Couch Fest Films 2009
Full-frontal disclosure (boobies! Woooo!): I failed you guys on several fronts this week. Firstly, I beefed it completely in my recommendation of Saturday's Couch Fest Films (I described the thing as a "sweet little DIY idea" and implied that you should go to it), and for that I gravely apologize. Couch Fest is in no way as cute as I thought it would be. Nope. Because. It. Is. CUUUTER!!! And I should have insisted that you go to it! Upon penalty of death! Iron maiden! Wooooo! (Do you see what I did there? That trick where I tricked you? In comedy journalism, we call that a "Wet T-Shirt Contest" [WOOOOO!!!]. Wait, I fucked that up. We call it an "Ole One-Two Switcheroo." Look it up. It's in all the textbooks. Wooo.)
Second failure: I failed to really go to Couch Fest. I mean, I went. I just didn't go very much. Because we were having this crazy monsoon—remember that?—and as I am made primarily of papier-mâché (and lizard DNA [and snuggles!]), I just really, really needed to go home and take a nap under the heat lamp until I crisped up.
Couch Fest Films is an annual event (this was the second) in which intrepid, couch-having citizens invite other intrepid, butt-possessed citizens into their homes, to unite butts with couches and watch short films and be together in the name of awkward. Each house features a 30-minute- or-so program of shorts, repeated all day long. The films come from all over the world, with quite a few selections by terrific locals (Ben Kasulke, Brady Hall, Reel Grrls, the Beta Society). You sit on a couch, you meet some strangers, you talk about film, you eat a potato chip.
In the slightly drafty living room of the Documentary house, I ate a potato chip and met my first strangers. Aaron (laconic) and Keith (ebullient) were there "to meet people, do something quirky." We discussed Chuck Close, overhead projectors, cougars, the great Red Vines vs. Twizzlers debate), the even greater soda vs. pop debate, and The Stranger ("I look at it occasionally, if there's nothing else to read," Keith said, cheerily).
The films were awesome. Healing Art is a fascinating and surprisingly affecting peep at the artists who sculpt and paint glass eyes. Amid painful tales of eyeball trauma, two Seattle ocularists craft the simple little glass things that can restore normalcy to a damaged life. Ars Magna—a sweet, silly profile of a local anagramist (one of his best: Ronald Wilson Reagan → Insane Anglo Warlord)—is so perfectly pitched that one suspects mockumentation. Afterward, we laughed and discussed what we had seen, casual surroundings and abundant sangria breeding familiarity. CUTE, right!? I wanted to stay all day, bopping from house to house, watching films and defending Red Vines. But it was raaaaaaining, you guys! Getting a little soggy around the joints, you know? I went home. I am sorry. Next year I will not fail.