All Is By My Side
At this point in the festival, I'm debating on just abandoning tickets. 20 movies is a bunch, and I had heard mediocre to bad reviews of this one, but had found only decent ones online. In the end, it's a Jimi Hendrix biopic, so I went.
At two hours, this is far too long to tell a rather boring tale. This is the story of Hendrix's life the year before he got famous. As Jimmy James with straight hair and a cheetah jacket, playing guitar in a club band, the world did yet know of his genius. But Linda Keith - Keith Richards' girlfriend - comes into the club and is awed.
Hence goes the tale of how a bunch of English white people helped Jimi Hendrix become a star over a very boring year. It's as if the script felt it had to hit a few notes like him beating his girlfriend, smoking a little weed, getting told off by some black people, and being hassled once by some white cops. In between that, he plays some songs that aren't his and gets told what his next gig is.
The Hendrix estate wouldn't grant the rights to his songs, so they aren't here. Instead, some Blues, a Beatles song, and some random riffs make up his repertoire.
In short, I really didn't see the point. The direction was interesting at times, going quasi-documentary at points. The acting was all fine, and Andre Benjamin does a solid job of portraying Jimi Hendrix, but absolutely nothing is gained from seeing this.
Witching & Bitching
My only Midnight Madness flick of the festival, this one was proper mental. A group of despondent men rob a gold exchange shop dressed as street buskers. A silver Jesus, his young son, a green Army Man, Spongebob, and others go in guns blazing, and it all goes to shit.
The survivors escape north, aiming for France (did I mention this was Spanish? No? It is.). They run into a coven of witches, and shit goes crazier.
The director pointed out beforehand that he was going through a bitter divorce at the time he wrote this. It shows. Every male character is fed up with women. As far as they're concerned, women are terrible, conniving, will rip your heart out, and are as intimidating as hell. All the women are, well, witches.
I was surprised by the overall quality of this film. Something like this is usually fairly low-budget and showing. Overall it was an incredibly enjoyable time, although I wonder how much would translate outside of the cult movie theatre environment.