Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dark Carnival and California

Last saturday I attended the last day of the Dark Carnival Film Fest. I saw some great shorts and two interesting full length movies, including the goriest movie I've ever seen, and that's saying a lot.

Some of my best friends were there.

Afterwards was a monster mash of a dance party. The band leader was the first Jason. Carrie was declared queen of the dance. But somehow stuff went wrong.
You can check out more pictures on my flicker account, including the firedepartment being called, and some other exciting stuff.

Here's a copy of the student newspaper review of the festival that I'm quoted in

Indiana Daily Student - Aug. 27, 2007

Dark Carnival brings out frights, delights

by Nick Mills

Although the sun was shining, Bloomington got a little darker this weekend with the arrival of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. More than just a film festival, the horror fest was full of terrifying spectacles. From celebrity guests to costumed creepsters, the dark underworld of independent horror films shined its light at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

The events included sideshows and a celebrity meet-and-greet session with special guests Ari Lehman (the original Jason from “Friday the 13th”) and Raine Brown (from the film “100 Tears”). Before stepping inside the Buskirk, theatergoers congregated by the front door to watch a local man dressed as Michael Myers from the “Halloween” movies wander through the crowd. The entertaining duo of Baron Mardi and Dr. Calamari, two of Bloomington’s own local make-up artists, donned costumes to host the festival.

To get the festivities off to a proper start, the Starlite Drive-In hosted a screening of the film “Dead and Breakfast” on Thursday night. Special guest Brenna Lee Roth was out and about, conversing with attendees – although most of the attention fell on her father, David Lee Roth, of Van Halen fame, who was slated to show up but never made an appearance.

“If he comes, he’ll steal my thunder,” Brenna said in good nature after someone interjected and asked if “DLR” was coming. “Even if he doesn’t, he’ll steal my thunder.”

Film screenings for the festival began Friday. Various horror flicks were on display, and in between shows the filmmakers held discussions. Films were sent in from all over the nation and included everything from stop-motion to animation, as well as short and feature-length films. After reviewing the films over several days, workers and volunteers at Cinephile chose the best to be shown.

The audience enjoyed the film selection, commenting on the variety and giving other compliments as varied as the films themselves.

“I just like the violence,” Bloomington resident Katrina Perry said. “I like to satisfy my violent urges through film.”

Festival performers included the Blue Monkey Sideshow, with their presentation of gut-wrenching stunts, humor and entertainment. More extreme acts included walking on glass and lying on a bed of nails, the latter of which induced cringing from the audience.

While few members, like Perry, enjoyed the Dark Carnival for the violence, others merely were pleased that a supportive art community can come together in Bloomington to express themselves through horror.

“This [festival] is just a celebration of the fun of the horror genre,” said Denis St. John, a student at the Center of Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vt.

David Pruett, the organizer of the event, claims it was originally going to be a “festival of the weird” or a “display of curiosity,” but as the plans unfolded, it turned into a festival based around film. The event took only five months to plan – quite a feat for something of this size, according to Pruett.

“I really like that it’s the first year that they did (the festival) from the ground up, and it went really well,” said Brown, whose film “100 Tears” was the last film shown on Saturday. “It will only get bigger.”

Others echoed Brown’s optimism for a repeat film festival. Pruett said the filmmakers enjoyed the event and the people involved in planning it are pushing to have one next year.

“I was happy the filmmakers enjoyed it. They were really happy with the audience turnout and their energy,” Pruett said. “It’s pretty likely (it’s) going to happen again.”

that was sent to me by my friend KosmosFlot.

I also have some pics from my trip to California up on flicker.