Get Excited! Swampflix is Returning to NOCAZ Fest This Weekend

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Attention, Swampflix readers in the New Orleans area! We will be exhibiting this Saturday (November 19th) & Sunday (November 20th) at the third annual New Orleans Comics & Zines Festival along with a bunch of other super cool comics & zines exhibitors. For this year’s festival we made print versions of Boomer & Brandon’s Agents of S.W.A.M.P.F.L.I.X. conversations, spanning the first two “phases” of the MCU in just two zines.

We will be also selling print versions of our “Marabunta Cinema“, “Lugosi Vs. Karloff“, and “Wrestling Cinema” pieces, as well as 2015’s Movie of the Month conversations in their entirety. They all feature dozens of new illustrations & hand-transcribed text from the site and the Movies of the Month zine is a ~90 page whopper featuring work from everyone who contributed to the site last year.

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We will be tabling from 11am-4pm on Saturday & 1pm-4pm Sunday at the Main Branch of the Orleans Public Library on Loyola Ave. For more info on the festival, check out their website at Nocazfest.com & refer to the poster below.

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We hope to see y’all there!

-The Swampflix Crew

 

Get Excited! Swampflix is Exhibiting at This Year’s New Orleans Bookfair

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Attention, Swampflix readers in the New Orleans area! Swampflix will be exhibiting tomorrow (December 12th) at the fourteenth annual New Orleans Bookfair along with a bunch of other super cool books, comics, and zines exhibitors. We will be selling the print versions of the three Swampflix zines we sold at last month’s NOCAZ Fest (“Marabunta Cinema“, “Lugosi Vs. Karloff“, and 2015’s Movie of the Month conversations) PLUS a brand new collection of articles from our Wrestling Cinema page for all of you marks & smarks out there.

The Bookfair will take place Saturday, December 12th from 11am-5pm at Clouet Gardens (707 Clouet St., New Orleans, LA   70117)  in the Ninth Ward.

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I’ve lowered our prices a little since NOCAZ so all four pieces are dirt cheap. They all feature dozens of new illustrations & hand-transcribed text from the site and the Movies of the Month zine is a ~90 page whopper featuring work from everyone who’s contributed to the site this year.

For more info on the Bookfair (which features a whole lot of other activities besides book-selling), check out their website at NewOrleansBookfair.com  & refer to the poster below.

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We hope to see y’all there!

-The Swampflix Crew

Get Excited! Swampflix is Exhibiting at This Year’s NOCAZ Fest

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Attention, Swampflix readers in the New Orleans area! Swampflix will be exhibiting tomorrow (November 14th) at the second annual New Orleans Comics & Zines Festival along with a bunch of other super cool comics & zines exhibitors. We will be selling print versions of three Swampflix pieces (“Marabunta Cinema“, “Lugosi Vs. Karloff“, and a collection of our Movie of the Month conversations) from 11am-5pm at the Main Branch of the Orleans Public Library on Loyola Ave.

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That middle piece is a ~90 page whopper featuring work from everyone who’s contributed to the site this year. All three feature dozens of new illustrations & hand-transcribed text from the site and, of course, all three will be dirt cheap.

For more info on the festival, check out their website at Nocazfest.com & refer to the poster below.

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We hope to see y’all there!

-The Swampflix Crew

UPDATE: The Indywood Kickstarter Campaign was a Success!

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Last week I wrote that the independent New Orleans cinema Indywood was looking to expand their programming through a Kickstarter campaign. The intimate theater has already been up and running at the edge of the French Quarter for just over a year now, but through a very reasonable requested donation they were looking to expand the scope of what services they could offer to the city’s cinephile community. At the time I wrote about their Kickstarter campaign it had two weeks to fund its project and just over half of its requested funds secured. I am happy to report that Indywood has since reached its goal and will now be able to expand its programming to include diverse offerings like Saturday morning cartoons, stand-up comedy, silent films with live musical accompaniment, “80’s VHS gems” and more.

In the last announcement I wrote that Indywood “occupies a strange, comfortable middle ground between watching a film in a traditional theater and popping in a DVD in a friend’s living room. Much like the experience of seeing a film at Zeitgeist or the outdoor Moonlight Movies screenings, there’s a communal aesthetic to Indywood that can’t be achieved at a larger, corporate-owned venue.” It’s awesome that the very community Indywood shares movies with stepped up to help them expand & grow. Personally, I very much look forward to watching to see what they bloom into and believe that, no matter what the scope of what they can accomplish, New Orleans will be all the richer for it.

Although the Kickstarter campaign has been fully funded, it’s still not too late to contribute if you haven’t already. They’ve secured the basic donation amount they’ve asked for, but more funding always helps. At this time there’s exactly one week left (until 8pm on March 5th to be exact) to contribute to the growth of New Orleans’ cinematic community & claim some truly cool rewards. There will also be a celebration for their backers (including a screening of The Big Lebowski) on March 5th to commemorate the success of the campaign. Hope to see you there!

-Brandon Ledet

Get Excited! Indywood is Looking to Expand their Programming through a Kickstarter Campaign

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I’ve heard tale of an ancient time when New Orleans was blessed with independent movie theaters, from legitimate single-screen cinemas to the overheated living rooms of shotgun houses where enterprising weirdos would sell you cheap beer & strange art films. By the time I was old enough to care, this cinematic paradise was gone. Up until a few years ago, the only independent theater holding on for dear life was The Prytania, a cultural institution that’s blessed our city with a hundred years of service. Most of our city’s independent cinemas had fallen to the crushing presence of AMC theaters in the suburbs and the convenience of home video.

Thankfully, things have changed. Just in the last few years, New Orleans’ independent movie scene has been veritably raised from the dead. In addition to the Prytania, we now have Chalmette Movies, Zeitgeist, Shotgun Cinema, The Theatres at Canal Place, outdoor Moonlight Movies screenings, the upcoming cinema on Broad Street and Indywood at the edge of the French Quarter. The city is buzzing with filmmaking & film watching activity. It’s a great time to be a cinephile in New Orleans.

One of the more exciting and more recent movie theaters in the city, Indywood, is looking to expand its scope & ambition through a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign. A much cozier & laidback downtown option than the too-rich-for-my-blood Theatres at Canal Place, Indywood is an intimate single-screen cinema on Elysian Fields, a few blocks from the river. It occupies a strange, comfortable middle ground between watching a film in a traditional theater and popping in a DVD in a friend’s living room. Much like the experience of seeing a film at Zeitgeist or the outdoor Moonlight Movies screenings, there’s a communal aesthetic to Indywood that can’t be achieved at a larger, corporate-owned venue.

Asking the very community it serves for a very reasonable donation to fund an expanse in programming, Indywood is looking to be more than just an intimate place to watch movies. According to the Kickstarter page, they’re looking to serve food & wine, play Saturday morning cartoons, and host stand-up comedy & discussions of classic works. They’re also looking to expand the ranges of films they screen to include spotlights on local films, African American films, silent films with live musical accompaniment and (most exciting to me) “80’s VHS gems”. The campaign’s “rewards” are also pretty cool, including a nifty t-shirt, private screenings, and the right to buy a seat in the theater that you’ll have the right to claim “no matter who’s sitting there for a whole year. Even if it’s Beyoncé.”

If you have the time or a few bucks to spare, help support the revival of New Orleans’ independent cinema scene by donating to the Indywood Kickstarter page or at least spreading it on social media. It has about two weeks left to reach its reasonable goal, but just over half of its funding secured. We at Swampflix would love to see their project completed.

2/26/15 UPDATE: The campain was a success!

-Brandon Ledet

UPDATE: The What We Do in the Shadows Kickstarter was a Success!

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Last week I wrote that the upcoming Jemaine Clement/Taika Watiti vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows was looking to fund an American theatrical release through a Kickstarter campaign. The film had already secured digital & home media distribution, but was struggling to reach American cinemas outside a couple screenings in New York & Los Angeles. At the time I wrote about the campaign to fund a wider theatrical release, it was barely more than halfway funded with only a week left to go. I am happy to report that the project has since reached its goal and will be able to hit a lot more local cinemas as a result (hopefully with New Orleans on its itinerary).

Last week, I described What We Do in the Shadows thusly: “It promises to take the same ennui employed by Only Lovers Left Alive into the satiric comedy territory of Vamps. Posed as a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary, the film follows modern day vampires as they navigate mundane activities like nightlife, dealing with roommates, and searching for a bite to eat. They clash with the likes of witches, zombies, werewolves, and plain-old humans in a loosely-plotted slice of (undead) life comedy. From the looks of the trailer, it could be quite funny as well as a fresh take on a genre I once thought hopelessly stale.” Judging by early reports it indeed is a very funny film and I hope that we will get to see & review it ourselves soon enough. Maybe even in the theater, thanks to the Kickstarter!

-Brandon Ledet

Get Excited! What We Do in the Shadows is Looking to Fund an American Theatrical Release

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A few years ago I was ready to concede that the vampire & zombie genres had reached their saturation points. In the mad rush to capitalize off of the successes of viable commodities like Twilight & The Walking Dead, the market has just been flooded with untold piles of subpar schlock like Vampires Suck & Zombeavers. Every now & then, however, a movie proves me wrong. I found the zom-coms Life After Beth & Warm Bodies to be surprisingly sweet and compassionate. The unfairly ignored Vamps was a return to form for Clueless-guru Amy Heckerling’s particular brand of social satire. I have yet to see Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, but from the advertising it seems to bring the 80’s classic The Hunger’s vampiric ennui into the 21st Century, an aesthetic I hadn’t considered would return. The endless implications & metaphors swirling around the undead have proved the genres endlessly adaptable, even if the final product isn’t always solid.

That’s why I’m hopeful for the New Zealand horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows. It promises to take the same ennui employed by Only Lovers Left Alive into the satiric comedy territory of Vamps. Posed as a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary, the film follows modern day vampires as they navigate mundane activities like nightlife, dealing with roommates, and searching for a bite to eat. They clash with the likes of witches, zombies, werewolves, and plain-old humans in a loosely-plotted slice of (undead) life comedy. From the looks of the trailer, it could be quite funny as well as a fresh take on a genre I once thought hopelessly stale.

What We Do in the Shadows is currently looking to fund an American theatrical release through a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter’s page is helmed by the filmmakers themselves, Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi, two of the creative minds behind the cult-classic comedy series Flight of the Conchords (as well as the films Boy & Eagle vs Shark). Clement is also a major player in one my favorite dumb comedies, Gentlemen Broncos. He’s a very funny & talented performer that I wish didn’t have to beg for funding like this, but the worst part is that the campaign is barely more than halfway funded with just a week left to go.

Even if you are not in a position to donate to the film’s American distribution, at least visit the Kickstarter page for a humorous promo featuring Clement & Waititi themselves or maybe help spread it elsewhere on the internet. It would be great if more people could see this promising, self-funded comedy and it was rewarded for bringing undead concepts into unexpectedly fresh territory.

2/14/15 UPDATE: The project was a success!

-Brandon Ledet

Get excited! Netflix is now streaming Wetlands (2014)

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2014 was a weird year for the romcom. It’s not often that a modern romcom earns the kind of critical praise that lands it on Best of the Year lists or empathetically addresses a subject as sensitive as abortion, but last year’s Obvious Child accomplished both. The genre also found its first ZAZ-style spoof in They Came Together and some common ground with supernatural horror in The One I Love. These were all exciting developments in a genre long thought stagnant, but by far the strangest new territory under the romcom umbrella was explored by the German film Wetlands.

Most likely the cutest movie about an anal fissure you’ll ever see, Wetlands is by and large an exercise in depravity. It’s as if de Sade or Bataille had written a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan comedy. If there’s a particular bodily fluid, sexual act, or unsanitary pizza topping that you absolutely cannot handle this may not be the movie for you. However, those who can endure a heap of gross-out humor are well rewarded for their fortitude. Like its 18 year old protagonist Helen (expertly played by Carla Juri) the film’s hard, shock value exterior is really a front for a big old softie lurking under the surface. For all of Helen’s filthy sex pranks and hygiene “experiments”, she’s really just an overgrown child who desperately wants her parents to get back together and for her hunky crush to notice her advances. There’s also some real pain behind her troubled relationships with her mother, her brother & her best friend, as well some surreally lyrical tangents involving dirty panties, microscopic closeups of bacteria, drug binges, and newly sprouted avocado trees. The film may be memorable for the depths of its depravity, but more importantly it manages a remarkable balance that allows it to stick to the romcom format while navigating those depths.

After its minuscule domestic release last year, I’m stoked that Wetlands is finally accessible for easy consumption. As far as I know the only time it played locally was at Chalmette Movies during last year’s New Orleans Film Festival. The film was difficult to watch in more ways than one and as it was my favorite comedy of 2014 (and in my top 5 movies overall) I’ve been sitting on my hands waiting for an opportunity to spread its name. If you’re worried that Wetlands is too grotesque for your taste, this (absurdly NSFW) trailer is a good litmus test. Otherwise, check it out on Netflix or home video ASAP. It’s somehow just as cute as it is gross. It’s very, very gross.

-Brandon Ledet