Day 2 started off with a bang sharply at 9AM with breakfast cooked by Scott, our B&B host. fresh fruit and custard, sausages and french toast, with juice and tea. Sweet! Finally met the fourth guest, Irish animator Tony. Unfortunately I ended up missing his screening today, but he has promised to show me the short personally.
I walked the 10 minutes down to one of the main festival venues, an old Courthouse, and took a little trolly van to the water. This was driven by an older African American gentleman named Fred, who promptly showed us photos of him doing civil war reenactments, as well as photos of the marker he got the city to put to honor the 500 or so black Union soldiers who died in Wilmington during the civil war. He also showed us real photos he took while in Korea in 1952.
We got to the USS North Carolina, now a museum that you can apparently rent out for events like these:
Was a lovely day. I hopped a water taxi to the other side of the water and walked to my first shorts program, an assortment of experimental works that unfortunately almost put me to sleep (granted I didn’t get much sleep and am jet lagged). But there was a few interesting ones. After a 20 minute cat nap I hoofed it back to the court house to watch a feature doc that had been recommended to me called Vivan las Antipodas! Oh man, this film blew my mind.
It’s based on the idea of antipodes – two places, on opposite sides of the earth (as in, if you were to drill through the Earth, you would end up at the other one). Turns out that because the Earth is mostly covered with water, finding an antipode where both spots are land, and both inhabited, is rare. This filmmaker went to six – China and Argentina, Russia and Chile, New Zealand and Spain, Hawaii, and another that escapes me at the moment. The film is simply a meditation on these places, people and lots of times, their pets. But the editing, and beautiful cinematography, involving a lot of 360 degree turns and long tracking shots that will make you scratch your head, really make this more than the sum of its parts. I’ve included an excerpt below. Definitely watch in full screen for full effect:
After grabbing dinner at a nearby ‘Irish pub’, I caught a doc called ‘Casting By‘ about the history of the casting profession in film, and specifically this one casting director Marion Dougherty, who was a pioneer. It was very well put together and had a ton of satisfying clips of now famous actors in their very young first roles, paired with recent interviews. Overall an intriguing look at the controversy surrounding the profession, specifically why the Directors Guild of America doesn’t want them using the term ‘Casting Director’, and why they are the only credited occupation on a film that does not have its own Oscar (as opposed to Make up, Costumes, etc.)
After a few drinks at the Filmmaker’s lounge at the court house venue, and then Jengo’s (the venue very near my B&B, with the fire pits), I called it an early night. Tomorrow there is a possibility of a trip to the beach, but definitely more films! Since it’s a festival! And that’s why we’re here!