Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Dazey Weekend In Jersey

Garden State Film Festival

On a typical weekend, a cold producing more gunky mucus than Slimer from Ghostbusters would have had me confined to bedrest. But I had committed myself to volunteering at the 6th Anuual Garden State Film Festival, and infection be damned, I honor my committments.

Now, the Garden State Film Festival is not to be confused with the Tribeca Film Festival, which was created by Robert DeNiro and is funded by American Express, among others. The Garden State Film Festival was created by "well known Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli" (the gruff, but mushy-hearted house painter on the television show Murphy Brown) and is sponsored by the Sixth Avenue House Bed & Breakfast, among others. But I was fully entertained by several of the screened films I got to see. And this little festival that could was a big success for Asbury Park and Jersey actors, writers and filmmakers.

Sure, Asbury Park may not draw the red carpet crowd of lower Manhattan. But I didn't see one film at Tribeca funnier than "Expendable," about a young evil henchman's first day on the job.

And I was impressed by a young actress, Elizabeth King, in "Born To Win," a humorous short by Trey Hock about the true nature of popularity.

Born To Win
The one on the left. One to watch.

I'm pegging her as the poor man's Amanda Bynes. With a bit of Schuyler Fisk thrown in.

And while we're on the subject of quirky short films featuring hot actresses, the Lebanese film Lesson #5 featured a Lebanese actress, May Hariri who's lustful beauty I can only imagine would be censored in most Arabic-speaking countries.

May Hariri

"Lesson Number Five" itself was a strange, but satisfying movie about a Lebanese man who's hired to get U.S. green cards for a group of men, but then discovers it will be more difficult than expected. He makes up elaborate lies in order to dissuade the men from leaving. With comical results (lets just say peroxide, and the planet Mars, both play a signifigant role).

That's the best of what I got to see, but of course, I only saw films at two of the venues. Anyone else go to the festival? I'd love to hear your favorites.

Of course, I go to Tribeca at the end of the month, and will hopefully uncover some gems to tout wayyyy before Entertainment Weekly or Premiere does.

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