The Fabulous Insectavora!
While the Coney Island Film Festival was a fun event you couldn’t help but getting a sad vibe when you looked around the area surrounding the Coney Island USA building. Although it is closed for the season anyway the vacant lots surrounded by chain link fences bulldozed by Thor Equities last year intensify a feeling of impending doom only amplified by the rainy weather. Coney was enveloped in a surreal mist for most of the weekend. Correct me if I’m wrong me but aren’t at least the Cyclone & the Wonder Wheel still operating on the weekends at this time of year?
I attended many screenings over the 3 days, unfortunately it was impossible to see them all as the screenings (over 125 shorts!) were done simultaneously between the Freak Show Stage and the Coney Island Museum but I managed to take in a lot.
The selections seemed a bit darker this year. Sunday afternoon’s Coney centric shorts viewing were bittersweet as nostalgia has set in big time already. Will the recent economic developments halt Joe Sitt & Bloomberg’s big dreams of condos and Nike towns? Save Coney Island by Peter LiPera is a doc (and winner of the festival!) chronicalizing the “Save Coney Island” Movement, from the organization of the protest at City Hall last year till the unknowing period of now. Of course it’s open ended as the fight is still going on. (go here to see what you can do to help.) One Coney short unrelated to the amusement park that I really liked was by Alexis Neophytides called “Coney Island’s for the Bird’s” a doc about the underground world of Brooklyn pigeon racing, looked like it was filmed on Neptune Avenue. And as usual the festival closed Sunday night with the filmmakers claiming their awards at Eldorardo Auto Skooters, as I am SURE they do in Cannes as well! Click here for the Coney Island Film Festival website for a complete list of winners!