Nobody Speak is an urgent film about ongoing threats to journalists, otherwise known in some quarters as “enemies of the people.” Last year, the snarky online news outlet Gawker declared bankruptcy after it lost a lawsuit for publishing the sex tape of wrestler Hulk Hogan. The film reveals that Gawker’s death is part of an attack on media outlets by right-wing sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson and the fascinating uber-libertarian Peter Thiel. Directed by Brian Knappenberger (We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists about Anonymous), 96 min.
With a Green Team made of 30 volunteers and one fearless Sustainability Coordinator, Patricia Hayles, True/False hit a new enviro-friendly high:
Through food compost and recycling, True/False 2017 had an 84 percent diversion rate (the amount of waste kept out of landfills) at the Jubilee, Reality Bites, Filmmaker Fête and Closing Night Reception. That’s right folks: only 16 percent of waste from the weekend went to the landfill! Partnered with Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, we collected 2,203 pounds of food waste from seven restaurants:Broadway Brewery, Cafe Berlin, Glenn’s Cafe, Main Squeeze, Sycamore, Tellers and Uprise Bakery to be composted. This amounts exceeds last year’s numbers by 900 pounds.
Here’s the full 2017 diversion breakdown-
Recycling: 1102 lbs = 60%
Food Compost: 453 lbs = 24%
Stay tuned, we’ll be posting other sustainability results as they roll in!
The 2017 festival coverage will be compiled as it is released and added to our PRESS page!
see you next year…March 1 – 4, 2018!
The Art Ramble headed by Gabe Williams is maybe something that shouldn’t be written about. It felt special like that. We were offered colored toothpicks at the beginning, take only one please, because Mr. Williams was wondering if he might outlive color toothpicks. Hugging, touching, and breathing were strongly encouraged during the following rambling amble, and a new style of hugging was demonstrated. We walked to a parking lot and took the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which involved writing down a secret and putting it in a bucket, and that was pretty much it. We talked about vulnerability. After a discussion of in-between spaces, we were led through a secret alley linking Walnut and Broadway, an alley I haven’t been in since the owner locked it up sometime in the ‘90s. We wound up in front of the Tiger Hotel, where Kevin Walsh gave us a reading and history lesson on Thomas McAfee—MU professor, poet and one-time resident of the hotel who never used the hotel’s elevators without at least two packs of cigarettes because he hated being trapped without smokes when the notoriously unreliable elevators broke down. Kevin read us a Columbia poem McAfee wrote about Columbia called “Leaving Town”, and I imagine it’ll be on my mind when I leave in a few days. Look it up! If my description of the Art Ramble makes little sense, that’s because magic little secrets are hard to write down.
A Parade of Quality
I tend to be a little snobby about parades. It isn’t anything to brag about, but you sorta have to get a little snobby if you’re going to survive any given Mardi Gras. Well, everyone, not that you asked, but the True/False March March is not only the first good parade I’ve seen in Columbia, it’s genuinely good. I’m pretty sure I saw my childhood pediatrician dressed as a wizard and dancing next to a horse that had been tagged with a “T/F” in Sharpie. These are the sorts of things you look for in a quality parade, and equally jarring sights were coming at me faster than I could process. Columbia! I ran into an old friend on the way into Reality Bites—another bustling blur of good food and music—and it turned out this was his first Fest as well. “It feels like I’m in a completely different city,” he said before we were separated in the crowd, presumably to not see each other for another five years. Reports of this whole thing being overwhelming were not an exaggeration.
Aren’t You the Blogger Guy?
There’s been a sharp uptick in people asking me if they’re “on the record.” Last night in the T/F office someone was sharing an apparently juicy story and stopped to say, “Wait, aren’t you the blogger guy? Please tell me you aren’t going to write about this.” I told her that I’m not in gossip business, but the truth is I was heavily focused on the plate of Chinese food in front of me and hadn’t heard a word she’d said. I did overhear a couple of funny things at the late-night @CTION @TONIC! party afterward, like the angry bearded fellow in a Hawaiian shirt who told me, with no introduction, that his drink tasted like “a glass of yogurt with bubbles in it!” Toronto’s US Girls spun a groovy set to a dance-happy crowd under Gabriel Parish and company’s luminous decorations. If I can get used to having a lanyard around my neck, I think I’ll continue enjoying this.
A Sensory Combo
Sarah Jeong gave a talk on Star Wars and fascism to a packed house at the Missouri Theatre last night, after which the lights dimmed and the gloriously weird film RAT FILM lit the screen. Whatever your planned schedule for the weekend, I’d recommend making time for this sensory combo. Sarah writes about technology and the human being in a oddly touching, funny, scary, thoughtful way that perfectly led into this oddly touching, funny, scary, thoughtful film about the rats of Baltimore and the humans they share space with. I left with a head full of ideas that made the world seem both more frightening and welcoming, and that’s a night at the movies.
An Auspicious Beginning
I doubt this has anything to do with the Fest—or does it?—but two different strangers have told me that I look like the character “Jim” from the American version of The Office in the last 24 hours. In the last 24 hours I’ve re-learned to roller skate among True/False folks at Empire Roller Rink and seen a man skate with such intensity that the wheels came off his roller skates. He wasn’t wounded, but I was happy he wouldn’t be blasting past my wobbly wheels for awhile. I recently left the opening night Jubilee at the Missouri Theatre, a packed affair of food, drink and live music. The queue for Step’s post-Jubilee screening enjoyed a live jazz band and were flanked by the car-on-car-with-interior-projectors installation that truly must be seen to be appreciated. An auspicious beginning all around, methinks.
The Only Way to Not Have Fun At True/False is if You Just Don’t Want To
What a lovely Missouri storm last night, complete with hail, sky-spanning lightning and a fierce wind to blow Columbia’s incoming guests ever-closer. It was far more exciting than ominous as three of us watched from a window at Breakout CoMo, where a last-minute push to complete Elemental was underway. Before this I’d spent the day darkening a church’s reception hall—not with bad vibes or negative energy, but with black plastic sheeting and heavy black curtains to make it a proper movie theater—and transporting sculptures made of tomato cages in a U-Haul. My new friend Mike and I drove out to pick up the tomato cage sculptures from the artist who’d made them. Neither of us had ever met him, he wasn’t home, and the tomato cages were in his garden. And while they were bound in such a way that suggested sculpture rather than gardening, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone might storm up and ask us what the hell we thought we were doing.
“How do we know this is even the right house?” I asked. “What if we’re just ripping up someone’s garden?” Mike shrugged, unshaded, and we kept at it until someone did, in fact, come home. They pulled into the driveway just as we were making our way to the U-Haul. I prepared for greetings or, rather improbably, apologies and explanations. What I didn’t expect was a brief glance before the person got out their keys and went in the house, which felt somehow felt worse than being accused of stealing. Even if you knew strangers were coming over to rip something out of your yard, wouldn’t you at least wave? By the time we were dropping the sculpture off at Jesse Hall to a group of waiting T/F volunteers—and I could more or less see it as sculpture by now—I was reflecting on how I worry too much, and Mike was reflecting on the coming weekend. “Yeah,” he said, calm and smooth, “pretty much the only way to not have fun at True/False is if you just don’t want to,” and then he very nearly crashed the U-Haul in what would surely have been a weekend-ruining fashion.
So maybe we did steal those tomato cages and maybe I don’t worry too much, but the the storm has passed and time is upon us. I have certain things I’m supposed to cover for the Fest, and I also plan to just let myself be carried away occasionally, but there are certain events I really don’t want to miss. I’m excited about Provocateurs, a “mini-ideas fest within True/False,” five speakers who are invited for “having fiery ideas and a unique presentation style,” says Abby Sun, Provocateur coordinator. Each speaker is paired with a particular film and will give a talk before each screening of that film. The idea is that their particular provocation will be thematically related to the film in a not-entirely-obvious way. “We’re trying to avoid a TED talk conference,” says Sun. “The topic is completely up to the Provocateur.” Sarah Jeong, for example—an outstanding journalist whose technology-related work is often both funny and, yes, provocative—will be giving an address not directly related to rats before screenings of RAT FILM. I don’t want to give away her topic and how it relates to this exploration of rats, humanity and Baltimore, but it should be compelling. And if you, like me, will be probably be unable to make all of the Provocateur films, you can still catch all five speakers together at Sunday morning’s Chautauqua, held 9:30 AM at the Rhynsburger Theatre and then at a reception at the Bingham Gallery.
There are myriad bands I’m excited for, but we all have our own opinions on that. I do highly recommend Laura Henno’s short film “Koropa,” which will be featured in the “Young Money” shorts collection on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It follows a young boy named Patron who is being trained by the adult Ben for illegal late-night transport of migrants between Comoros and Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Ben is a Commander, Patron is his orphan apprentice, and their complex story and relationship are real—Henno has continued to film the two since making “Koropa,” and a feature film is in the works. Meditative and slightly unnerving, the tone-setting opening shot immediately took me somewhere new.
And, yes, I’ve already hyped Elemental, but I’m thrilled for people to experience this after all the hard work that’s gone into it. It truly should be a magical, reality-altering thing of beauty—as, I’m expecting, will be this whole event. I’ll be keeping the U-Haul on the road and filing occasional stories from the Fest all weekend, so feel free to check in when you aren’t absorbing the delights.
Every time he steps into the ring, Joe Carman endangers his marriage, risks losing custody of his kids and puts his mental and physical health on the line. Still, the 40-year-old pipefitter can’t stop himself. Joe works all day, trains every night until he collapses, cares for his four adoring daughters (from two marriages) and, after his ailing wife goes to sleep, sneaks away to fight in mixed martial arts matches. Why does Joe do it? Even he doesn’t quite understand. Shot over three years, Unay’s gritty drama starts along a Rocky-like arc before veering into Grapes of Wrath territory, a contemporary tale of working-class desperation and determination. Unay strips any gloss from professional fighting—the battles between these small-time warriors are brutal, not glamorous—as he introduces us to a gentle, wounded soul, who searches for validation, and meaning, in dingy gyms.