Indie films—at least the ones at this weekend's O.C. Film & Music Festival—have cool titles: none involving, for instance, the word "sith." Their plots are similarly sith-free, and possessing the intelligence needed to boost your IQ back to G.E.D.-having levels after last weekend's schlock-fest.
Fest organizer Dave Martinez, who is almost believable as an impartial insider, recommends the no-brainer West Bank Story, a musical love story based naturally on West Side Story, about a Tony from Israel and a Maria from Palestine—or, perhaps, t'other way 'round. We're waiting 'til someone says, "I'm depraved on accounta I'm deprived."
Less, er, side-splitting is the somber Cab Driver, about a hack driver who dreams of winning the Lotto—not to buy a plasma screen, but so that his family can emigrate. It, Martinez says, does not end well for him.
And if you're Goth—we're all a little bit spooky of late—you shouldn't miss tongue-twister The Netherbeast of Berm-Tech Industries, Inc., which relies not on gremlins or C.H.U.D.s, but on the old master: das wampyr.
"It's hard to explain," Martinez says, "but the intro caught my attention right off the bat. This guy goes into his boss's office, and his boss is interviewing somebody. And the guy he's interviewing is dead because he's a vampire—and he staked him through the heart."
Hijinks, it needs not be said, ensue—but if this ain't high-spirited enough for you, there's music too. Our aforementioned host recommends Counterpush, and the Bands Sold Separately, which ironically doesn't cost any more than the original buy-in.
O.C. FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL AT THE ART HUB, 110 ½ S. GLASSELL ST., ORANGE, (714) 516-9604. FRI.-SUN. CALL FOR TIMES. $5-$23.