If the turnout for the kick-off gala for the Zero Film Festival 2010, held last Saturday night at Bushwick’s Nutroaster Studios, was any indication, the festival is Brooklyn’s cultural smash hit this week. Founder/managing director Richard Hooban thanked the packed house on opening night for coming, adding, “congratulations for hearing about it, since this festival is as underground as it gets.”
The week-long festival is unique among film festivals since it’s the only one dedicated to independent, self-financed filmmakers, but the bulk of the short films chosen was, to put it bluntly, tops. Among the many standouts were D.C.-based director Eric Cheever’s “Last Historias Mas Sexy Del Mundo #2″, a technicolor string of sexy stories entirely dubbed in Spanish. It’s a 60′s to 70′s-styled, yet fully mod, character-driven celebration of pseudo porn and rock and roll, with girls flashing vibrant Mary Quant lashes, sex-minded fellas with long sideburns and tight trousers, and even a segment featuring The Raveonettes. Spanish director Angel Tirado’s dark and menacing “Deriva” was the night’s finale, closing the gala’s film portion off with an eerie twist.
Brooklyn locals Oberhofer smashed away any remaining particles of darkness with their non-stop, climaxes-to-the-max, mathy set that at times reminded us of UK’s Foals. We congratulated singer/guitarist Brad Oberhofer after the show and complimented his teal shirt, which led to this off the wall chat: Me: “Teal is one of my favorite colors.” Kim: “Human flesh is my favorite color.” Brad: “Human flesh is my favorite food group.”
The dark psych, percussion-driven songs of Sherlock’s Daughter and an incendiary performance by the incomparable, sexy duo Asobi Seksu, (who have a new album coming out on Valentine’s Day), were almost too good to be true; the crowd’s shrieking and dance booms bounced off the studio’s rafters.
The festival runs the rest of the week, with weeknight films being shown at Invisible Dog Art Center, and on Saturday, a closing party and awards ceremony, once again being held at Nutroaster Studios. That will be topped off with performances by Natureboy, Bear in Heaven (dj set), and headliners School of Seven Bells. Find full details and the rest of Zero Film Festival’s schedule here.