15th Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival
Featuring screenings, panels, live music, technology workshops and more.
Continues Friday through Sunday at Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse, Malco Studio on the Square and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. For tickets, a full schedule and more information, visit indiememphis.com.
A viewer’s guide to the films can be found on The Commercial Appeal’s movie blog, TheBloodshotEye.com.
Continuing today through Sunday at various Midtown venues, the 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival has too many highlights — worthwhile films, potentially interesting panels and filmmaking and technology workshops — to be covered definitively in any one article.
Instead, here's a selection of a very few film highlights:
"Indie Game: The Movie": Even those indifferent to video games will be mesmerized by this fascinating film about the dedicated artists and visionaries who dedicate years of their lives to creating independent games for discerning players. The move is a compelling eye-opener as it makes the argument that video games deserve to be taken as seriously as movies, novels, paintings and more esteemed art forms. (10:30 a.m. Friday, Malco Studio on the Square.)
"Red Flag": Partly filmed in Memphis, this faux/authentic documentary from writer-director-star Alex Karpovsky (a regular on HBO's "Girls") may be the funniest film at the festival, a chronicle of a disastrous Southern road trip that establishes Karpovsky as the Woody Allen of the digital media generation. (7 p.m. Friday, Circuit Playhouse)
Short Films #2: Hometowner: Eight local filmmakers will introduce their latest work, including such shorts as Edward Valibus Phillips' ingeniously hilarious "Bad Bikes," and Mike McCarthy's "G*****n Goddard," inspired by the director's youthful run-in with the former movie critic of The Commercial Appeal. (9:15 p.m. Friday, Playhouse on the Square)
"Pilgrim Song": Produced by Memphis-based Paper Moon Films, this second feature from writer-director Martha Stephens is a candidate for best film at the fest, and a demonstration that no-budget filmmakers still produce inspired work. Timothy Morton stars as a recently fired public-school music teacher and restless husband who copes with his disaffection by deciding to hike Kentucky's 282-mile Sheltowee Trace Trail. (4:15 p.m. Saturday, Circuit Playhouse)
"Very Extremely Dangerous": This harrowing documentary by Ireland's Paul Duane and Memphis' Robert Gordon might be described as "Grey Gardens" on the highway to hell — a portrait of an old-timer living on the edge that is as funny as it is frightening, and as compassionate as it is shocking. The film follows rediscovered Sun rockabilly artist, real-life outlaw and cancer-stricken drug addict Jerry McGill from one misadventure to another; the idea that his reckless behavior is encouraged by the presence of the camera becomes part of the story. (10 p.m. Saturday, Playhouse on the Square)
"Silver Linings Playbook": Accumulating Oscar buzz along with festival acclaim, the new movie from David O. Russell ("Three Kings," "The Fighter") is an oddball romantic comedy with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, here making its Memphis debut. (11:30 a.m. Sunday, Playhouse on the Square)
"Big Star: Nothing Can Change Me": The Thursday night U.S. premiere of the long-awaited feature documentary about the influential 1970s Memphis power pop band led by the late Chris Bell and the late Alex Chilton was a sellout, so this second screening was added. (8 p.m. Sunday, Circuit Playhouse)