Independent Film Festival of Boston

Michael Hogan

The Independent Film Festival of Boston will be in full swing again this April. For seven days the Brattle, Coolidge Corner, and Somerville Theaters will become ground zero for all things cinema here in Boston. The festival, in its 6th year now, has been growing each time around. This years festival is set to include 96 different films in over 150 screenings. Filmmaker Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and parties are all part of the festivities.Films are offered in categories including narrative film, documentary, and short film. The events are meant to “showcase the works of filmmakers who seek to create films that are life changing, thought provoking and expose aspects of life in new and revealing manners.”The 2008 festival opens on Wednesday April 23 at the Somerville Theater with a film directed by Brad Anderson (“Next Stop Wonderland”) and starring Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, and Sir Ben Kingsley. Filmed in Boston, “Transsiberean” is the story of an American couple and the deception and intrigue they encounter on a train trip from China to Moscow.”Encounters at the End of the World,” a documentary directed by Werner Herzog, is set to close the festival at the Coolidge Corner Theater on April 29. The film documents the lives of the people who live at McMurdo Station in the frozen wasteland of Antarctica. Films range in subject from the epic to the sublime, from the rise of Ghengis Khan to the Nerdcore hip-hop genre. Whether you are into Public Enemy or Joy Division, S&M or MMORPGs, you’ll find something here that will appeal to you. So, if you like movies, which we all do, make your way down to the Independent Film Festival of Boston and take a film or two … or 96.FILM HIGHLIGHTSNarrative FilmsBLOOD CARdirected by Alex OrrWhen the price of gasoline becomes too steep, mild-mannered vegan Archie Andrews discovers a gory replacement for petrol.THE CAKE EATERSdirected by Mary Stuart MastersonWhen a prodigal son returns, two troubled families in a small town are forced to confront their intertwined histories. Directorial Debut by Mary Stuart Masterson. Score by Duncan SheikJETSAMdirected by Simon WelsfordIn this taut British thriller, a young woman washes up on a desolate, icy beach along with a man who intends to harm her. She has no memory of him and desperately attempts to piece together the circumstances that brought her to this placeMISTER LONELYdirected by Harmony KorineHarmony Korine’s latest film stars Diego Luna as a Michael Jackson impersonator in Paris who is invited by a Marilyn Monroe impersonator (Samantha Morton) to a commune in Scotland run by a Charlie Chaplin imitator.PHOEBE IN WONDERLANDdirected by Daniel BarnzA young girl (Elle Fanning) with behavioral issues is mentored by a teacher (Patricia Clarkson) who casts her in a school production of “Alice in Wonderland.”THE TRACEY FRAGMENTSdirected by Bruce McDonaldTracy Berkowitz’s (Ellen Page) dysfunctional life is described in a jagged, stylized collage of sound and images.TRANSSIBERIAN (Opening Night Film)directed by Brad AndersonAn American couple chances upon deception and intrigue during a train trip from China to Moscow. From director Brad Anderson (NEXT STOP WONDERLAND, SESSION 9), starring Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Woody Harrelson.TWELVE (World Premiere)directed by Scott Masterson, Seanbaker Carter, Andy McCarthy, Garth Donovan, Luke Poling, Noah Lydiard, Megan Summers, Brynmore Williams, Joan Meister, Marc Colucci, Jared Goodman, and Vladmir MinutyThis eclectic but unified collection of 12 short stories-each about a different month of the year-forms both a love letter both to Boston and an impressive showcase for the area’s burgeoning indie filmmaking scene.DocumentariesENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Closing Night Film)directed by Werner HerzogWerner Herzog documents the residents of McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica during austral summer and the icy depths that surround them.THE GREENING OF SOUTHIEdirected by Ian CheneyChronicles the epic construction of the Macallen Building, Boston’s first “green” residential structure.NERDCORE RISINGdirected by Negin FarsadInvestigates the often-amusing genre of Nerdcore Hip-Hop. Includes interviews with MC Frontalot, artist/producer Prince Paul, Jello Biafra, comedian Brian Posehn, Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade, and Weird Al Yankovic.WE ARE WIZARDSdirected by Josh KouryExamines the fascinating subculture that is inspired from the Harry Potter phenomenon.