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Freak’s Top 10 pre-fest picks

February 4, 2009


As Published in the Oxford Town 


In no real order, here are some of the must see’s (although really the list could include about 25 instead of 10!)


“Ballast” – Saturday, 6:45 p.m. 

Director: Lance Hammer, Producer: Nina Parikh (MS Film Commission)

Stars: Johnny McPhail (Oxford), Tarra Riggs,  Michael J. Smith, Jr., JimMyron Ross

Plot: In the Mississippi Delta, A family recovers after the patriarch’s suicide. 

Why: A beautiful film thanks to cinematographer Lol Crawley, “Ballast” is a great piece of work straight from home.

Type: Narrative feature


“Prom Night in Mississippi,” Friday, 5:30 p.m.

Director: Paul Saltzman, Producer: Patricia Aquino

Plot: A high school in Charleston, Miss. prepares for its first integrated prom. 

Why: A documentary straight from regional headlines.

Type: Documentary feature


“Visioneers,” Friday 6:15 p.m.

Director: Jared Drake

Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Missi Pyle, Judy Greer, James LeGros, D.W. Moffett

Plot: When people began exploding at Jeffers Corporation, George Washington Winsterhammerman begins to explore if there is more to life than his desk job. 

Why: A quirky film about living your dream

Type: Narrative feature


“The Last Lullaby,” Friday, 6:15 p.m.

Director: Jeffrey Goodman

Stars: Tom Sizemore, Sasha Alexander

Plot: A retired hitman considers taking on another job, but complications lead to him reconsidering his choices.

Why: A solid first attempt from director Jeffrey Goodman, the film is great for anyone who likes noir

Type: Narrative feature


“Make-Out With Violence,” Saturday 12:00 p.m.

Director: The Deagol Brothers

Stars: Eric and Jordan Lehning, Cody DeVos

Plot: The Darling brothers come of age during a hot summer when their friend Wendy is killed. The twist, she comes back as a zombie and they decide to hide her and care for her body. 

Why: One of the most original films I have seen recently, it is a love story, coming-of-age story, and zombie film in one. 

Type: Narrative feature 


“Luke and Brie are on a First Date,” Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Director: Chad Hartigan

Stars: George Ducker, Meghan Webster

Plot: (see title – insert awkward conversation)

Why: A mumblecore film that perhaps is as charming as my other favorite in this movement, “Quiet City.” 

Type: Narrative feature

grandwheel1Grand Wheel in the experimental block

Experimental Block, Saturday 1:45 p.m.

Films: “One Last Shock,” “Strife of Tongues,” “Grand Wheel,” “Cataract,” “Badlands,” “A Realistic Fear,” “Portrait of a Filmmaker,” “Victims,” “Sisters,” “The Legacy of Cotton”

Why: I know, I know, experimental is not your first choice when going into the theater. But curator Brooke White has selected a handful of lovely short films that truly bring the form into the realm of art. Also, some of the filmmakers will be on hand for a Q&A and that will make for a great discussion about film, art, and personal expression through media. 

Type: Short experimental 


“Excision,” Saturday, 3:30 p.m. 

Director: Richard Bates, Jr.

Plot: A neglected teen with a dream to one day enter medical school sets into motion a plan to finally obtain validation from her disapproving mother.

Why: This is the first film Bates has made and it is a fantastic short horror entry. There are great effects and a storyline that leaves you in suspense. Even once the big event occurs, Bates leaves the end open to interpretation. 

Type: Short, Horror


“Of All The Things”/”Crude Independence”/”M For Mississippi”/”Full Moon Lightnin” (great block of documentaries – can’t pick just one!), Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. 

Why: Within each of these documentaries is an amazing story, some are heartwarming, others informative, but all with a great sense of what it means to be human. 

Type: Documentary

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2009 11:38 pm

    Visioneers rocks! A must see!

  2. February 4, 2009 6:16 pm

    OOH! I didn’t know Visioneers was playing! Now I’m excited! I’d wanted to see it…I love Zach Galifinakis!

  3. February 4, 2009 4:00 pm

    Oooh, Visioneers sounds really cool. Plus, I love Zach Galifianakis. I’ll have to keep an eye open for that one opening near me somewhere.

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