Another Movie Guy?: American Film Renaissance Preview

Move over, Toronto! Forget Silverdocs and Reel Affirmations! There’s a new sheriff in town. That’s right, folks – the 2008 AFR (American Film Renaissance) Film Festival begins shortly. Unlike those other HOLLYWOOD FESTIVALS that pander to the LIBRUL MEDIA, this is, “the first and only film festival in the world for conservatives. Your only chance to see the films Hollywood doesn’t want you to see.”

Running from October 1st through the 4th, the 2008 AFR festival offers seven selections that will appeal to the Republican in us all. For those who can’t wait to sink their teeth into conservative cinema, I offer a sneak preview of what’s in store:

The Dukes. Making its DC premier, The Dukes tells the story of washed-up Doo Wop singers who embark on a jewelry heist. The movie is written/directed by Robert Davi, who stars alongside Chazz Palminteri. I have absolutely no idea what makes The Dukes conservative (perhaps the GOP is full of Doo Wop enthusiasts?). I can tell you, however, that Hollywood doesn’t want you see this movie because it’s full of old people. You know, the movie doesn’t look half bad – even Variety gave it a positive review. The Dukes probably struggled to find a distributor, and ended up on the third-tier festival circuit. This one might be worth your time. After all, even old people deserve our support!

When: Wednesday, October 1st, 7pm
Where: AMC Loews Georgetown 14

For an extra $30, you can attend the after-party with Robert Davi, giving you the opportunity to ask, “Hey, aren’t you that guy from that movie?”

Do As I Say. Based on the 2005 book “Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” this documentary points out how noted liberals Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore are good-for-nothing hypocrites. Duh. With the possible exception of Buddha, everyone is a hypocrite on some level. Needless to say, this is true of both liberals and conservatives. Don’t point out this obvious fact to director Nick Tucker – you wouldn’t want to burst his self-congratulatory bubble.

When: Thursday, October 2nd, 7pm
Where: The Carnegie Institution – 1530 P St. NW

For an extra $30, you can attend the after-party with Nick Tucker, giving you the opportunity to ask, “I know that Obama is an out-of-touch elitist, but just how many homes does McCain own again?”

An American Carol. You may have already seen previews for this conservative send-up of the classic Dickens novel. Chris Farley’s unfunny brother plays Michael Malone, a Michael Moore clone who hates America. After ghostly visits and a country show, Malone learns the error of his ways. Starring a wide variety of Hollywood conservatives, this movie looks painfully unfunny. I was genuinely surprised to learn that the man behind this movie is David Zucker – the same guy who directed Airplane!. Zucker employs the same joke-saturation method that made Airplane! such a success, but judging from the preview, he seems to absolutely annihilate any goodwill his earlier successes earn him.

When: Friday, October 3rd, TBA
Where: Regal Chinatown 14

For an extra $5, you can attend a subsequent pub crawl, giving you the opportunity to drunkenly discuss how comedic timing knows no political agenda.

Dangerous Calling. A young pastor and his wife arrive at a small town. He takes over the local Baptist church, and soon discovers that the previous pastor died under mysterious circumstances. A creepy widow watches closely. Soon it’s clear that the widow and her sheltered son had something to do with the murder. Wrought with mother issues, Dangerous Calling looks like a Sunday school rip-off of Psycho – it simply replaces Janet Leigh with a bland man-of-the-cloth. I doubt this movie has a shower scene.  I doubt that Josh Daws, making his directorial debut, is the second coming of Hitchcock. I have little doubt, however, that the dearly departed Hitchcock is spinning in his grave.

When: Saturday, October 4th, 1:30pm
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington – 812 Seventh St. NW

Shorts Block. Drew Carey hosts the screening of various short films. I remember thinking his sitcom was funny when I was a teenager. Since then, he’s made The Price is Right unwatchable. I’m sure he’ll ruin this, too. It might be fun to shout out, “Where’s Plinko?

When: Saturday, October 4th, 3:30pm
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington – 812 Seventh St. NW

Blocking the Path to 9/11: The Anatomy of a Smear. This movie exposes how Bill Clinton censored the airing of The Path to 9/11, an ABC miniseries. The trailer features talking heads and exploitative footage. Naturally, the filmmakers are courageous trailblazers whose film is an unrivaled cinematic achievement. And the Clintons, of course, are a group of Stalinist authoritarians whose crimes are akin to the world’s worst dictator.  I’m sure this documentary gives a complete, even-handed account of why The Path to 9/11 never made its way to network TV.

When: Saturday, October 4th, 5:30pm
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington – 812 Seventh St. NW

U.N. Me. This movie is making its world premier. No preview is available, so I’ll just post the summary from the festival website:

In this striking documentary, filmmaker Ami Horowitz illustrates how the United Nations — the world’s foremost humanitarian organization created to ennoble mankind — has become so ravaged by corruption that it actually enables evil and creates global chaos.  By examining failures in Rwanda and Darfur, and the Oil for Food scandal, Horowitz shows how the UN has become the pacifier of dictators, thugs and tyrants.  Using a unique blend of the informational qualities of a traditional documentary and the entertainment value of a narrative film, U.N. Me is irreverent, humorous and intense.  Filmed in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the US.  Run Time: Approx 90 min.  Not rated.  Introduction and Q&A with director, Ami Horowitz.

Wine and cheese reception at the Goethe-Institut to follow. (ed: Wine and cheese is a little Hollywood, dontchathink?).

When: Saturday, October 4th, 8:30pm
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington – 812 Seventh St. NW


So there you have it, folks! Of the many offerings, The Dukes seems like the most worthwhile choice. Still, it might be worth watching movies that will never make it to E Street. Tickets are available on the festival website.