Friday, December 6, 2013
By DENNIS PERKINS
Writing about movies in Maine makes two things clear:
COMING TO LOCAL SCREENS
GENO'S ROCK CLUB
(625 Congress St., Portland)
Monday: The Geek Chorus 2-Year Anniversary Beach Party. Portland's own "Mystery Science Theater 3000" has been cracking boozily-wise at the finest terrible films the public domain has to offer for two whole years. So come out and join The Fuge, Gerald and Boo as they mock a mystery movie for your amusement.
Tuesday: "An Encounter With Simone Weil." Space's USM Philosophy Symposium Film Series co-presents this documentary portrait of the titular philosopher, a woman Albert Camus called "the only great spirit of our time."
Maine's creepy. And also helpful.
Director Corey Norman, whose short, Maine-made horror film "The Barn" premieres at Nickelodeon Cinemas on Monday, agrees on both points. About a mute middle schooler whose seeming withdrawal from incessant bullying may in fact be the result of something far creepier, the movie was made by Norman's Bonfire Films -- and by the generosity of strangers.
Following the rising trend of soliciting funds from "crowdsourcing" sites on the Internet, Norman and company raised the budget for "The Barn" largely though the fundraising site Kickstarter, a strategy he highly recommends.
"We've never done anything not out of our own pockets before, so we thought we'd try it. We were somewhat naive, but we raised close to $2,500, and spent every penny of it," said Norman. "It was a great experience; we got sizable donations from people who we have no idea who they are, some local, some from other countries. It's a very cool thing."
Norman also credits the teaser trailer (vimeo.com/30292973) that accompanied the Kickstarter pitch for bringing in donations. (It is effectively unsettling.)
Clocking in at 40 minutes, "The Barn" will combine with several earlier Bonfire Films shorts to make up Monday's 80-minute program. It makes intriguing use of that inherent Maine creepiness I mentioned by combining locations in Windham, Buxton, Cornish, Alfred and Gorham to create its own fictitious, and uniquely unsettling, Maine town of Little Falls.
"We wanted to encapsulate small-town America, to have a rustic feel and somewhat timeless, so we shot in older buildings. All but one were built in the 1800s," said Norman of his plan to create a '70s-style horror tale. "And Western Maine -- it's beautiful, but can be very creepy too."
As if seeing new Maine horror and supporting local filmmaking aren't enough of a draw, attending "The Barn" premiere will also benefit Norman's favorite charity, with all of the proceeds going to Beau Buddy Rescue, a Bath-based dog rescue organization.
"Since our movie was made from donations, we thought it a nice gesture to donate it to another cause. A good thing for the karma," Norman said.
Local horror, new Maine film, puppy karma -- "The Barn" is calling you.
Dennis Perkins is a local freelance writer.