When: Sept. 25-28 2014
If you feel a rumble beneath your toes in the next few days, it’s because The Oakland Underground Film Festival (OAKUFF) is breaking the surface this week, spouting a steady stream of indie flicks at the Grand Lake Theater and Humanist Hall. Two highlights of the program are a pair of refreshingly different music films: 20,000 Days on Earth and Mondo Fuzz. The former fuses documentary and drama to create an introspective retelling of music icon Nick Cave’s 20,000th day of life. The genre-blending style points to the ambiguity of the distinction between an artist’s star image and his or her “authentic” self, and the opportunity for pseudo-intimacy will likely have Cave fans giddy as they peek into his enigmatic mind. Mondo Fuzz is a playful group portrait of Austin’s underground garage music scene, a mix of live sets and interviews spliced with found footage to form one very loud pastiche. Two other documentaries offer some heavy insight into social injustices. Out in the Night closely follows the case of four black lesbians who the media described as a “Gang of Killer Lesbians” after they defended themselves against street harassment in New York City, cinematically revealing the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality are often unfairly criminalized. True Son follows Michael Tubbs, a black Stanford graduate born to a teenage mother and incarcerated father, as he runs for city council in his hometown of Stockton, confronting the disenfranchisement of its citizens head on.