'Be Kind' inspires homemade remakes
Talk about tapping an unproven talent pool.A homegrown contest inspired by New Line’s upcoming Jack Black starrer “Be Kind Rewind” — in which Black and videostore worker Mos Def cover up the loss of demagnetized videotapes by shooting their own mini remakes — had wannabe filmmakers flooding Alamo Drafthouse Cinema with their own low-tech redos of famous films.The Austin suds-and-cinema chain instructed contestants to submit remakes less than five minutes in length. The shorts, submitted to filmmakingfrenzy.com, were to screen Feb. 18-20 at the South Lamar outpost, with the winner crowned in a Feb. 21 ceremony in advance of the pic’s opening at the theater the next day. Among the entries vying for the crown: a surprisingly evocative “Say Anything” clip by Team Fogar that matches the cadences of John Cusack and Ione Skye, and a “Breakfast Club” parody subbing characters from the New Testament for the pic’s original teen delinquents. An especially amusing “Star Wars” short features a male thesp in drag as Princess Lea. Not surprisingly, the quality varies hugely from clip to clip, as does the attempted comedy. (Drafting a 9/11 framework on “Rocky” was no doubt intended as subversive, but poorly executed.) Most of all, the entries illustrate how difficult it can be to pull off deliberately low-fi productions in an amusing fashion. User-generated content may be all the rage, but sometimes comedy’s best left to the pros.