Thursday, November 8, 2012

Screening at VFF12: “Luminaris” and “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X”

Saturday night we’re screening two films with playfully creative takes on film and reality itself.   
Luminaris is a short comedy about a worker in a light bulb factory who tries to get ahead by cheating, and what goes wrong—and right—when he’s caught.  This gem of a film is beautifully crafted with pixilated animation and a snappy story—told only with visuals and a score, no dialogue—by Argentinian director Juan Pablo Zaramella.  Cinephiles will recognize elements of silent film comedy, day-in-the-life documentaries like The Man with a Movie Camera, and other great works.  And not just films.  As noted on the website ShortOfTheWeek:

“The setting of the film is a classic Buenos Aires, revisited from a fantastic point of view. The film uses a collage of styles, combining art deco, tango, surrealism, and neorealism. This mix of influences is directly linked with the history of Buenos Aires:  the city and its population themselves are a mix of different cultures.”

In addition to numerous other honors, Luminaris was named to the 2011 Academy Award shortlist for Best Animated Short Film.

Our accompanying feature fits our independent sensibility to a T, or an X.  The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a campy mash-up of 1950s juvenile delinquent films, sci-fi thrillers, musicals, and comedies.  Banished to Earth for intergalactic juvenile delinquency, Johnny X and his gang set off in search of a piece of alien technology that could change the fate of the universe forever—the so-called “resurrection suit.”  They’re soon embroiled in a wacky scheme with characters including a femme fatale, a shifty concert promoter, and a recently deceased musician “who won’t let a little decomposition stop him from rocking.”  Really.

Johnny X also is the last feature shot on Eastman Kodak's discontinued Plus-X 5231 stock, which was used on the likes of Raging Bull and Schindler's List—and will look great at the NoHo 7.  And it has the final screen appearance of Kevin McCarthy, which alone makes it a must see for some of you out there.

Click here to see filmmaker extraordinaire Paul Bunnell introducing the film for us.
Screening Saturday evening (11/10) at 9:30.


The Valley Film Festival returns to NoHo for its twelfth annual celebration of independent film and local production, Wednesday, November 7 – Sunday, November 11, 2012.

For more on The Valley Film Festival, visit our website or Facebook page.

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