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March 7-13, 2007

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Mike Brune and Alex Orr of 'Blood Car'

Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
Car parts: Actor Mike Brune (left) and director Alex Orr from 'Blood Car' join the fun at Metro's Cinequest party at the Agenda Lounge last Thursday.

Cinequest 2007: Insider's Guide

Week Two

By Richard von Busack


mar 7
The locally made Making It Right (7:15pm, SJ-Rep) follows a group of SJSU students trying to find solutions to persistent social problems in the valley. In a similar local vein, The White Silk Dress (9:30pm, C12) is a drama of Vietnam in the 1950s. San Jose boasts one of the largest Vietnamese expatriate communities in the world—seeing this would be another way to get a sense of our city, while here for Cinequest.

mar 8
A quick plug for the shrewd and visually beautiful doc Ghost Mountain Experiment (2pm, C12), about a popular proto-hippie writer in the California desert and the troubles he concealed from his readers. It's billed with Ghost's director John McDonald's superb accompanying short Cotton-Eyed Joe; also at 2pm, Ian Olds' Bomb is the highlight of Shorts Program 2.

mar 9
Day of the Writer at the Rep! Rise, my brothers! "Track A" has SJSU's own Scott Sublett (the musical Bye-Bye bin Laden) coming in to discuss such necessities as the three-act structure and choosing an idea that works (9:30-11am); Track B (also 9:30-11am) is local scriptwriter and deputy public defender Robert G. Phelps' analysis of A Clockwork Orange. Scriptwriter James Dallesandro, a popular 'quest-guest, returns for a "Screenwriting Essentials in Action" seminar (11am-12:30pm)—a good time to ask Dallesandro about the rumors that animator Brad Bird (The Incredibles) will be directing the film of his San Francisco earthquake novel, 1906. Lastly, at 1:30pm: Lew Hunter interviews Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Way of the Gun.)

Also recommended: The Prince's Respite. This clever Hungarian fantasy (9:45pm, C12) begins like an Almodóvar: an actress with a sulfurous past on a chat show called No Pass, in which the guests are jettisoned if they refuse to answer any personal questions. From there, we go to hell, where "The Prince" gets his hands on the actress, giving her a chance to find anyone who would die in her place.

mar 10
Day of the Producer at the Rep At 12:30pm: Nancy Rae Stone, exec VP of production at Beacon Pictures, and former actress-turned-producer Miranda de Pencier (you may remember her from the film version of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron) come to Cinequest to discuss the indie film milieu; they have a new film going, the soon-to-be-released PU-239 starring Paddy Considine (In America) and Radha Mitchell (Miranda and Miranda). It's directed by Scott Z. Burns, who is currently scripting The Bourne Ultimatum.

mar 11
After the final awards are announced, and after the North American premiere of the Saigonese relay-drama Owl and the Sparrow (6:30pm, California Theatre), Cinequest ends as it began: with parties, at the Loft Bistro and VooDoo Lounge, the rubbing of shoulders, the inflating or smoothing of ruffled egos and the snatching of goodies from the trays of nimble waiters.


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