They're back. Or almost back -- the end of July, actually, will mark the return of the cinematic high point of the summer silly season. Swede Fest 2 slouches this way July 27, like a latter-day Rodan, as local amateurs enter home-brewed mini-remakes of great films of the past to see who can most cleverly turn a silk purse into a sow's ear. It's work to put Michael Bay to shame (if that were possible).
Anyone can play, but it has to be done soon, with entries due at festival headquarters before midnight, July 9. So if your inner Fellini just has to bust free upon the screen (for three minutes or less) and show the so-called masters how it should have been done, here's your chance.
One of three such festivals nationwide, the Swede Fest phenom was inspired by the 2008 Jack Black/Mos' Def comedy Be Kind Rewind, about the misadventures of two video rental store clerks. Having accidentally erased every tape in the shop, they embark on a frenzy of zero-budget remakes, dubbing them "swedes," a tip of the hat/thumb of the nose to artsy-fartsy Euro-flicks.
Festival organizer Belle Forino, events director for PBG lifestyle complex Mainstreet at Midtown ("Much Cooler Than You Thought"), picked up the idea and ran with it last summer. "It sold out," she told New Times. "It was quirky, and people got there and were astonished. There's so much good will, we think it can be a local institution."
Belle promises that every entry, "unless they're toxic or not PG-13 rated -- this is all-ages," will be screened one way or the other, if not part of the main event, then in the theater's lobby. The audience favorite will receive, in addition to silver screen glory, a set of "not super swanky" editing equipment. (Last year's winners got a free tour of the Port St. Lucie studios of Digital Domain. Thank you, John Textor.)
Original films to be re-made are allocated on a first-ask, first-served basis, so check this line-up to see which you can cross off your list. (And whet your appetite with anticipation. Like, who's going to out-camp the original Starship Troopers?)
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Everything you need to know about the festival and how to enter it can be found here. Tickets can be purchased there as well, damned cheap. Word: Last year's fest sold out, and there's only 500 seats!
Swede Fest 2. 7 p.m., Saturday, July 27, Borland Center for Performing Arts, 4901 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
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