The Adirondack Film Festival promises just about something for everyone. And its Saturday schedule is packed with documentaries, shorts, feature films, a comedy panel and a discussion of the quirky French film “Mrs. Hyde” at The Hyde Collection on Warren Street.
The day wraps up with the gripping headliner “Blaze,” the story of the unsung songwriting legend of Texas outlaw music, Blaze Foley, as well as an awards party at the Park Theater on Glen Street.
Trying to decide?
Consider these off-beat selections:
“Everything Changes” (part of the ‘Let’s Experiment’ block), 11:45 a.m. to 12:38 p.m., at Crandall Public Library
The experimental short film, “Everything Changes,” part of the ‘Let’s Experiment’ block, is a mesmerizing nearly 6-minute journey into the sometimes rudimentary, sometimes fine-art doodles created by different people over the past 15 years.
First, it’s a dog, then it’s a nose, then a waterfall, then a truck, a stick guy, a stick-em-up, a flower, a petal, a tooth, a smiley face, a mouse, a skunk, a hand and ear; all one continuous stream-of-consciousness doodle from 33,000 individual drawings of ink on paper.
Writer and director Geoff Marslett asked friends, students, family, colleagues to draw the first thing that came to mind and then asked them to transform their image into the next participant’s image with 14 or 15 additional doodles.
The resulting animation leaves viewers scrambling to follow, to solve, to not look away as one morphs into another. Sometimes there are two sets of images all melding one into the other; sometimes four; sometimes more when it becomes impossible to catch the nuance of individual changes. And what remains is the realization that it’s one continuous, unending thread of creation.
“After Hours Trading,” 2:15 to 3:58 p.m. at The Park Theater
This raw, black-and-white film shot in Pittsburgh, is an unexpected off-beat treat as broke local, Doyle, hounded by bill collectors and always trying to get enough cash to pay off his pawn broker, runs into Nik, an eastern European con man on a mission.
“After Hours Trading,” written and directed by Fredrick Johnson, is a funny, heart-warmingly seedy story about this unlikely duo. Pulling off a series of scams and extortion schemes, Nik teaches Doyle, the art of the con.
At first, it’s unclear to Doyle and the audience why they are doing this as their suitcase piles with cash. But, as this Robin Hood tale unfolds, so does a much more meaningful purpose.
Nik feels responsible for a woman he once met, now imprisoned in a human trafficking ring. And he’s determined to raise the cash to set her free by paying the crime boss her $30,000 bond. But getting what you want isn’t always easy, and for Doyle and Nik, it doesn’t come without difficult choices and a human price.
The music is spectacular, and the film is a gritty, worthwhile view.
“Rendezvous in Chicago,” (with ‘Runner”) 3:30 to 4:52 p.m., at Crandall Public Library
Sometimes it is just “movie magic,” said Layne Marie Williams, during a Spot Coffee interview on Thursday evening as she tells the story of the final day and the final scene of shooting “Rendezvous in Chicago.”
“She was throwing a Blu-Ray DVD (player) out the window, but we only had one player,” said Williams, who produced the film along with writer and director Michael Glover Smith. “We had to nail it, it was our one and only shot. … It was beautiful chaos, it’s my favorite scene.”
“Rendezvous” is the story of three relationships, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end.
“It is an anthology of three stories all about a pivotal moment in a relationship,” Smith said on Thursday evening, adding that collectively they form the arc of a relationship.
Shot in eight days on a crowd-funded $20,000, the cinematography is beautiful, with the opening story shot in a Chicago bar all night long.
Interestingly, Smith said everyone who worked on the film was paid exactly the same whether a film grip or a producer.
“It was great, everyone was working for the same reason, and it felt like something we could all be proud of,” he said.
— Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli