Monday, February 23, 2009

Boulder International Film Festival

It was over a week ago, but I am still thinking about the movies that I saw at the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF). David volunteered to work at the fest; as a result, I got tickets to two of the shows.

The first one was a documentary about Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. It had information that I didn't know about: Cash's interest in and desire to help men in prison. He actually took a great interest in a fellow named Glenn Shirley and played a role in helping him get out of prison and gave the guy a job playing with Cash and his band. All went downhill though; Shirley reverted to drug use and committed suicide. The movie played a song that Cash wrote: "I Got Stripes." Dave and I both liked it and we looked up the words and are playing it now at jams and plan for it to be on the Steel Pennies set list.

The second movie I saw was the "Shorts." There were 7 short films, each probably ten minutes long or less. One was nominated for an Academy Award (it didn't win) called "New Kid", set in a Irish classroom of kids and their teacher. It was pretty funny.

David's favorite short was "spider." This one had the theme, "it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." It had some shock appeal--especially for the men in the audience. The story was about a guy who picked up a rubber spider, and how the spider caused some havoc.

My favorite short was "In the Dark." It was set in Iran, just prior to the return of Khomeini's triumphant return. A double agent was trying to get out of the country via help from the CIA. It was a very powerful piece, all the more so since it was based upon a true story. The filmmaker spoke with the audience immediately afterward; he is of Iranian heritage but has never lived there--nor could he after making this movie.

All in all, some fascinating and thought-provoking time spent. Plus, we came away with a new song for our repertoire.

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