NBFF Recommendations of the Day: Fool's Day, Facing Fear and Sons of Africa
An April Fool's Day prank on their teacher goes horribly wrong for these fourth graders.
As this is being written--which, in the interest of full disclosure, is a day when I plan to see two more comedies at the Newport Beach Film Festival--a 19-minute short written by the sons of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and directed by one of them is the most hilarious thing I've seen this year.
That's not just the funniest thing at the festival but the funniest on any movie screen, television, the Interwebs, in my waking life and in my sick dreams.
Speaking of sick, and Twisted Sister, yes: Fool's Day is very, very sick and twisted, sister. Which means you'll love it! A fourth grade class pulls a prank on their teacher that goes horribly, horribly, oh so horribly wrong. I mean more horribly wrong than the time the shy girl in my fourth grade class could not make it out of the classroom in time and had to squat and pee in a waste paper basket in front of all of us. Worse than Kardashian wrong, I'm talking about here.
Anyway, the inspired comedy that comes from Cody Blue Snider and his co-writer Shane Snider centers on the children trying to cover up what went ... people, let me just reiterate ... so very wrong before their fulla himself D.A.R.E. officer arrives for his weekly visit.
I've given away too much already, so let me just add Cody and Shane's dad makes a brief cameo and look for the fat kid in the background in one scene wiping his face on the schoolyard grass. That made me change my Depends. OK, that's it. Except for this: While there are several children in the production, you won't want to take any that age or younger to this screening, which is part of the Our Short Senses program of short films. (8:30 p.m. at The Triangle in Costa Mesa)
Matthew Boger (left) watches as Tim Zaal makes a point at one of their tolerance talks.
This is a very solid documentary double bill at The Triangle this afternoon. Jason Cohen's Facing Fear is the gut-wrenching, Oscar-nominated story of a gay man (Matthew Boger) accidentally running into the former neo-Nazi (Tim Zaal) who romper stomped his head when they were teens 25 years earlier. Together, they now teach tolerance, which is absolutely mind blowing. Cohen and Boger, who actually learned something from Zaal, are scheduled to attend this NBFF screening, so the audience Q&A is not to be missed.
Madaraka Nyerere and Jaffar Amin stand at ... oops ... spoiler alert!
Sons of Africa
The pairing of old foes in Sons of Africa is not accidental. Jaffar Amin and Madaraka Nyerere were brought together to climb Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, by the filmmaker. Yes, you do recognize those names as Jaffar's father was Uganda's leader in the 1970s Idi Amin and Madaraka's was Tanzania's president Julius Nyerere. Ruthless rulers, Amin and Nyerere were also bitter enemies whose countries fought one another in war. James Becket, a human rights watchdog and the director of this documentary, brought the sons of Africa together for a climb "of peace and reconciliation." It's a grueling experience physically and mentally, especially for Becket, who is deep into his 70s. Indeed, my only problem with the film is there's too much James Becket as his picture really comes alive whenever the gregarious Amin and the more cerebral Nyerere fill the screen, alone, together or embracing. (Double bill begins at 2:15 p.m. at The Triangle)
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