Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I was part of a Start on the Street festival in Worcester in 2006. There were lots of things I learned, but one thing that stood out was people passing through wanted inexpensive goods. The smaller it was and the cheaper it was the better. People were selling paintings for $100 a pop and not selling anything. On the contrary, my friend Stacy sold cards for a few dollars and made over $100.
There was a man at the bazaar who had nothing to sell, but was looking for volunteers at a film festival he was running. His name is Robert Newton The film fest was called the Mass Bay film festival and intended to show the _most_ obscure masterful films that Rob had come across. He said he screened 100's of films before selecting the ones approved for the festival. My wife and I had the most enjoyment out of indie films so we signed up.
And hardly anyone showed to the screening where we sold tickets. The movie that played was called Shakespeare Behind Bars, and I only caught half of the film. I did gather the documentary revealed the humanity of those behind bars, how each person who was imprisoned had a troubled upbringing. The documentary progresses and shows the jailbirds really struggling with stepping outside who they were to act in a shakespeare play. With the stigma our society has on jail and those locked up, this film really does well at erasing the vast distance between the viewer and the prisoner.
Another movie I got to check out was the Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea. The film highlights the folly of toying with a natural resource.
The best film of all that I viewed, and the one with the largest audience was The House of Usher. The angles, tones, and pacing of the movie was second to none. After the film finished the director was on hand to answer questions. There was quite a bit of silence after seeing such a masterful movie and seeing that it was directed by the woman who stood before us. Someone asked her how long it took to make the movie (shot in Massachusetts). She said it was planned well and done in a few weeks.
All of these amazing movies and opportunities to hear from directions and actors (Steven Tobolowski) in person was all because of Robert Newton. He is the guy with blond hair in the pic. This was taken in Bocado's in Worcester, Ma during his kick off party for his site called WorcesterMovies.com .