame.

April 4

6:30 p.m.: “The Only Possible City, Part 1”
What I’m Looking For, dir. Shelly Silver
False Future, dir. Matthew Buckingham
The Disappearance, dir. John Menick
Hommes a Femmes, dir. Gerard Byrne

7:00 p.m.: “NYUFF Is Enough, Part 1 of 3”
I Was a Teenage Serial Killer, dir. Sarah Jacobson
Andre the Giant Has A Posse, dir. Helen Stickler
4 Films in 5 Minutes: A Trilogy, dir. Jennet Thomas, Skizz Cyzyk
The Operation, dir. Jacob Pander
Slave #13, dir. Koh Yamamoto
King of Porn, dir. Jeff Krulik (Read the review)
New York Marathon, dir. Koh Yamamoto
Junky, dir. Tony Nittoli
Seven Days Til Sunday, dirs. Reynold Reynolds, Patrick Jolley

8:00 p.m.: The End of the Light Age, dir. James June Schneider. The director describes the film as “an experimental tone poem for darkness set in an old fashioned kind of future” and is “based on a thread of visual development from Nietszche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.”

8:45 p.m.: “Nasty As U Wanna Be” is a special screening to celebrate the release of a new DVD by Nasty Nets, a group that “celebrates and critiques the internet by employing original and appropriated imagery and audio, such as animated gifs, YouTube hacks, html cheat codes, and other found and edited material.”

9:45 p.m.: “Revolution 9” is programmed by Bradley Eros and presents 9 works on the themes of Revolt, Revolve, Revolver, Revolutionary (with Robots, Rotation & Rotoreliefs).

10:30 p.m.: I-Be Area, dir. Ryan Trecartin. The cloning and adoption industries intertwine in this tale of frustrated people who want the perfect blank baby that they can transform into the perfect human being.

11:30 p.m.: Super High Me, dir. Doug Benson. Inspired by Morgan Spurlock, Benson tests the effects of smoking marijuana every day for one month. He also investigates California’s pot laws, the issue of medical marijuana and the debate over the medical effects of pot on the human body.

April 5

1:45 p.m.: The End of the Light Age, dir. James June Schneider. See April 4, 8 p.m. for info.

2:30 p.m.: “The Only Possible City, Part 2 of 3”
Prison Images, dir. Harun Farocki

3:30 p.m.: The People’s Advocate: The Life & Times of Charles R. Garry, dirs. Hrag Yedalian and Michael Blieden. A documentary profile of the defense attorney for Huey Newton and Bobby Seale; and tragically Jim Jones.

4:15 p.m.: “Two Black Towers”
The Black Tower, dir. John Smith
The Return of the Black Tower, dir. Jennet Thomas
Looks Like It’s Going to Rain, dir. Ken Nordine
Whispering Pines #5, dir. Shana Moulton
On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud in Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious, or Can The Avant-Garde Artist be Wholed?, dir. Owen Land

5:15 p.m.: “Orchard Gallery Presents”
Toute la Mémoire du Monde, dir. Alain Resnais
Rock My Religion, dir. Dan Graham

6:00 p.m.: Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains, dir. Jessie Stead. From the director: “An old-fashioned, absurdo-epic journey begins to prove the motion picture’s lone hypothesis: that foggy mountains breakdown more than non-foggy mountains.” Shown with Photography Is Easy, dir. Leslie Thornton.

7:00 p.m.: “NYUFF Is Enough, Part 2 of 3”
Crack, dir. Jon Moritsugu
What’s On?, dir. Martha Colburn
The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography, dir. William E. Jones
The Vyrotonin Decision, dir. Matt McCormick
The Manipulators, dir. Andrew Jeffrey Wright & Claire E. Rojas (Read the review)
4 Ways he tried to tell you, dir. Jennet Thomas
Tiger Me Bollix, dir. Andrew Lampert & Moira Tierney
Songs of Azores, dir. Adrianne Jorge (Read the review)
Drowning, dir. James Fotopoulos
Ya Private Sky, dir. Stom Sogo
Mit Mir, dir. Kerstin Cmelka
Little Flags, dir. Jem Cohen (Read the review)
Untied, dir. Deborah Stratman
Amy Goodrow: Tape 5925, dir. Eileen Maxson

7:45 p.m.: “Market Sentiments”
P.R., dir. Bryan Leister
Priciest Homes, dir. Jesper Nordahl
Market Sentiments, dir. Barbara Musil
Beirut Outtakes, dir. Peggy Ahwesh
Call and Response, dir. Aaron Valdez
Armored Cars: Protect Yourself from Ballistic Attacks, dir. Angie Waller
CALIFORNIA/blue, dir. Abbey Williams
Internet Alphabet, dir. Joe Nanashe
Lovely Andrea, dir. Hito Steyerl

8:45 p.m.: We Are Wizards, dir. Josh Koury. A look at the phenomenon of “Wizard Rock,” i.e. rock bands who only sing songs about the world of Harry Potter. (Watch online)

9:45 p.m.: Adventure Poseidon, The, dir. Annie McGuire. A deconstruction of the classic Irwin Allen disaster movie.

10:30 p.m.: “Tube Time!” It’s the return of the live game show where selected contestants share outrageous clips they’ve found on the Internet.

April 6

1:45 p.m.: “Where’s the Love?”
See April 3, 6:30 p.m. for details.

2:30 p.m.: “The Only Possible City, part 3”
Raw Nerves: A Lacaian Thriller, dir. Manual De Landa
Social Visions, dir. Redmond Entwistle
How to Behave Or: A Story of Kindness, dir. Tran Van Thuy

3:30 p.m.: We will live to see these things, or, five pictures of what may come to pass, dirs. David Jones and Julia Meltzer. A five-part documentary about life in Damascus, Syria featuring a downtown building, the arrival of a “perfect leader,” a dissident intellectual and a Qur’an school for young girls. Shown with Victory Over the Sun, dir. Michael Robinson.

4:15 p.m.: “The Phantom Menace”
Window of Time, dir. James Fotopoulos
Ruhe im Stalle furtzt die Kuh (Be Quiet, there is a Cow farting in the Stable), dir. Mark Ther
Oh Great, Now Look What Happened, dirs. Gerbrand Burger, Tijmen Hauer
Rocket, dir. Luther Price
Untitled (Pink Dot), dir. Takeshi Murata
Don’t Be a Stranger, dir. James Fotopoulos
Deviant, dir. James Fotopoulos
HANES, dir. Mark Ther
Chronicles, dir. Kirsten Stoltmann
Window of Time #2, dir. James Fotopoulos
Don’t Forget About Me, dir. James Fotopoulos

5:15 p.m.: “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now”
House, dir. Ben Rivers
The Magician’s House, dir. Deborah Stratman
Smells Like Teen Spirit, dir. Jem Cohen
Dirty Pictures, dir. John Smith
Paradise (excerpts from a work-in-progress), dir. Michael Almereyda
Throwing Paint Tins off the Roof, dir. Vibeke Bryld
1956, dir. Jenny Stark

6:00 p.m.: The Golden Age of Fish, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson. A fragmentary history of Cleveland, OH from the prehistoric past to the late twentieth century.

7:00 p.m.: “NYUFF Is Enough, Part 3 of 3”
Figures in the Landscape, dir. Thomas Comerford
Decision 80, dir. Jim Finn
private_eyez.mid, dir. Frankie Martin & Cory Arcangel
Rejected or Unused Clips, dir. Seth Price
America’s Biggest Dick, dir. Bryan Boyce
Hambone, dir. Steve Hall and Cathee Wilkins
Cats and Pants, dir. Jennifer Matotek
Hymn of Reckoning, dir. Kent Lambert (Watch online)
It Only Takes a Second, from the Found Footage Festival
Serendipity 1967, dir. Aaron Valdez
Interplay, dir. Robert Todd
Harmony, dir. Jim Trainor
Chapters 1-12 of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet Synced and Played Simultaneously, dir. Michael Bell-Smith

7:45 p.m.: “Tropical Grime”
Mild People in Aggressive T-shirts, dir. Lyn Elliot
JME in MySpace: Tropical Feelings, dirs. Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn
When the Light’s Red, dir. Keith Wilson
Michael Dancing On New Year’s Eve, 1985, dir. Michael Lucid
The Lincoln Library of Essential Information Volume 20, dirs. Kelly Oliver and Keary Rosen
I Am the Fred Astaire of Karate, dir. Tommy Button
Kittypie, dir. Jennifer MacMillan
Faustus’s Children, dirs. David Jones, Tim Jackson, Michele O’Marah

9:00 p.m.: The Juche Idea, dir. Jim Finn. “Juche” is the official North Korean religious and political ideology and it means “self-reliance.” In Finn’s film, a South Korean video artist takes a residency in the North and tries to bring “Juche” into the world of revolutionary art.

April 7

6:30 p.m.: The Golden Age of Fish, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson. See April 6, 6:00 p.m. for details.

7:00 p.m.: “Inside, Outside, Upside Down”
See April 3, 7:00 p.m. for details.

8:00 p.m.: Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains, dir. Jessie Stead. See April 5, 6:00 p.m. for details.

8:30 p.m.: “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now”
See April 6, 5:15 p.m. for details.

9:30 p.m.: “The Phantom Menace”
See April 6, 4:15 p.m. for details.

April 8

6:30 p.m.: “Market Sentiments”
See April 5, 7:45 p.m. for details.

7:00 p.m.: We Are Wizards, dir. Josh Koury. See April 5, 8:45 p.m. for details. (Watch online)

8:00 p.m.: “Tropical Grime”
See April 6, 7:45 p.m. for details.

8:30 p.m.: “Government Radiation”
See April 3, 8:00 p.m. for details.

9:30 p.m.: Hoopeston, dir. Thomas Bender. See April 3, 8:45 p.m. for details.