Begun as an open-air gathering held in a vacant lot once favored by mad machinists, the first Brainwash Movie Festival was a cinematic playground, created by local musician/filmmaker David Krzysik, in which insurgent directors and outrageous audiences might converge. Filmgoers brought couches, chairs, pillows, and snacks; filmmakers brought their peculiar visions in the form of 13-minute tapes; and Krzysik brought bowling trophies. It was a hit.
Now in its fourth year, the Brainwash festival has a cozy indoor home where rumors of barbecue and popcorn are not far-fetched. Krzysik has loaded up his truck and taken Brainwash on the road, where it has developed a following in cities like Albuquerque, Austin, San Diego, and Tucson; he even has plans for a television pilot featuring shorts by bracing young talents. But folks needn't worry about Brainwash going mainstream. Of nearly 100 shorts viewed by the judging panel, only two had a boy-meets-girl-who-turns-out-to-be-Julia-Roberts theme, and they didn't make the final cut. Among the shorts that did make it to the Brainwash screens: Have You Seen Patsy Wayne?, a disturbing look at the love child of John Wayne and Patsy Cline; Waiting for the Inkie, an obstitronics infomercial; Journeyman, a dangerous quest through the subways of New Jersey; 15 Dreams, an animated re-creation of a Freudian phantasm; Dunderbeck's Machine, an answer to how laws and sausages are made, or not; and Bladder Trouble.
Purely visual entries will be screened on monitors mounted on the "Cyberbuss" parked outside, next to the fire pit and spitting distance from the bar. Folks engrossed for the duration will be treated to a spectacular awards ceremony orchestrated by costume designer/jury forewoman Annie Coulter and everyone's favorite playa police force, the Space Cowgirls. The Brainwash Movie Festival runs Friday and Sunday, July 3 and 5, with 17 new shorts shown each night, at Somar, 934 Brannan (at Eighth Street). Cyberbuss screenings begin at 8 p.m. Main stage screenings begin at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7, or $10 for both nights; call 273-1545. See the Reps Etc. section of our film listings for a complete schedule.
-- Silke Tudor