TFMF: Oct 9-12

Tucson. Film. Folks don’t always put these two together, but the truth is, Tucson has a long history of filmmaking going back to the Old Hollywood Westerns of the 30’s and 40’s my generation grew up watching, or perhaps turning off after cartoons, on Saturday afternoon TV movie matinees on local UHF channels (now Fox, UPN, MyNetworkTV, WB, CW – whatever they’re calling themselves these days). This weekend, the filmmaking tradition here propels into 21st century with the 4th Annual Tucson Film and Music Festival. According to their website, “The Tucson Film & Music Festival celebrates the past, present and future of the Tucson, Arizona music and filmmaking scene. TFMF’s focus is on music-related content, as well as films and filmmakers with a connection to Arizona or the Southwest. The festival accepts documentaries, narrative features, shorts, and music videos.”

With the empahsis on showcasing the local scene, it’s not your everyday indie film fest. I myself am learning there is a small, if fairly thriving art, music and film culture here with a fair amount of reknown, it just happens to cater to tastes I have not yet, shall we say, acquired. But this event has refreshed my memories of  seeing a screening of DiG! at Austin Studios with director Ondi Timoner in person talking about the film to the burnouts of the Real World Austin, also present. Except for the RW cameras being everywhere, the movie was awesome and I gained a ton of respect for the challenging work and dedication it takes to shoot a documentary, particularly about flaky musicians. (Now how the hell did I get passes to that??? I think it was when my husband, then-bf, was writing for PopMatters… yeah, that was it.)

It looks to me to be small enough that you have a good chance of getting a seat at the movies you want to see and not feel like you’re missing out on something else. So if my husband’s too busy doing homework, the films I just might check out would be:

FEATURES

Nerdcore For Life (Southwest Premiere)
7:30pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Loft Cinema
Filmed over the course of two years, this documentary follows the top names in the internet-born “geek rap”genre as they celebrate “Geek Life,” their love of hip-hop and fight anti-nerd stereotypes.

A Deal Is A Deal (US Premiere)
5pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Rialto Theater
Traumatized but completely blameless, Paul’s fellow London subway drivers inform him of the ‘Three Strike’ rule; three fatal accidents within a month and you’re out of a job … but with a huge pay off! With two accidents under his belt, Paul starts thinking about rigging the system and cashing in with his suicidal friend Tommy. After a weekend spent tying up loose ends together, the men each find something that has eluded them both for years – true friendship. But on Monday morning, they are back to the reality of the deal they struck. (Sounds a bit like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I actually liked that movie. Shut up!).

Adventures of Power (AZ Premiere)
6pm Saturday, 10/11 @ The Loft Cinema
Adventures of Power is the story of a small-town mine-worker named Power who’s obsessed with drums. Only problem is, he’s never played them–so he has become an expert “air-drummer,” a skill which so far has not earned him respect from his union-leader father, or from the working-class town. He soon discovers an underground network of people who play “air drums” competitively and his life changes forever. (Air Guitar championships sound lame compared to this! Remember the episode of “Freaks and Geeks” where Lindsay’s short-shorts- wearing boyfriend rocks out on his two drumsets to Boston, even though he doesn’t know how to drum at all? That was awesome.)

Teary Sockets (West Coast Premiere)
3pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Rialto Theater
The mockumentary of Bobby Tear, lead singer of the Teary Sockets, an emo band from LA, and founder of an animal rights organization, People for the Protection of Mammals, dedicated to the prevention of bovine abuse. When the band runs out of funds, its forced to travel to Mississippi to try and get the money from Bobby’s rich but eccentric father. The clash of cultures ends up having national consequences, when the band releases a group of genetically engineered cattle and find themselves labeled as domestic terrorists. (a fake music-related American Movie?)

Your Name Here (AZ Premiere)
1pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Rialto Theater
Your Name Here is the story of two teen boys who want to start a band and all the crazy adults who get involved. With all music written and performed by the teen leads, this improvised film is a Once for teens and tweens. (I loved Once, but why couldn’t it be a boy and a girl? Or two girls?)

Song Sung Blue (Arizona Premiere)
12pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Screening Room
Song Sung Blue is a documentary feature film that tells the alternately inspiring and tragic love story of Lightning & Thunder, a homegrown Milwaukee husband and wife singing duo who pay tribute to the music of Neil Diamond. (Maybe it’s like that SNL sketch with Will Ferrel and Cheri Oteri as the Casio-playing cover band. “Hot mike, ooh, gotta hot mike here.)

SHORTS

Musical Candy (Southwest Premiere)
1:45pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Screening Room
Musical Candy is the documentary by filmmaker Clay Walker on the North Carolina music group the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The film was created during 1995-1996 prior to the Zipper’s release of the Hot album and their rise to worldwide popularity. (Ah, the swing dance craze of ’96. For the love of god, let’s keep it in the 90’s. Please.)

A Song Without A Name (World Premiere)
4pm Saturday, 10/11 @ The Screening Room
In a bold move, an amateur musician chooses a camping trip as a second date with his new love interest. What starts as an awkward occasion gradually becomes a true getting-to-know-you opportunity.

Empty House (World Premiere)
4pm Saturday, 10/11 @ The Screening Room
Empty House is an experimental documentary that focuses on the residue of memories trapped in physical objects and the rooms in which we live. Based on a true story, it depicts a family torn apart by divorce – told through the perspectives of the house and furniture that they used to own. Utilizing mixed media, home movies and doll house miniature models, the film creates a collage of mixed media to provoke the subconscious and stir the imaginations of the audience.

Music Video-rama
3:30pm Sunday, 10/12 @ The Screening Room
Debut of several music videos by local acts.

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