LeS enFanTS TerriBLeS The impact of Cyberspace-based networking on movie watching hasn't been entirely negative; in the case of MOTELx (Sept 29Oct 3), Lisbon's annual horror film festival, it has helped fill theatre seats. In recent years, the festival's attendee numbers have doubled in size. "I guess the big jump from 4,500 to 9,000 attendees annually is related to new social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Another cause for our success has to do with the dates; we're the first film event after the summer," curator João Monteiro says. Big-name guests have also helped MOTELx grow. Last autumn's festival began with a surprise screening of the full 13-minute version of Thriller in homage to Michael Jackson. Its director, John Landis, was present to discuss a special screening of his perhaps most famous film, An American Werewolf in London. "We do creative workshops related to horror. Our kids' section basically consists of watching a film and working on kids' imaginations and preconceptions of fear. In its first year it was hard to convince parents to bring their kids to a horror event and now we have to refuse some applications," says Monteiro. "I had already thought about it and his sentiments made sense as to what the festival means to me: freedom in everything. Even directors on a low budget have a right to show their perspective. You don't have to follow the [film] industry of the US; there are classes teaching students how to make their own films. Maybe one day I'll want to make a film. A low-budget film with no frills can convey a beautiful meaning." reBeL wiTh a CaUSe This anti-commercial ethos was echoed elsewhere at IndieLisboa, when When You're Strange, a documentary on 1960s and early 1970s US rock band The Doors, played to a packed São Jorge house on April 23. An audience aged early teens upwards assembled to hear about a group making music for the different and uninvited. One class clown remained talking as the lights went down, only to be submitted into silemce by shushing throughout the auditorium. The film's narration was in English, with Hollywood star Johnny Depp a big Doors fan explaining how singer Jim Morrison had refused to sanction the use of the band's biggest hit, "Light My Fire," in a Buick advert, much to the chagrin of the band's other members. In recent years, MOTELx's attendee numbers have doubled in size. heLP! Lisboans aren't just watching the films they're helping stage them. Catarina Tavora, a 21-year old journalism intern, was one of 30 volunteers at São Jorge alone, assisting the 44,003 people attending IndieLisboa over its eleven days in April and May (an increase of 26 per cent from last year). Tavora volunteered for free for five days per week in exchange for meals and movies. She considered it time well spent. "The festival has given me a chance to find out about Portuguese cinema and documentaries not normally shown by the mainstream. It seems stupid to see American, German and French films before we get to know our own cinema," she says, mentioning a speech by IndieLisboa's co-director Miguel Valverde at a short film called Voodoo. Valverde had said that IndieLisboa is staged in April because of the date of Portugal's "carnation revolution" (a 1974 military coup that brought about democracy). 46 BLUe winGS OCTOBER 2010 A cheer went up, although not as great as that accompanying confirmation over the closing credits that to this day the song has not been used in an automobile commercial. Clapping at the end of films is common practice in Portugal, even beyond the festival circuit. After the film, fans bought t-shirts and posters and hung around the lobby as if savouring the atmosphere of an adrenaline-charged concert. Some put cigarettes to their lips, vaguely reminding one of the band's charismatic front man. There was a tangible feeling in the air of being there, something hard to recreate when watching films on an iPad, no matter how much popcorn you eat. iT'S a wonderFUL LiFe This harmony between audience and subject matter was everywhere at IndieLisboa. Members of Lisbon's Italian community were drawn to Videocracy,
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