Rendezvous, Part III

The latest on Rendezvous... The film screened Thursday, March 3 at the AMC Arizona Center 24 theater in downtown Phoenix to a sold-out audience of about 450 people. It finished 8th place overall out of the 56 films in competition. No awards this time around, unfortunately.

It would have been nice to win some awards, but we can look on the bright side. First and foremost, it was a blast to make the film. I think it's fair to say it's a much better film than AGTC was a year ago, so we continue to improve our skills and ability to work under pressure. I'm very proud of the film. Who knows, it might have done better if the visuals were not so hopelessly jacked up due to the compression compromises I had to make to get the film to tape the Sunday of the competition. The final version looks and sounds light years better.

8th place out of 56 films is actually better overall than last year's 5th place out of 21 films. Really, there was some stiff competition. Some great films, certainly a major step above last year's crop, and by many of the same teams. Everyone is improving.

The award-winning films really didn't do it for me, but there were some major standouts. My favorite may well have been Agape by Irish Productions. The film was really fresh, honest, unassuming, and just fun and funny to watch. A real feel-good buddy film. Other notables were So Good, in the no-music-just-dry-humor vein. It may have been a bit long, but the long takes just added to the absurdity of it all. Very nice.

Of the more serious films, Disillusion really stood out to me. It had this strange tone throughout, you knew something was not right, but you didn't know what. The ending was beautifuly done with editing and music to hit an emotional point. The acting was perhaps a little over the top, but all in all, very effective. Infection was one that wasn't immediate likeable, but has been on my mind ever since. It actually did a good job of taking you out of the present day into its alternate world. The fireball was a little much, but the long rotating shot in the living room was well done, and the gas mask guy passionately playing piano was a true Fellini-esque touch, so absurd you have to kick yourself for not thinking of things like that.

There were other films I liked, as well. Our buddies Bob Rue and Brian Ronalds were in a horror spoof that was first class. I tend to appreicate all the little things, considering the time pressure these films were made under.

Further on Rendezvous, it still has a lot of life left in it. It will probably be featured tomorrow on undergroundfilm.org, and it has a good shot at making the Top 25 in the Phoenix Film Project's Dead of Winter challenge, which would get it screened twice at the upcoming Phoenix Film Festival and give it a shot at some awards.

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