My second day of the Chattanooga Film Festival was just as good, if not even better than the first. The fest, which is being held online this year, has a wide assortment of genre features and shorts, plus some special live events.
First up was Jumbo, a most unusual and compelling story about a socially awkward young woman named Jeanne (played by Portrait of a Lady on Fire's Noemie Merlant) who develops a romantic/sexual relationship with an amusement park ride. That may sound like a joke, but the film is a surprisingly touching look at how a deeply unhappy woman finds joy in a peculiar way. You can read my full review right here.
Later in the day, I caught a terrific interview with Ice-T about his 1994 action picture Surviving the Game. Hosted by Josh Goldbloom, it was supposed to include director Ernest Dickerson, but he was inexplicably missing in action. Nevertheless, the conversation was outstanding, with Ice-T telling some fun making-of stories about the film, the most hilarious of which involved Gary Busey re-writing one of his scenes without permission. The rapper had to improvise a response to his co-star's bizarre rant, leading to one of the most memorable scenes in the film. The 45-minute chat was packed with gems like that.
Finally, I screened Koko-Di Koko-Da, a Swedish horror movie that has played other festivals, to raves from many of my colleagues. It centers on a feuding couple taking a road trip. They pull over to camp for the night, only to be terrorized by a bizarre trio – a man with an old-timey fashion sense and way of speaking, a silent behemoth, and a frazzled-looking woman with a gun. The movie continually rewinds itself, showing multiple scenarios in which the intruders kill the couple. The whole “we're going to show you the same thing different ways” idea isn't really my cup of tea – it prevents me from becoming emotionally invested in the characters -- but I totally understand why some people dig this film. It's certainly offbeat and ambitious.
For Day Three, I plan to view one or two features, some shorts, and hopefully a live event. I'll file a report soon. For more on the Chattanooga Film Festival, or to purchase passes, please visit ChattFilmFest.org.
Read my Day One report right here.