The premier of “Humboldt County” the movie, like many movie premiers, was more a cultural/social event than just an opportunity to see the film. The Eureka Theater was full of people who looked much like the people being portrayed on screen. In fact some of them were the same people. And sure enough, as some of the characters on screen started lighting up their funny cigarrettes it was like being in a sensearound movie as the sweet smell of pot began to waft through the air.
As for the movie itself, it started nicely and it was kind of fun being in an audience that cheered whenever a familiar HC scene or road sign appeared on the screen. But that got kind of silly after a while, even annoying, especially if you wanted to actually hear the dialog. But that wasn’t completely the fault of the rowdy audience. The audio seemed poorly mixed. Some dialog came through loud and clear but many moments were muddy and incoherent. I hope they can fix that before the commercial release in September. Maybe the theater sound system was partly to blame.
Trying to look at the movie on its own apart from event I was disappointed. The story was predictable and simplistic and some of the plot points seemed strained. The characters felt clichÃ©d and stereotypical, though for the most part, the acting was strong enough to keep them interesting. It’s hard to say how the film will play outside of the area and harder still to tell if it will have any affect on how the rest of the world perceives Humboldt County.
The rest of the WildRivers 101 Film Festiveal continues with plenty more to see and do.
The film Humboldt County that actually had footage shot here a couple years ago is finally getting a commercial release. It’s official release date is September 26th in the following locations:
- Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
- San Francisco, California
- Humboldt County, California
- Chicago, Illinois
- Austin, Texas
Humboldt County Film Poster
But if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, there will be a showing as part of the WildRivers 101 Film Festival on August 27th at the Eureka Theater. It will be interesting to see how this film turns out. In spite of what the directors claim (that it’s a character driven movie), pot and pot growing are central elements of the film from everything I have seen. If you want to help promote the film, the directors have a grassroots marketing plan they would love to have you participate in.
However the Humboldt County movie fares, the WildRivers 101 Film Festival has a lot of great stuff in store for us in terms of our own film and media industry. Their web site isn’t updated yet, but according to festival director Mary Cruse, here is a list of events:
The 12-day event kicks off with the local premier of the film, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, at the Eureka Theatre at 7 pm, Wed., Aug. 27. This year’s theme is Humboldt County and technology,Â with a Localpalooza night, screening feature films made locally, including REMOTE CONTROL GRANDPA, and WHERE THERE’S SMOKE – about woodland California firefighters, including Honeydew volunteer fire department members.
Independent cinema will be embraced by indie icon, actress Karen Black, and many other visiting filmmakers.
There will also be screenings in the Humboldt Redwoods State Parks, and a section of the guide promoting our parks. All proceeds of those events will go to recreation programs in our local Parks.
Also, there will be an all-day digital media event, which was a big hit last year. This will take place on Sept. 6, in Eureka.Â The focus of this year’s presentations will be interactive media (video game design, mobisodes, webisodes), how to make money on short content media (through national ads, internet, other methods of distribution), the importance of editing and sound design, and more, as well as an actor’s workshop at the Eureka Theatre.
Man the news hounds have been having a field day as the long rumored Fed raid on Humboldt County has finally come to pass. A couple of local blogs have really been busy. The Humboldt Herald, always a stew of opinion has been gathering news snippets from various sources.Â But the NCJ Blogthing has really been burning it up. And poor Hank Sims is trying to get out of town. Cruel ironyÂ that he’s taking his first vacation in years as one of the biggest stories of the year unfolds.
Radio waves have been buzzing as well. KHUM has been following the story and according to Hank,Â “tomorrow morning at 9:00 on 94.1 KSLG, John Matthews will receive an update on Operation Southern Sweep from FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler.”
Hurrah for local live radio!