The Arts Festival

posted by : Jon Kroupa on 06/28/2011

I went to the Utah Art's Festival Thursday evening with some friends. I guess we were primarily there to see the disturbing ballet, but we ended up seeing a few other things as well.

First the ballet. I like to think that I have nothing against the ballet, because I am refined soul who can appreciate music and dance. However, it turns out I do have something against the ballet, and it is the costumes. Disturbing is the only word that be used to describe what the men typically wear. The women were hardly better, with their near transparent outfits. This tends to reveal more than a person might want to see, like their sickening anorexic ribs being highlighted with stretchy cloth. We can fly little Tonka trucks to Mars with the sole purpose of using the planet as a giant sandbox, I am fairly certain we can build clothing that allows freedom of movement but is also opaque.

One thing that was surprising about the festival in general was the number of scantily clad women wandering around drinking beer. They were there in such density and variety of these people that I wondered if they were part of the festival. Perhaps some radical new method where subjects wander around aimlessly to the numerous vendors. If I were an exhibitioner I don't think I'd want my exhibits lollygagging around and getting drunk, but I'm more traditional than most.

We happened to be making our way out when we discovered there was a screening of the Utah Short Film of the Year competition. We were shown ten films and asked to choose our favorite two.

DreamGiver is an animated film about this little goblin who invades your home and gives dreams to children. If this is truly how dreams happen then this creature isn't good at his job, despite a significant amount of experience. He places his "dream eggs" in such a way that one accidentally rolls off and breaks over a scary story. This results in a kid having a nightmare.

The Silhouettes is a 19 minute film which will feel like 1900 minutes. Slam poets talk about their psychological problems and how art has helped (some) to become more stable. I had never heard the term slam poetry, and immediately after the film if you had asked me to define it I would have said it is "poetry" that does not rhyme and provides no enjoyment for the listener. In actuality it is competition poetry where people stand up and deliver pieces that neither rhyme nor provide entertainment and somehow they are judged (hopefully harshly).

That's What I Am Here For is a film in which society has decided to outlaw bad art. So a few people are in a house arrest kind of place for their crimes against society. Not actually a bad idea in my opinion.

Life After is about a man trying to cope with the death of his wife while at the same time taking care of his two daughters. The depth of this story can apparently be told in 2 minutes.

Love Sick is a story about a guy who comes on too strongly immediately when meeting new girls. He sees a girl get on Trax and desperately tries to catch her, when he eventually does find her he repeats his past mistakes and the cycle continues. This film, which was obviously shot in Salt Lake City, wants us to believe that Trax stops are 14 blocks apart from each other in the downtown area, when in reality they are every 3-4 blocks.

Taste Of Love is basically a pornographic zombie movie. A male zombie is eating a corpse, and a female zombie comes up and seduces him to share by pouring blood onto her low cut top and licking her fingers. It was a crime against all other zombie movies.

Take Me Seriously is a confusing music video about a girl driving a car, and then she decides to follow a guy, or maybe he is following her? It wasn't clear to me if we were supposed to take the guy's interest in the girl seriously, or the girl's disinterest seriously. The best part of the film was that it could only be as long as the song.

X96 is a film that thought that special effects were more important than a story (much like a Transformers movie). Why bother with even the most basic of stories when you can fake touch screen pads that don't seem to respond to touching? Not sure what the character should do next? Just have an unconvincing mushroom cloud appear and roll credits.

Jack and Jen is a film about a homeless couple that have a falling out and go their separate ways. The man happened to stumble upon a gold coin which a pawn dealer convinces him to sell on Ebay, netting him $2,000,000. Well the now well off homeless man gets a shave, buys a BMW and goes and reunites with the woman from the beginning. Apparently all these homeless people wandering around have absolutely nothing wrong with them other than a lack of money.

At the end we were asked to choice our favorite two. I voted for DreamGiver and Love Sick, not because they were great, but because oil floats on water, unlike rocks.