Indie Memphis kicks into high gear today, moving to Overton Square and expanding to Circuit Playhouse and three screens at Studio On The Square. The Friday night lineup is packed with great stuff, beginning with the 25th anniversary screening of Metropolitan. Whit Stillman’s 1990 film is a seminal document of the indie film movement, providing the template for dozens of chatty, ensemble cast comedy/dramas. Stillman himself will be on hand for the screening, and to teach a screenwriting seminar on Saturday morning.
If that’s not your speed, try Men Go To Battle. It’s significant because it breaks one of the cardinal rules of indie filmmaking: No historical dramas. Setting a film in the past, especially the 1860s, requires costumes and attention to detail that most small productions simply can’t afford. But in true indie spirit, Men Go To Battle does a lot with a little. It features a killer performance by Timothy Morton, an Indie Memphis veteran who cut his teeth in Media Co-Op productions such as Morgan Jon Fox’s Away/Awake, Brandon Hutchinson’s Dollars and Signs, Kentucker Audley’s Team Picture, and Martha Stephen’s 2012 Soul Of Southern Film award winner Pilgrim Song.
Timothy Morton in Men Go To Battle
You can’t go wrong with the late shows, beginning with Raiders!, the documentary about “the greatest fan film ever made”, the shot-by-shot remake of Raiders Of The Lost Ark created in the 1980s by Mississippi teenagers Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos.
Uncle Kent 2 is written by and stars Kent Osborne, who shares a writing credit on the 2007 indie classic Hannah Takes The Stairs. And oh yeah, he’s also the head writer of Adventure Time, the animated show that has, since its 2010 inception, been a bona fide cultural phenomenon and perpetual contender for best show on television. If you haven’t heard of it, ask a kid.
Kent Osborne in Uncle Kent 2
The evening ends in high style with Phantom Of The Paradise. Brian De Palma’s debut is a psychotronic glam rock adaptation of Phantom Of The Opera that left audiences scratching their heads upon its release in 1974, but has since inspired an enthusiastic cult. Yeah, it’s gonna be nuts.