Below are my ratings and thoughts on the Lost Weekend XVI film festival hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, Virginia this past weekend. I do want to also point out that the middle of my 1 to 10 scale is “This was worth watching at least once.” A score of 10 is a movie that would wind up in a lifetime favorite or change my life in some way, and I didn’t have any of those this go around.

It’s Only Life After All - 7 / 10

Indigo Girls documentary. I remember the Indigo Girls, but as I watched the documentary, I think I only remembered one of their songs. Folks music has always been a bit hit or miss for me, but I think that the reason I was unfamiliar with their work was growing up evangelical. They’re gay. And that was bad. I liked learning about their activism and their journey. I appreciate their work and the world is better for having them.

Fancy Dance - 7 / 10

Drama of indigenous people in Oklahoma. Has theme of how the United States federal government continues to oppress indigenous people. Had a very emotionally punchy ending.

Time Bomb Y2K - 6 / 10

Time capsule documentary about the Y2K bug. Felt appropriate to my memories of the time.

Riceboy Sleeps - 9 / 10

Korean Canadian movie. Subtle. Takes its time telling its story without dragging. Quiet story.

Luxembourg, Luxembourg - 5 / 10

Ukrainian movie. Well shot. Did a good job of being heartfelt when it was time to be heartfelt, but overall a comedy. Feel that I may have missed some cultural notes.

The Creator - 3 / 10

Sum of parts was worth less than the parts. Allison Janney - always terrific (with the exception of the times that she shouted “HACK EVERYTHING!”). Technology didn’t make sense - robots had to use walkie talkies to talk to each other? The space platform could have used the nukes on the AI bases the whole time? The inciting event for the robot war was a mistake on the part of the United States military, but they blamed the machines and everyone just kind of went with it? Movie had a scene where a man armed with a pistol, rushes across a bridge, towards four people with guns shooting at him from behind sandbags, but none of them can land a hit on him? Movie is littered with nonsense. The core themes of the movie I thought were solid, but the plot and the writing? Felt messy and poorly thought through.

Landscape with Invisible Hand - 6 / 10

Novel concept, novel aliens. Anti capitalist. I’d not seen Asante Blackk in anything before this, but I’m really interested in seeing his movie Story Ave whenever that becomes available to me.

Vincent Must Die - 4 / 10

Sort of a French 28 Days Later premise without zombies. People attack other people because of unknown reasons. I may have had a lost in translation kind of thing and missed social commentary due to the language difference.

Knor - 6 / 10

Netherlands stop motion cartoon about food ethics. Thought it was great. Also - doesn’t shy away from the realities of the outputs of the pork industry that isn’t meat. (poop)

“A Collection of Short Films Curated by Natalie Metzger from Vanishing Angle” - most of which can be found at this link. I’ll highlight:

  • Dress Like a Cow, which reminded me of growing up at the Muskingum County Blue Ribbon Fair.
  • Sleep Study, which I thought had a terrific ending shot.
  • How Does It Start, a beautifully shot story about an adolescent girl in a not-stable family situation who is trying to intellectualize the mystery of her own sexuality.
  • The Arrival - Takes the story of an older child’s feeling of no longer being in the emotional spotlight of his parents at the arrival of a new baby to an absurd conclusion.

War Pony - 7 / 10

Complex story about characters on a Lakota reservation.

Freestyle - 8 / 10

French rom com. Leading man reminded me of a young Brad Pitt. Happy the French ended a car movie with a. Character named Louise as they ended the movie.

I Like Movies - 7 / 10

Burlington, Ontario movie. “Millennial trip down memory lane”. Unlikable main character. Has a story arc for the main character that ends very well, but he’s surrounded by adult, women that have to endure him while educating him.

Karaoke - 7 / 10

Israeli movie about older people having some excitement in their life, mixing things up, and revitalizing their desire for each other.

Rise - 7 / 10

French dance movie. I am an easy sell on dance movies.

Kokomo City - 6 / 10

Black and white documentary about Black trans women sex workers. This is a terrific example of a movie that I probably would not have seen if it was not for Lost Weekend.

King Coal - 8 / 10

Poetic, beautifully shot, documentary about coal culture in Central Appalachian.