I came to P.S. 69, the third venue for the Queens World Film Festival, all the way from Bayside, which is far to the north and east. I thought the weather might impede traffic somehow, and indeed I had to wait awhile for a bus, but once it came, the ride was fairly quick. The weather didn't stop the great big crowd from coming - lotsa friends and family of the filmmakers who were in the house last night.
|P.S. 69 in the snow|
Folks, comics were my life for a long time, so believe me when I say that that character on The Simpsons may be an exaggeration, but he is heavily based on reality, and he should not be any kind of role model when it comes to running an actual comic shop. I can only go by what I saw in the doc, and I concede that I may not have gotten the complete picture (it was only 12 minutes long), but what I saw was an owner who wasn't making any concerted effort to bring in more than just adult white men as customers, and for too many years, guys like him were not rare at all.
As a film, however, this was good. I can see why director EJ McLeavey-Fisher chose his subject. Joe Leisner makes for good sound bites, and his crankiness played very well to the crowd I saw this with. Hell, I laughed a few times, too. The film was shot and edited well, made nice use of the score. As a film, this works... but I only wish that the subject matter was someone who didn't perpetuate the worst stereotypes involved with comic book retail.
- Old Days. Aging rock band The Atomik Age Project reminisces about its glory days. They sound like a good band, in that Eddie and the Cruisers, nostalgia-rock vein, but the entirety of this short consisted of a couple of very brief talking head interviews and a music video. That's it. I learned more about them from this webpage than from this short.
|Some of the filmmakers (and subjects) at P.S. 69 last night|
- The Walk. Boy whose father recently died befriends an old man who just wants to go for walks. I expected some kind of M. Night Shyamalan-type twist to this story, but it was exactly what it was on the surface - and I'm grateful for that.
- Gasper & Son. A father-and-son neon-making business. Neon lights have been a huge part of the visual iconography of New York for generations, but according to this doc, it's a dying art, and seeing how neon is made was pretty cool, as was the family dynamic at the heart of this story.
More pics at the Tumblr page.