Short Films #5, 12:15 p.m., Studio on the Square
I Wanted To Make a Movie About a Beautiful and Tragic Memphis (Laura Jean Hocking, 14 min.)
Sunday starts strong with this film by Memphis' Laura Jean Hocking. The short contains images of the filmmaker's past and of Memphis — empty lots, derelict buildings, and other things that used to be. Music by Jimi Inc. overlaps.
Hocking shares, "I am a romantic" and "Memphis is hard to love" and "Love is like sabotage and Memphis self-sabotages" and "Why would I love a place like this?" The answer, the narrative suggests, is tied up in Hocking's emergence from her own difficult experiences.
It is beautiful. — Greg Akers
Prom Song (Ben Siler, 4 min.)
Ben Siler's stylish video of the Bake Sale tune "Prom Song" is about lateral movement and other consequences of a break-up. Siler's camera relentlessly pans right for its female subjects and occasionally left for the males. The video tells a story of a break-up across numerous characters. It's quite catchy. — Greg Akers
Vertigo Zoom (Ben Siler, 1 min.)
As described on Indie Memphis' page (and, I suspect, written by filmmaker Ben Siler), Vertigo Zoom is "Pretentious fluff. Starring Gloria Dodds, Woody Woodward, Jessica Morgan, Drew Paslay, Savannah Bearden, Kris Steward, Bart Shannon." The film presents a series of zooms, natch, with a series of actors (Bearden and a gun!) and clashing, looping music by Tropic of Cancer, from the sharing website intoinfinity.org. — Greg Akers
Please Wait Until the Tone (Laura Jean Hocking, 4 min.)
Another film by Laura Jean Hocking plays in this shorts program, Please Wait Until the Tone, shorter than I Wanted To Make a Movie About a Beautiful and Tragic Memphis but no less affecting. In it, fractal, wild images illustrate a series of answering machine (remember those?) and other telephone messages, reminiscent a little of the Replacements' "Answering Machine." If you need help if you need help if you need help... — Greg Akers
As a pet owner who immediately bristled every time Finkel used the term “pet parent,” I was eventually won over by her extended and updated appendix to Errol Morris’ great Gates of Heaven. Furever starts out as a This American Life-style geek show, but it gets bigger and better as it moves along.
Ultimately, it celebrates these dog lovers and cat fanciers because they have the courage to deal with the inevitability of death — an event which, of course, no American lifer thinks could ever happen to them. — Addison Engelking
For a while, Lloyd has a bit of a harder time finding his artistic muse than Teddy, who seems to jump headfirst into something meaningful. Being Awesome's emotional dialogue, the real meat of the film, sometimes is all too real — awkwardness and all. It's a charm that leaves you to cheer on Teddy and Lloyd during this coming-of-middle-age story. — Alexandra Pusateri
Freda’s stretch with the Beatles ran all the way from Pete Best to Yoko Ono, though she sheds no light on the mysteries of either. She had a seat up front in the Magical Mystery Tour bus, but it was her sad duty, when the Beatles finally disbanded in the early ‘70s, to fold the official fan club zine, advising readers, “Please do not write again.” She married and bore a daughter, who is interviewed for the film, and a son, who, we learn in a mournful coda, would die.
In the end, older, sadder, and considerably heavier, she is still around, a working-class Liverpudlian living by her own resources. And “Richie” is there to pay her tribute as a "member of the family" in a touching cameo under the closing credits. — Jackson Baker
The screening is another coup for Indie Memphis, which in the past few years has added major "independent" Hollywood releases screening weeks or even months before they will be released on the big screen for everyone else. Nebraska is, in a way, an aspirational choice. Payne typically makes movies that could be made to some degree by anyone, regardless of budget, excepting for the A-list cast. Payne and his collaborators focus on the script, and it's at least 60 percent of what make his films so good. He's won two Oscars for screenplays. Granted, Payne has the luxury of not having to work a day job to fund his art. But, ostensibly, screenwriting accounts for a zero on a line-item budget. The film will follow the writing, Payne proves. — Greg Akers
This time, Elba plays the South African civil rights leader and is joined by Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The buzz is strong for an Oscar nomination for Elba. — Greg Akers
Aside from the religious benefits of memorizing scripture and the fun aspect of the high stakes competitions, Mikayla has another incentive — spend time with her team's captain (and the object of her crush), JP O'Connor, the hot shot quizzer who was named third in the nation the year prior.
The journey from the Northwestern District competition to Regional Finals and then the ultimate challenge, the National Bible Quiz Championship, is full of heated competition, tension of wanting the approval of your first love, and tremendous self discovery.
Some play for the trophy, and some play for the friendships, but all will walk away changed. — Anna Cox
Awards Show, 8 p.m., Playhouse on the Square and Encore Screenings
Indie Memphis' victory lap will come this evening with the awards show honoring the best of the fest. Be there to give another round of applause for all concerned. Also, the evening will feature four encore screenings of the the hottest tickets at the festival. If you didn't get in to see them the first go-round — or if you can't stand the idea of not seeing them again — here's your chance. — Greg Akers
For the full Indie Memphis lineup, go to the schedule here.