Sunday, April 14

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Saturday, Saturday 13th

2019 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Saturday, April 13th

Coda’s ongoing coverage of the 2019 Phoenix Film Festival & International Horror Sci-Fi Film Festival. I'll be using these posts to recap the films I've experienced as part of these festivals.

RAISING BUCHANAN – Directed by Bruce Dellis

This is a very well scripted and well edited quirky little adorable comedy about three money struggling women, a ventriloquists mafia and one presidential corpse. The lead, Amanda Melby gave a very endearing performance. Bits of heartfelt drama never cross over into the sappy zone. And supporting performances by M. Emmet Walsh and Rene Auberjonois were quite outstanding.

This film has a great soul and I hope it makes some more noise in the coming months. I'd like to see it get legs.

HAIL SATAN? – Directed by Penny Lane

I would typically point out that this is a one-sided documentary that never really gives its opposing viewpoint a microphone. But historically, the other side's over-representation in this country is kind of the whole point of this film.

I'm kind of a news junkie and my politics sway pretty far to the left, specifically when considering First Amendment issues and the separation of Church and State. If that's you, you may not see anything here that sheds any new light to these things. The various court cases explored here were fairly well covered in mainstream media. 

That being said, if you're not all that familiar with this type of activism, this is a well made and informative doc that may interest you.

SOUTHERN PRIDE – Directed by Malcolm Ingram

What would it be like living as a member of the LGBTQ community in Southern Mississippi in the era of MAGA? This quiet little doc gives us a glimpse of a world that a certain segment of this country's population would rather just ignore. 

Through trails and tribulations, we follow two bar owners in neighboring towns working towards organizing Mississippi's first ever PRIDE festival.  Not everything is beautiful and triumphant, this is a 'warts-and-all' look but I feel like the overall takeaway was rather simple. These are some people that I most of us would probably enjoy spending time with. I appreciated this film. The more exposure these communities get, the more empathy and compassion we will all feel.

THE TOMORROW MAN – Directed by Noble Jones

With only one day left to the festivals, I can only hope that this ends up as my least favorite of the lot. A "doomsday prepper" (Lithgow) falls for a lonely hoarder (Danner). Together, they validate and enable each other. This film seemed far more interested in playing the two respective disorders for laughs than ever taking a critical look at any part of them. At least the audience I saw it with thought this was a comedy. Their roots in paranoia and obsessive compulsion and the fact that they come with vastly different stigmas and how harmful these disorders can be to loved ones mostly ended up on the cutting room floor here. 

I don't really have time to flesh this out here and I'm not usually in the habit of hate-writing reviews so I'll just stop here. I was not a fan. 

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