Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Notes From Our February 5th Screening

Despite the frigid rainy ickiness outside, it was "On with the show!" inside the 92Y Tribeca last Saturday, as a packed house piled in for another great night of short comedy films with Iron Mule.
Jay Stern and Victor Varnado - photo by Tom Henning
We started off the night with a sneak peak at prolific host Victor Varnado's latest comedy concert film, "Tell Your Friends," which will hopefully be coming to a theater or cable channel near you soon.  Then Victor and host Jay Stern introduced our guest judge for the evening, Michael Galinsky.  Mike shared the trailer for his latest documentary, "Battle of Brooklyn," a 7-years-in-the-making document of the controversial Atlantic Yards project.  It wasn't very funny, but fortunately Mike was, so he was allowed to stay.

Those documentary chops came in handy as many of the night's films were also documentaries, both of the traditional and the mocking variety.  The first block of films began with an installment of Steve Delahoyde's Regrets series, "Hobbies," in which a beleaguered birdwatcher explains how his addiction to novelty pastimes has yet to give his life meaning.  Next month, we'll have another in the same hilarious series, titled "Kid."  Then came Michael DeMirjian's "Sounds of Summer Camp," a kind of music video culled from hundreds of hours of NFL summer training footage.  Michael talked with Jay & Victor about his time as an editor for Fox Sports and how he made cutting football and NASCAR footage fun.
Michael DeMirjian with Victor and Jay - photo by Tom Henning
Our next block started with "Just About Famous," a documentary about celebrity impersonators by Nick Kovacsev and Matt Mamula, who's previous film, "Potato Sac," was an award-winner in 2003.  Finishing up the block was Nat Towsen's "Coke Bottle Blues."  Nat, sharply dressed for the occasion, was on hand to discuss his monthly variety show, The Moon, which the film was made for, and why it's nice to wear a blazer when you've made a film about drinking a coke and burping.

Nat Towsen with Victor and Jay - photo by Tom Henning
Next, we welcomed back another Iron Mule alumnus, Kyle Gilman, who returned with the sequel to his 2005 award-winner, "Two Night Stand," which has about a gazillion hits on YouTube.  The latest film, "Two Night Stand Two," follows the same two characters who, after 6 years, have started mysteriously waking up in bed together again.  Jay & Victor spoke to Kyle about his work as Hal Hartley's editor, and the history of his own films, many of which have shown at Iron Mule over the years.

speaking with Kyle Gilman - photo by Tom Henning
For our final film in competition, we welcomed back last month's double award-winner Stephen Neary, with his Valentine's-Day-friendly music video, "Let's Make Out."  Stephen told the audience about making the film in his spare time at work and his next animated project, "Dr. Breakfast."

Stephen Neary - photo by Tom Henning
As the audience's votes were tallied for their favorite film, we unveiled the latest in Iron Mule's audience participation series, the Wanna Be A Star? competition.  Each month, we ask the audience to shout out a title, and then draw an audience member's name to star in a film with that title made for the next month's show.  This month's film was, "Bacon," directed by Lin Sorensen, and the audience winner and star was Morgan English, who was not only featured in the Ken-Burns-style documentary as the Narrator but also edited the film as well!  Morgan also drew the name of next month's star: Janet Kalish; she'll be starring in "Year of the Rabbit," to be directed by host Jay Stern.
with Morgan English and Lin Sorensen - photo by Tom Henning
When all the votes were in, Guest Judge Galinsky announced the winners: for the Audience Award, Steve Delahoyde's "Regrets: Hobbies," and for the Judge's Award, Mike DeMirjian's "Sounds of Summer Camp"!  Congrats, Steve and Mike, and we look forward to seeing more of their films in the future.
Guest Judge Michael Galinsky announces the winners - photo by Tom Henning
Join us next month, for the next Regrets film, "Kid," new animation from Laurie Rosenwald featuring excerpts from David Sedaris' diary, and the premiere of "Year of the Rabbit"!

Iron Mule producer Lin Sorensen at the after party