Opening Night: 18½ and Belly Talkers
Thursday, February 24, 2022
7 p.m. Varsity Center
18½ (d. Dan Mirvish) Narrative – 88 minutes
18½ is a 70s Watergate thriller/dark comedy that revisits disgraced President Nixon’s missing audio tape. The film stars Willa Fitzgerald, John Magaro, Vondie Curtis Hall, Catherine Curtin, Richard Kind, Sullivan Jones and the voices of Ted Raimi, Jon Cryer and Bruce Campbell as Nixon.
Festival Juror Dan Mirvish has directed several critically-acclaimed features, including Omaha (the movie) and Bernard and Huey. He is the author of the bestselling non-fiction book The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking from Focal Press/Routledge. and is co-founder of the upstart Slamdance Film Festival. In lieu of an appearance, The Big Muddy Film Festival will present Dan Mirvish’ latest film on opening night, with an online event to follow. “18½ Is Farce at Its Best, and Then Some: From paranoia to romantic tension, it’s all groovy…. A whip-smart screenplay that’s strong with the force of farce, 18½ is quite a gem…wonderful performances…Gorgeous cinematography and movement…absolutely sweep the climax off of its feet, elevating the activity – which ranges from voyeuristic to fight capture – to sheer brilliance.” BillArceneaux.com
Belly Talkers (d. Kate Renshaw-Lewis)
Animation – 8 minutes
Growing up, I always explained my chronic vocal tic as the man who lives in my belly and likes to scream. Belly Talkers is a 7-minute animation about this man and the ties between tics, memory, and trauma. The film explores what it would be like to interact with the personification of the vocal tic within a world that blends the external reality and the internal metaphysical space of the main character. Recordings of my vocal tics from the past two years are used as dialogue and as the film unravels the connections between the characters, the film’s medium becomes more experimental and tactile, blending 2D and 3D elements.