Posted November 7, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Film Festival Preview

For the past 30 years, the Olympia Film Society has put on a film festival for the city of Olympia. The Olympia Film Festival offers up a chance to see rare and experimental films that normally wouldn’t be shown.

The 10-day event takes up to five months of planning and attracts around 5,000 people a year, accord- ing to coordinator Harry Reetz.

The Olympia Film Society was founded in 1980 by a group of Evergreen students and film enthusiasts, who soon put together a festival to share their enthusiasm with the world. The first Olympia Film Festival was in 1983 and has happened every year since. Past performances included “Everyone from Judy Gar- land to Jack White.”

This year’s festival will open with local grunge legends Mudhoney and come to a close with a performance by comedian Hari Kondabolu. “I don’t think we’ve ever closed with a comedy show before,” Reetz said, “I like the idea of wrapping things up with laughter.”

As always, the fest will include audience favorite All Freakin’ Night, in which the OFS challenges viewers to stay up for a full 10 hours of horror and slasher films, as well as many other must-see films that will only be available in Olympia for a short time.

The Olympia Film Society has been gracious enough to offer a $30 festival pass for students, which is more than half the price the regular $85 festival pass. If you’ve got the cash and the spare time, the student pass is definitely the way to go.

Because the OFF offers an entire 10 days of film, performance, and community-oriented activities, it can be hard to pick and choose what to see and what to pass up. In a perfect world, Olympia would drop everything so its inhabitants could go spend their time viewing every single film. But we realize that you’ve probably got a lot on your plate, leaving you to wonder how you’ll possibly have the time to do everything. Lucky for you, the lovely staff at the Cooper Point Journal has put together a list previewing some of our favorite and most-anticipated events to help guide you through the festival.


Ahhhh, grunge: Flannel-clad dudes playing thick chords and screaming about pain and being holed up in basements all around Seattle because it’s raining. That was 20 years ago though; has grunge really died? While Billy Corgan would like to have a word with you, that grunge sound and spirit has always been an integral part of Washington’s culture since The Sonics played their own kind of R&B. But if we’re talking about that fuzzy, drum-heavy, stupid punk rock grunge sound, one band can stand above the rest as the grunge band: Mudhoney.

Seattle’s Mudhoney took all the stupid cliches from the psychedelic ‘60s records, put it to a metal sludge, and played it with a punk spirit. Though the tortured spirits of Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain would use the same sound to sing about the very real pain they faced (to great effect), Mudhoney— fronted by the possible grunge coiner and all around awesome Mark Arm— were more interested in penning “loud ballads of love and dirt” as their adoring label Sub Pop would summarize. With songs like “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More,” “Here Comes Sick-ness,” “Mudride,” and, most popularly, “Touch Me, I’m Sick,” Mudhoney were playfully lewd, crude, and loud. And they have yet to stop.

Now on their 26th year, Mudhoney has had a productive last decade. They dropped their ninth album Vanishing Point in April 2013, to much acclaim. Drowned In Sound wrote that they “…offer a thrill akin to Popping Candy fizzing in My Little Pony Blood.” Mudhoney’s guitarist Steve Turner swung by Olympia earlier in October to show their 2012 documentary “I’m Now.” The grunge trend may be dead—Mudhoney is not.

Mudhoney take the stage at the Olympia Film Festival on Nov. 7, playing along with Olympia luminaries Girl Trouble. The band will also screen “I’m Now.” Olympians love their grunge, and while 1991 is long over, this is your chance to join in on the fun and wear your best flannel through the mud and sludge. – ZACH NEWMAN

All Freakin’ Nightall-freakin-night_web

All Freakin’ Night is an Olympia Film Festival staple that encourages its audience to survive 10 ghouling hours of non-stop horror movies. Doors will open after 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8th. This year AFN will be hosted by local comedian, Sam Miller. To increase your chances of survival, I’ve put together a guide to help carry you safely through this shock-a-thon because after all you only get credit if you actually survive all freakin’ night!

All Freakin’ Night: A Survival Guide

  • The Capitol Theater is notorious for having the most rickety, uncomfortable seats. Don’t let that discourage your spirits! Do your booty a favor, bring a hemorrhoid donut. If you don’t own one, ask your grandparents.
  • Dress comfy! Seriously, leave the tight belt and jeans at home—and bring a giant jacket to cuddle into.
  • Between movies, get up. Move about and more importantly go outside and get some fresh air! Expand those little air sacs, you’ll feel much more energized!
  • Eat something with sustenance! Remember, this is going to be a long night and it’s going to be difficult to get through the night if you’ve only been feeding your body delicious candy that you purchased from OFS. Bring some trail mix or a nutrition bar to stave off a case of the tummy rumbles. I suggest snagging yourself a juicy burger from Big Tom (I heard a rumor that they might show up).
  • Bring a flask, because it is not officially endorsed, you might want to be hush-hush. It works as a great catalyst for maintaining the super fun and rowdy behavior expected of the spectators. However, you didn’t hear this from me *wink* and remember to always remain respectful to the 90-year- old (!!!) theater that’s providing this spooky all-night delight (clean up after yourself).
  • Bring a buddy, or 10! The only way you are going to make it our of this thing alive is if you have your trusty sidekicks hootin’ and hollerin’ beside you for the entire monster marathon. Also, don’t forget to bring your good sense of humor!

Midnight: Moebius (2013)

Originally banned at it’s 2013 release in South Korea, “Moebius” tells a cautionary tale about a Korean family dealing with the struggles of fidelity. Sound familiar? It’s not, this film will leave you squirming in your chair, reliving it’s disturbing, bloody conclusion. (TW; genital mutilation).

2am: The Burning (1981)

“The Burning” originally debuted in 1981, a slasher film loosely based on upstate New York’s urban legend, Cropsey. Don’t miss Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander’s acting debut in this sleepaway camp thriller set to a musical score by Yes.

4am: Mr. Magoo Meets Frankenstein (1959)

Follow Mr. Magoo around for this five minute short as he unknowingly trespasses at a mad scientist’s castle. What could go wrong? Everything. Hopefully our beloved Mr. Magoo will escape unscathed!

4:05am: The Howling (1981)

“The Howling” is a must-see classic of the often maligned werewolf genre. It’s infused with socio-political criticism, tearing apart self-help quackery and exploitive television networks. It also includes off-the-cuff steamy sex scenes (re: werewolf sex). Director Joe Dante packs the film with campy werewolf references for comedic effect, from leaving cans of Wolf brand chili sitting out in the background, and a copy of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” resting on a table. It makes for a perfect union of comedy and horror.

6am: The Incredible Melting Man (1977)

“The Incredible Melting Man” tells a story of the horrific plight of an astronaut exposed to radiation. It was originally intended to be a sci-fi spoof on horror films, but was ultimately edited down into a seedy, low-budget horror flick. No matter how bad the story—the film is still praised for its gory, prosthetic make-up.

8am: The Fog (1980)

Written, directed and scored by John Carpenter, “The Fog” is a classic horror must-see. It tells the tale of a spooky fog that sweeps over a Californian town, bringing back with it unforgiving, shipwrecked mariners and ghosts that had been killed exactly 100 years ago that day. It makes for a perfect ethereal closer to All Freakin’ Night leaving us to wander off into our private fog of the early morning hours. – JENNY ROBERTSON

last-unicorn_webThe Last Unicorn

This beautiful animated tale is about the last unicorn on earth and her two friends who go on a quest to find the rest of her kin at the ends of the earth. The Last Unicorn was made in the United States in 1982, directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. The film is based on the German novel The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. The animation combined with the music adds to the magical feel when you are watching it. The songs are composed by Jimmy Webb and performed by the band America. The long scenes of the unicorn walking on her journey are captivating as they are accompanied with the changing terrain and music.

The meeting of the butterfly and the unicorn is an interesting juxtaposition between [against?] the butterfly’s goofy personality and the desperation of the unicorn dying to know if she really is the last of her kind. Just because the story is animated does not mean it is just a happy children’s movie. The characters are complicated with their own stories and flaws. They all have to overcome personal obstacles while still supporting each other to the end.

When the unicorn comes into their lives they are all forced to confront their faults and make mistakes that do not all end happily ever after. It is a story of love and lost love as well as giving up what you want most for what is better for the world. If you would like to meet the mastermind behind this story, Peter S. Beagle will be at the showing of The Last Unicorn this Sunday on November 9th for a Q&A and book signing. – EMMA ROTOLO

CLAW: The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlersclaw_web

“CLAW: The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers” is a 2012 documentary featuring what members of the collective refer to as “the revolution currently happening in women’s arm wrestling”, according to the film’s Kickstarter campaign.

From the trailer, which can be found with a quick search online, it appears to combine the excitement of competitive arm wrestling with the over-the-top personalities of pro-wrestlers like The Rock and Randy Orton. The group originated in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has spread to cities across the U.S., including Olympia.

Their Kickstarter exceeded their goal of $5,000, reaching $6,281 and resulting in a completed documentary the very next year. It became an Audience Award winner at the 2013 Virginia Film Festival.

The Olympia chapter has held two charity events this year, the first of which reportedly earned $1,628 for SafePlace, a nonprofit that benefits domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

“CLAW” was directed by Billy Hunt, whose most recent project is “Ralph’s World: Time Machine Guitar”, and Brian Wimer, who previously worked on multiple zombie and horror films. The documentary features members of the group, including some from the Olympia chapter, who dress in character, dawn a persona, and battle for arm supremacy in front of a crowd. -CODY BYRE


Loosely conceived as a supernatural horror film, “Hausu” is a hallucina- tory and wildly uncategorizable journey created by Japanese experimental filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi. Obayashi brings a healthy dose of avant-garde technique into his first mainstream release, produced in 1977 during the horror movie fad.

The Toho film studio approached him to make something like “Jaws.” But rather than a genuine attempt at a blockbuster thriller, Obayashi came up with a psychedelic meditation vaguely grounded in the horror genre; more divergent from the form then characterized by it.

While it was largely panned by Japanese critics on its initial release, it has recently been revived at independent theaters in the United State, compelling audiences with its the bizzare, stylized vision of the work.

The tone flashes confusingly between that of a ‘60s comedy romp, glossy classical cinema a la “Gone With the Wind,” supernatural horror, and flashy avant-garde. Amateur actors deliver utilitarian performances on surreal stage sets. Scenes interject into one another. Comedy juxtaposes with gruesome horror, created with purposefully cartoonish special effects. -ISSAC SCOTT

HUMP! Festhump-festival_web

Even if you’re skeptical about watching porn in a theater full of your friends, crushes, co-workers, and a lot of strangers, don’t be too quick to write off HUMP! Fest.

Ten years running, HUMP! presents a curated selection of local amatuer porn shorts that aim not only to be sexy, but weird, quirky, funny, artistic, and most of all unexpected. The mix of straight-forward—but often not straight—porn and whackier X-rated shorts, from adorably animated bunny sex to buttplug bowling, diffuse tension with laughs and squeals before you get turned on enough for it to be weird.

HUMP! Fest is all about audience participation, with theater goers drinking beer (most often smuggled in a backpack to save cash), throwing popcorn, and yelling all their reactions at the screen.

Everyday people, probably some that you know, submit short (and dirty) films to organizers from The Stranger and The Portland Mercury, including celebrity sex columnist Dan Savage, who choose the best to bring to the big screen. Audience members then vote for their favorite films, which can win cash prizes from $200 to the $5000 “Best in Show” grand prize.

HUMP! Fest is on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 9:30, but if you don’t have to go to bed early I suggest the encore midnight showing when things get a little wilder. -FELIX CHROME