The days are long gone when a geeky goofball like Kevin Smith could propel himself from a bedroom crammed with comic books to a million-dollar independent-film career in three easy steps. So the attraction of the 48-Hour Film Project must be something other than the illusory promise of a lunch meeting with a producer (or Joey Lauren Adams) at the Beverly Wilshire. In fact, its the rush of creating a short film from scratch with a few talented collaborators on a ridiculously compressed timetable. A remarkable 56 teams with names like 4th Avenue Tamale Parlour, Lordy Lordy, and Lobster Clause Productions registered for the privilege of going without sleep this past weekend in the name of art, fun, and good old-fashioned American know-how. The ultimate payoff for most of the participants is showing their work on a big screen to a roomful of hooting strangers which is where you come in. The finished films, a veritable smorgasbord of Bay Area initiative, ingenuity, and (hopefully) inspiration, unspool in four programs over four nights. Pick a show at random or catch em all; audience reaction is bound to make an impression on the panel of judges choosing Best Film of the City.
July 22-24; Mon., July 28, 2008