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The Horrors of the LA Film Festival

June 29, 2009

On Friday, my friends and I attended the Los Angeles Film Fesitval — an event marked by its originality, rarity and exquisite taste in screening films which, despite their small budgets and low levels of popularity, still exude quality and mastery of the craft of film making.
With high hopes and (what I now realize was) naivete, we journeyed the streets of Westwood along with seasoned movie buffs and critics to partake in the cultural richness of the atmosphere and enjoy our own bit of cinematic masterwork.

It turns out, that joy was never meant to be ours. Not even close.
The night started out well enough. My friends and I met, chatted, walked around, ate dinner, and then realized it was time to see a movie. My dear friend Katie informed me that we were to see a movie entitled, “Silence Before Bach.”

http://www.lafilmfest.com/tixSYS/2009/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=5267

She and my other friend, Sasha, had reviewed summaries of numerous films that were to be screened at the festival, and this stood out to them as one that would be especially rewarding and delightful.

Then, I made my first mistake of the night: with a smile on my face, I responded, “Alright! Sounds great!”

Twelve wasted dollars later, I was sitting in a theatre (which was surprisingly packed) listening to a man try to sell me a movie for which I had already paid. That alone should have queued me to get my refund and get the hell out of there.

But no. I sat. I sat and listened and smiled. Dammit, I smiled like hell that night. Never has a smile been so desperate.

The movie began. And it was as though it never would end.

Opening scene: A white room. The camera pans, and pans, and pans. It refuses to stop panning! And what is it filming?? WHITENESS! Monotony! Nothing! White walls! I felt like I was in a mental institution with all the whiteness, and, frankly, it would have been easier to stay in my seat had I been wearing a straight jacket!

This relentless panning continued for what I can only conjecture was several hundred hours. Then, it got worse, if that was even possible.

Finally, the camera, STILL panning, mind you, panned itself onto an old, rickety piano that began to start playing a Bach sonata.

It would have been terrible as it was, but the sound emanating from the heap of junk was not only repetitive, but shrill and penetrating. One could close one’s eyes, ears and mind completely, but still be haunted days after by the sound. It forced its way into the mind and held on for dear life, disturbing all that was once peaceful, and murdering all that was once beautiful.

The piano, playing on its own, began to move, like a ghost instrument straight from hell bent on ruining my life. It moved in circles, turning, turning, playing, playing, slowly killing me with its music.

THEN, a dog enters the frame, led by a man (who, from what I could tell through my near-delirium, was blind) who silenced the piano.

Then, ladies and gentlemen, the movie defied the impossible. IT. GOT. WORSE.

I swear on my grandfathers grave, the entire ill-fated audience and I then sat through literally 7 minutes and 43 seconds of a blind man with his unfortunate-looking dog TUNING A PIANO. He TUNED a PIANO for 7 minutes and 43 seconds, and some director thought that would be ENTERTAINING!!!!!!

At that point I became angry. I thought, I could listen to my cat cough up a rat it killed the previous night, and i could to that for free. THAT sound, the sound of my eleven-year-old cat violently heaving up a mutilated rat it had savagely murdered and eaten the night before, would have been far more soothing and delightful than this horror. I need to get out of here!, i thought. How are these people so docile!?

I turned to my friend for comfort, but I was too late. Her eyes were glazed over. She had gone into a self-induced coma. I was alone. It was just me, a screen filled with agonizing, boring, terrors, and about a hundred mind-controlled idiots who were so pretentious that they actually enjoyed this torture.

I entered the theatre filled with excitement and hope, and left disillusioned, hateful and shocked. My day at the LA Film Festival was a cautionary tale. Beware. Beware of pretentious film makers with their head so far up their own ass that they think that any frame they cough up onto a screen will be genius. I say to you today they are wrong. I have the memories scarred into my mind to prove it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. katie t permalink
    June 29, 2009 11:07 pm

    o man…if only the readers couldve been there
    i swear, it was the worst film i have ever seen…and the guy next to u had the audacity to yell, “BRAVO!!”
    wat is the world coming to?? first this movie then Billy Mays dies….the apocalypse is coming, now im sure of it

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