The Wizard Film Fest Review Day 1
Every year in Phoenix Arizona a special event goes on. Some say it is the pinnacle of the unseen film world’s social calendar. Yes, the Wizard Film Fest, where the greatest and brightest wizards/filmmakers gather to show off their latest major motion pictures early in front of a collection of wizards/filmmaking professionals before they are handed out to the mass secret underground release, the common places where wizards see movies - projected on a hydrogen atom. You could also try walking through the screen of movie theaters, the place us normal people would never think to look for movies. But this year Camelot Magazine, after years of trying to get approval to see this vaulted, cultural institution, was finally granted press credentials in the form of a raven that would never leave this critic’s side and that eventually one day guided her to the secret underground lair. I named him Simon, but that’s not the point. The point is to see these amazing, wonderful, innovative wizard-written, produced, directed and starring, films.
The first film in the Wizard Film Fest was by one who in the olden times was called the Grand Wizard, but that name was co-opted by a bunch of jerks, so now they call him The Really Cool Wizard. But that also got co-opted by a bunch of not good people, so in the ‘80’s they had a re-branding of the name, so now they’re called The Rad Wizards, and the first film was done by one of the most rad wizards there is. That of course is Serkec Maltovy – a short small man with stubby little features. Oh, how the obvious trembles in fear of him. They said once when he was on a whale watching trip he saw a whale, which is a big deal for wizards because whales have the mystical ability of blocking themselves from being viewed by wizards, and no wizard has been able to stop that until the guy's name I just said.
His film was of course about the famous whale singing incident. He cast himself of course in the lead role, but he always casts himself in the lead role. Of course, there was also a romantic angle. Now, Serkec Maltovy is 700 years old, so in a move that many would find creepy and sad and just a tiny bit pathetic, but not me because..... because..... I see the beauty in everything even if I have to try very hard, he cast a 23-year-old as his love interest. So, you know, super cool, because the world is beautiful and I love it. Also, there are a bunch of super-cool, lovely, just great, wonderful monsters and stuff in it, which didn’t really have to happen, because honestly he just went on a whale-watching tour. The movie was called The Whale in Love. It was pretty good. I gave it a 16 out of 10.
As I wait for the next movie to begin I walk around and my hope is to interview someone. This proves hard to impossible to do as all the wizards seem to have trouble speaking about anything important. Well, here is a conversation I had with Arman the wise:
“So, Mr. Wise (I’m not being cute; his last name really is The Wise), I read that for your last film you shoot a love scene in a collapsing black hole. What was that like?"
He looked around at the room. Then he said, "Boy, that sure is some weather.”
All the wizards were like this, most conversations being banal talks about the weather or the roads they took to get there. After a certain point I gave up and did something much more useful. I hit my head on the wall over and over again until a younger wizard took pity on me. He looked to be my age and had a warm easygoing smile.
“Not getting anywhere, right?” he said.
“They’re not a very talkative bunch, are they?” I said.
Then he explained what was going on, that yes, first, there very much are wizard schools. In truth they are more like schools than most anything, but at some point you'll learn almost casually how to read other people's minds and that's when the real work begins. Oh sure, everybody's, as it doesn't change anything, but eventually all the wizards go to the remote areas of the earth to work alone.
It was time for the next movie. The next movie was called The Baleful, and was directed by an arch-mage Killam. It depicts a famous point in the history of the wizard world, the final stands of the lich of Phoenix Arizona, one of the last great liches in the world of wizard's history, and greatly revered. I was pulled in by the sweeping vistas and the smart but dry humor she had. I felt for her struggle as she surely had positive thinking.
Later I talked to another critic. “I really loved the nihilistic violence of his struggle,” he said.
This was odd, but not as odd as when another critic talked to me about how he was happy that they were finally to have a movie that displayed what he called values. He even stared at me for a very long time and I was very uncomfortable with it, and I left quickly after. It did not occur to me until later when I saw screen shots of the movie that it was nothing but a black screen. I give it a Recommend.
Can a rock love? That was the question of the third movie I saw today, and it certainly was something. It is directed by Eugene the Y. The rock love story takes place entirely within a cooking pan that two rocks fell in, and then the rocks fell in love. Now the entire movie is an hour and a half of Eugene the Y playing with rocks, not with magic. After the movie, during the questionnaire, he summoned a tiger to cook us the greatest sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. The movie is not animated; it's just Eugene the Y playing with rocks. Well, it was certainly something. For a second there I thought I transcended my body and lived a million lifetimes, but then I came back and he was making the rocks making out with each other. So I give it a Recommend.
It was later that night when I went back to my hotel - the Ramada Inn, the nicest hotel Phoenix, Arizona has where a celebrity did not OD. I asked the front desk person if they had any magical raven food. They didn’t. That makes sense. I tried talking to Simon the raven; he didn’t say much, just went crowing and cawing, and that was my first night at the Wizard Film Festival.