Strange and tasty film events happening this weekend
Eclectic choices await audiences this weekend with a brand new film festival and a home video release party.
Stay Strange Short Film Festival
Stay Strange San Diego started off as a music collective in 2012 putting on shows for a genre called noise music. Noise music challenges conventional ideas and expectations about music, and strives to blur the line between musical and non-musical sound. It's an expressive use of noise.
"The College-Rolando library has always given me a spot in their community room to do events," curator Sam Lopez said. "I've had a very unique relationship with the San Diego Public Libraries. It's almost unheard of for there to be a noise show at a public library. I mean, that seems like they don't go together. But I feel like having a relationship between Stay Strange and the public library is kind of a huge thing."
The attitude of provocation and defying conventions that defines noise music defines Stay Strange San Diego. It also frees them from having to be any one thing. So they are also a record/cassette label, book publisher, YouTube channel, bike team, and now a film festival.
"What happens is someone will come up and say, 'Hey, I've got this.' And I'm like, 'What can we do interesting with that?'" explained Lopez. "So I did have somebody who came up, and they're like, 'Hey, I've got a film, and I'd like to show it.' And so I was like, 'Tell you what, let's just build a film festival around it.'"
And that's exactly what he did. Lopez has curated two dozen films for the inaugural Stay Strange Short Film Festival.
"With 'Stay Strange,' it's implied in the name that things are going to be kind of off kilter," Lopez said. "Most of the films are strange or weird in a nice way. Each of them has their own uniqueness to them, and you're going to find that they're somewhat abstract, absurd, some scary. So that's what's cool about it. It's going to be varied and eclectic."
Some are a few seconds of performance art, others are music videos, while others are more traditionally scripted narrative films. With so many mainstream Hollywood products to choose from, an option to watch wildly experimental and independent short films is like a breath of fresh, invigorating air.
"They're definitely not things you would see on the Hallmark Channel," Lopez added with a laugh.
You can sample the diversity of the inaugural Stay Strange Short Film Festival this Saturday starting at 3 p.m. at the College-Rolando Library.
Stay Strange Short Film Festival playlist
"Under the Midnight Sun" - Melissa Faivre
"XR Takes On the Mountain" - Unknown
"Volatile Autonomy" - Pilar Vitug
"Depths" - Perry Lopez
"Sunbirds Ride" - Bobby Bray
"Color vs Shape (Illygirl by MIA)" - Heather Brosche
"How To Destroy A Curse Tablet (The Sorcerer Family)" - Mario Torres
"Forbidden Cake" - Luke Cottrell
"Don Quixote en el Autobahn" - Marcelo Radulovich
"London" - Mark Bobo
"Creatures of the Night" - Wendy Covarrubias
"Perils of Believing in Round Squares (The Locust)" - Marcelo Radulovich
"Our Hands Are Our Conversation" - Francisco Eme
"Hirsch" - Unknown
"My Human Experience" - Sylvia Ray
"How To Tell a Tornado" - Sam Grenier
"Demon Daze" - Adrian Anthony
"The Overgrowth" - Juaquin Rosales
"Truth Machine" - William Luhtala
"Grasping Flower of Decay" - Eric Hodgins
"Junior" - Unknown
"Cachanhilismo (TV in My Eye)" - e.g. phosphate
"Winter" - Bernie Bleak
"Old Way" - Sebastian Figueroa
'Lumpia with a Vengeance'
Also on Saturday, Comic-Con Museum hosts a tasty and action-packed afternoon in honor of "Lumpia with a Vengeance's" Blu-ray and DVD release party. "Lumpia with a Vengeance" was the first-ever Filipino film to screen and host a panel at Comic-Con in 2022.
“To have Comic-Con Museum host our home video release is a fitting conclusion to our journey,” said director, writer, and producer Patricio Ginelsa. “We found our core audience with our Comic-Con appearances."
Ginelsa was inspired by Robert Rodriguez' "El Mariachi," and made the no-budget "Lumpia" in 2003, followed by the crowd-funded "Lumpia with a Vengeance" in 2020.
"If 'El Mariachi' was about a Mexican hero that used a guitar as a weapon, what would be the Filipino version? The best thing we could think of was about a Filipino guy who just throws lumpia. That's what my brother said. And he was just joking around. And I go, wait a minute. There's something there visually," Ginelsa explained.
Ginelsa did have one disclaimer about his films: "No actual lumpia were wasted in the film. We made sure that any real lumpia was eaten properly. But anytime that it was thrown, it was actually a fake prop."
Ginelsa provided the lumpia recipe from his mother-in-law for my Geeky Gourmet show.
The Comic-Con Museum event is sponsored by SoCal Filipinos and Pacific Arts Movement. Theater seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. This event is free for Comic-Con Museum members and is included with paid admission to the general public.
"Lumpia with a Vengeance" Home Video Release Panel and Reception Schedule
12:30 p.m.: A live comic book sketch demo in the Museum Theater by father/son artists Lawrence and Diego Iriate. In the lobby, you can find a display of the film's costumes and comic book art.
2:00 p.m.: A panel discussion moderated by Brian Hu from Pac-Arts with the movie's cast and crew sharing behind-the-scenes stories and insight on their remarkable 10-year journey from movie success to comic book creation. All Panel attendees will receive a free, exclusive art slipcase. Theater seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
3:00 p.m.: A Lumpia-filled reception, courtesy of Gaslamp Lumpia Factory.
4:00 p.m.: An exclusive signing of either the Blu-Ray/DVD of the movie or a Comic-Con Museum exclusive variant of the trade paperback with art by San Diego native Benjamin DeGuzman.