MIFF Day 16 - 8th August 2002

Another relatively quiet day at MIFF for me today (compared to the last couple of weeks anyway.) As I only have one screening to go to tomorrow night I am planning on going out somewhere during the day.

Before the session I finally got an answer to a question from the MIFF staff that I have been wanting to ask since the start of the festival. It turns out that I didn't need to actually go out and line up again if I had tickets to concurrent screenings in the same venue (it was good to get the exercise at least.)

The first session I went to today was a documentary called Hell House which is about a series of dramatised moral lessons with costumes, sets and actors that are put on in a specially constructed venue every October by a church in the US.

Although the dialog was very corny and the people they got to play the roles did tend to overact (which made it better to watch), it was a good example of what belief can help achieve with some people. There were some glaring technical errors due to poor research - such as the Star of David they used as a pentagram, but they gave it a good go at least.

This film seemed to split the audience right down the middle. Most people where happy just to take the piss, but some others seemed to get really offended by it and even heckled the film.

After the screening finished one bloke stood up and said:
"A friend and I are planning on infiltrating a fundamentalist organisation and destroying it from the inside if anyone has any suggestions."
To which some smart alec replied
"Yes, the Democrats!"

The next documentary was introduced by the director and the subject of the doco itself. It was Love & Anarchy The Wild Wild World of Jaimie Leonarder. The main protagonist in this doco made a name for himself as the lead singer of a band called the Mu Messons which was used as musical therapy for many people. He also is an avid collector of neglected pop culture and with his wife runs screenings/groovy dance nights.

This was an interesting documentary and will probably find a wider audience once it screens on SBS. The most interesting thing it covered was the music and bands Jaimie has been involved in.

My last session for the night (actually on the same ticket as the previous doco) where two documentaries on the Erol Morris program called The Smartest Man in the World and Mr Personality respectively.

These were interesting as the filmaker let the subjects do most of the talking with only some comments to help them tell their story. I found the better of the two to be Mr Personality which was about a Forensic Psychologist as it proved you can talk about that sort of topic without having to resort to lurid descriptions or overly graphic photography.