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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #526 (Vol. 11, No. 17). This edition is for the week of April 19--25, 2010.

"The Back-up Plan"  by Mike Smith
The Deland Collectibles Expo  by ED Tucker
FANGRRL Goes to the 2010 Ybor Festival of the Moving Image  by Lisa Scherer
G3: The Revenge of Iris  by Jason Fetters
R.I.P. Guru  by John Miller
Happy Anniversary .... Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf a  by Mike Smith
FANGRRL by Lisa Scherer

FANGRRL Goes to the 2010 Ybor Festival of the Moving Image

The Ybor Festival of the Moving Image is different from most other local film festivals. It's not about parties or celebrities or finding a distributor for your film at the YFOMI; it's about film, straight up: watching movies that challenge, inform and entertain, and that you might not get a chance to see otherwise. This year's film fest opened with a multimedia art exhibit titled Dreamers and Troublemakers, a title which could also be called the YFOMI's unofficial theme.

Are you a dreamer? An artist? A troublemaker? Since you are here at the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image you must be one of these...perhaps two. Maybe all three! Filmmakers certainly aspire to all three. That's how good movies got made. ... -- from the YFOMI program

Here's a quick summary of the films I caught at the 2010 Ybor Festival of the Moving Image -- the good, the bad and the troublemakers:
Gentlemen, We Have Got To Go

Gentlemen, We Have Got To Go -- A short "mockumentary" about filmmaker and jack-of-all-trades Chano Rodriguez that seemed to be funnier to the people in the audience who knew or had worked with Chano than to those of us who didn't. B

Piece of My Heart -- A beautifully-shot short film about a convenience store clerk who fell madly in love with the woman who shot him during a robbery. Good music, creative cinematography, but too long. Loved the first two-thirds; have no idea what happened during the final third. B

Chicken Cheerleader -- Cute little short film about the double misery of an unrequited high school crush combined with an embarrassing after-school job at a goofy fast-food joint. B

Scoops -- Touching short film about life, love and loss with the unique twist of having the voice-over narration done in rhyming couplets. The scoops of the film's title refer to many things throughout one's life journey: scoops of ice cream as a child, scoops of cold beans straight from the can as an unemployed adult, scoops of applesauce as a senior citizen. One of my favorite films of the festival. A

The Great Indicator -- Bodies filmed in shadows lighting up during various medical tests, pulsating music, vivid colors, flashing strobe lights...I have no idea what was going on here but it was fascinating to watch. B+

Prom Date -- A depressed guy who just got turned down for the prom gets out his sketching pad and creates his ideal prom date. B-

Faithless Short Spanish-language drama about a father angry with his three daughters. I have no idea why, because the subtitles were very difficult to read. C+

Ground Is Lava -- Retrieving the dropped remote control isn't going to be easy for these college roommates because the ground has turned to molten lava. Good thing their friend from down the hall is there to serve as sports commentator during this ultimate challenge. Oh so silly -- and the special effects were cheesy -- but hilarious. B+

Crackie -- This depressing Canadian feature film about three generations of a dysfunctional family of females -- gritty, foul-mouthed grandmother; slutty, absent mom; lonely sad-sack daughter -- did a good job of portraying the emotional numbness and geographical isolation of its characters. By the end of the film, however, I was also emotionally numb. B

March 31 -- This exquisitely filmed, surrealistic short film about a little girl's reaction to her dad's death is one of the best shorts I've ever seen. Beautiful, creative, moving and original. One of my favorites of the festival. A+ [WON 1ST PLACE IN THE FLORIDA STUDENT FILMMAKER AWARD CATEGORY]

Tampa UE: Urban Decay -- Bleak but beautiful montage of photographs of local urban decay (demolished buildings, flooded rooms, deserted homes, rusted beds, rain-damaged furniture, etc.) set to sad music and somber narration. A- [WON 3RD PLACE IN THE FLORIDA STUDENT FILMMAKER AWARD CATEGORY]

Ichthyopolis -- The YFOMI program describes this film as a "short psychedelic technomation" that "occupies a realm where high camp, the absurd and the esoteric intersect." That's the perfect way to describe a film that has fish singing opera. B

Spam Letter -- One spam email read by a computerized voice + images culled from Google searches = one bizarre and intriguing short film. B+

The Valedictorian's Moment -- A short and sweet film about a high school valedictorian with writer's block. B+

Hungry For Green:Feeding the World Sustainably -- I watched this short documentary about eco-farming, ending world hunger and agricultural sustainability while eating junk food and drinking soda that I'd smuggled into the theater in my purse. I started out just killing time until the next screening, but ended up learning a hell of a lot from this succinct and very informative documentary. B+

Rocaterrania -- You know how most people had an imaginary friend when they were little? Well, 76-year-old scientific illustrator Renaldo Kuhler has taken that to a whole new level. He's spent the past 40+ years creating -- through both text and drawings -- the imaginary country of Rocaterrania, which is located between the northern U.S. and Canada. He's studied their language, tracked their politics, explained their monetary system, investigated their businesses, followed their fashion trends, romanced their women, and charted their filmmaking industry. I'm glad this man's bittersweet and incredible story has been captured on film. One of my favorites of the festival. A

Complete History of the World -- A delightfully whimsical short film about language, love and how even a linguistics professor can get tongue-tied when talking to a woman he likes. One of my favorites of the festival. A+ [WON 2ND PLACE IN THE FLORIDA STUDENT FILMMAKER AWARD CATEGORY]

The One and the Many -- In this experimental short film, the words and sounds spoken by a series of strangers are combined into one philosophical statement. B
Complete History of the World

My Dog Tulip -- A funny, quirky animated feature-length film about a stuffy middle-aged British grump and the "love of his life" Tulip the "Alsatian bitch" plus way more about canine bodily functions and mating than anyone really cares to know. Marley and Me this ain't. One of my favorites of the festival. A

Elevator Music -- In this short film, a couple pop some pills, hop in an elevator and have some hellacious hallucinations. The sped-up images, crazy colors and pulsating music made me want to pop some Tylenol. C

What Lurks In The Dark -- A short Claymation-style animated film about a father's nightly quest to protect his family from something terrible that is lurking in the dark. B+

Now in its 8th year, the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image didn't seem to draw as many people in as in recent years. My guess is the hectic overlapping local film festival schedule negatively impacted attendance. No matter whether there are ten people in the audience or one hundred people, however, the YFOMI will continue bringing unique and unusual films to the Tampa Bay area. Dreamers and troublemakers don't give up easily.

"FANGRRL" is ©2010 by Lisa Scherer.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.