Last Things (2023, Deborah Stratman)

Kicking off Saturday with lovely mellow music by Mold Gold. Trying to tip the artists after the fact – it’s not their fault that stupid venmo won’t let me add a credit card in their broken app.

Lost Things has a beautiful ending, choir with titled lyrics into a field of star people, the artistic peak of the festival for me. Rocks, tho. Visible rocks, and microscopic, and caves made out of rock. The coolest images, with apocalyptic sci-fi voiceover blending with proper-sci explanations, all kinds of spacey music with a minimum of high-pitched drone.

That Day on the River (2023, Lei Lei)
This played first but deserves to be mentioned last. Artificially degrades its archive images with screens and grains, slows down and Martin Arnoldizes the motion and adds clunky sounds of analog tape cueing and fluttering, while telling a couple unilluminating stories from a son’s and dad’s childhood. Mostly excruciating. I wouldn’t want to see the director’s 100-minute feature about his family history, but I would check out the 6-minute photo flicker.

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