10 Out of 10
Film Fest Frenzy 2008
It's been 10 years since The Big Lebowski premiered and nobody really got it. Ten years since Croupier put Clive Owen on the map. Ten years since Ringu changed the face of movie horror. Ten years since There's Something About Mary simultaneously raised and lowered the bar for movie comedies. Ten years since Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line. Ten years since Wild Things and Sphere. And 10 years since the inaugural Maryland Film Festival. Hard to believe, but true.
A decade ago, high-quality digital cameras were just starting to become affordable and if you could afford a high-definition TV, you had little or nothing to watch on it; YouTube wasn't even a glimmer in some coder's eye yet. Movies, and the industry behind them, have continued to push forward and to change, and so it goes with MFF X. The venues, format, and basic assortment of types of films are familiar, or at least feel familiar (Dogme - attitude = mumblecore), but the programming itself reflects the maturing of the contemporary documentary, the rise of the DV-enabled micromovie, and redefinition after individual redefinition of what works on screen.
Likewise, this year's Film Fest Frenzy (which is a publication of City Paper and not affiliated with the Maryland Film Festival) is the same but different. Our cadre of critics watched all the titles we could get by press time in order to put together our comprehensive-as-possible guide to the festival's flicks. (Also, visit www.md-filmfest.com for the latest official information on all things MFF.) In addition, Raven Baker talked to festival MVP Greta Gerwig, and Christopher Skokna spent time with Billy Pappas, the Maryland man behind the astonishing work of art that is at the center of Waiting for Hockney.
Film Fest Frenzy 2008 was written by Raven Baker, Michael Byrne, G. Brian Davis, Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Lee Gardner, Tim Hill, Martin L. Johnson, Bret McCabe, and Christopher Skokna. Paige Shuttleworth provided the groovy illustrations for the cover and the page you're reading. As always, our thanks to the hard-working folks behind the Maryland Film Festival. Here's to another 10 years.
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