1 Reel Film FestivalDaily, Intiman Theatre.
Local film impresario Warren Etheridge presents 140 bite-sized movies in a cool, dark theater—the perfect setting to nurse your sun poisoning and/or throbbing foot pain. The slickest shorts are often superficial—many are film school thesis projects—but if you stick around long enough, you'll catch something worthwhile. There is one can't-miss screening: the world premiere of the new movie filmed at Bumbershoot last year by Stranger Genius Award–winner David Russo, whose stop-action films are always eccentric, mesmerizing, and gorgeous. Films screen all day long, but here are some highlights:Problem Child
Fri 2–3 pm
This showcase includes Dimmer, a smart documentary about blind teenagers in the decaying industrial landscape of Buffalo, New York. The real high point, though, is Son of Satan, a hand-drawn animated short that's packed with beautiful, quivering compositions and adapted from the ugliest subject imaginable: a Charles Bukowski story about bullying gone wrong. If you've ever wanted to see a pockmarked child wet his animated shorts, this is the package for you.Memento
Fri 5:30–6:30 pm
These are films about reminiscence and time travel, including the slightly precious Ola's Box of Clovers, about a recently deceased grandma.David Russo's World Premiere
Fri 7–8 pm
This is the premiere screening of I Am Van Gogh, which was commissioned by 1 Reel and filmed at Bumbershoot last summer. It's rumored to involve a cutout of a fish. You also get a refresher course on Russo's Genius Award–winning work, including 2003's Pan With Us, an innovative four-minute pastoral inspired by flight and a Robert Frost poem, and 2002's Populi, a time-bending short about a traveling head.The Best of the Best of the Fest
Fri 8–10 pm
These former award winners had better be good. If you missed David Russo's Pan With Us, you can see it here. Plus: The Freak, an adorable bundle of computer animation, featuring a bucktoothed dancing fool and his miniature revolution.Saturday Morning Cartoons
Sat noon–1 pm
You've got your old-school TV-style dreck like Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher, but there's also Handshake, about times when flirtation gets a little sticky, and Welcome to My Life, an endearing hand-drawn short about growing up as a monster—err, an ethnic minority.Wholly Quests
Sat 2–3 pm
Including 9, an elaborate computer-generated, post-apocalyptic epic about a little guy in a crocheted burlap suit who's just trying to get through the day. Plus: The Fourth, a cheesy comedy about training for a relay race.Role Models
Sat 3:30–4:30 pm
Wednesday Afternoon is basically an afternoon special about what to do when your daddy's a drug dealer. Visually, it's reminiscent of cinematographer Tim Orr's beautifully overexposed Raising Victor Vargas. Plays with The Virile Man, about a gay businessman who's in the closet. Literally.The End of the Affair
Sat 5:30–6:30 pm
This selection of breakup movies is languorous and pretentious, if Sleepwalking is any indication. Wong Kar-Wai, what hath thou wrought?The Best Sex Ever!
Sat 9 pm–10 pm
One of several "best of" categories, this package surveys the best sex-related shorts from the festival's 10 years in existence. The Big Empty is a big-budget extravaganza starring Selma Blair and her enormous vagina. (No, I'm not kidding.) In this film based on a short story by Alison Smith, a bookstore employee (Blair) with a vague ache in her loins is examined by a specialist, who finds a vast, featureless tundra where her uterus should be. Her landscape is explored by all manner of intrepid pokers and prodders, but she remains unsatisfied... until the right guy comes along.Freak Your Melon!
Sun 5:30–6:30 pm
This package of trippy shorts includes The Double, a narrative about an asshole with a book deal and tapes on astral projection, and Vaudeville, a nice little animated film that demonstrates the joys of swing sets and the frustration of trying to pass through the looking glass one too many times.Mother's Daze
Sun 7 pm–8 pm
A selection of films about moms—which is less treacly than it sounds. Wake is an especially unsettling film about a little girl whose mother won't wake up.The 1 Reel Challenge
Mon 3:30–5 pm
Warren Etheridge commissioned 10 filmmakers to make short movies on the theme "Are You F**king Kidding Me!?!". Here are the results.The Best of the Fest
Mon 5:30–8 pm
Screenings of the winners of this year's festival, complete with knighting ceremony.