Indy Film Fest

17Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: RUBBERNECK

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Daniel Fahrner Guest post by Daniel Fahrner
Bio: Marketing Man @SmallBox by day, underground strategy board game enthusiast and music business professional by night. Proud  papa
to be.

Psycho-sexual-obsession panic attacks. I’ve had it up to here with them! Actually.. I wanted to start this blog post off on a light hearted note because this film is truly the opposite of light hearted and recounting the intensity and anxiety within such a film isn’t always the most positive way to start a fella’s day.

Rubberneck digs deep. Equal parts psychological, evocative, passionate and anxiety inducing, this film pushes characters further down the emotional spectrum in a fantastically slow burn of a pace than it could possibly hint towards when we first meet Paul. Paul (Alex Karpovsky) is your classic purpose and passion-less protagonist who seems to have hit an unpleasant plateau. His career has stagnated and abandonment issues stemming from childhood have left him without many deep relationships. When a passionate office party fling presents hope, he clings to it like a desperate child dangling from the monkey bars.

Paul’s optimism dissolves quickly back into the minutiae of his everyday existence when the subject of his fling, pretty coworker Danielle, puts the kibosh on the potential for a relationship. Paul doesn’t seem to get the hint, though, or really accept the fate of their relationship and broods silently over the course of 8 months.

That’s when $h*t gets real. Danielle tempts a new coworker into an affair, jealousy sets in and Paul begins a series of desperate attempts to destroy their romance. As Paul confronts his desolation, we begin to understand the underlying cause of his confusion: abandonment.

The most impressive aspect of this film is Karpovsky’s ability to realize the vision of his character’s emotional extremity. This builds from becoming a mere subject of pity in his purpose-less work environment to pain and confusion bred by lust and rejection all the way to intense panic attacks.

Yes, it gets intense, but the emotional build is well constructed, brick by brick. Just like real life. Although, let’s just pretend that psycho-sexual-obsession panic attacks don’t actually happen in real life.

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Rubberneck
Alex Karpovsky 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Features, Featured

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

17Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: MATTER OF FACT SHORTS PROGRAM

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Kate Franzman Guest post by Kate Franzman
Bio: Copywriter at Pivot Marketing in Fountain Square. I love very old things and very new things.  Francophile. Roller girl. Cat lady.

When your time’s up, it’s up, right? When the Grim Reaper (preferably played by Brad Pitt) himself shows up at your door, in his flowy black cloak, there’s no escaping it. You’re outta this world.

Depressing? Maybe. But perhaps there's a way we could cheat Death, or at least slow him down a little. We could freeze time with a film; preserve it with a photograph, or even just a keen memory, vividly etched in our minds.

The shorts in this series explore the ways we come to terms with death, our own mortality, and the legacy we leave behind.

'IT AIN'T OVER'

An inspiring story on its own, the direction, cinematography, and pacing of this doc make it incredibly powerful. A man dying of (actually, living with) Lou Gehrig's disease comes to grips with his failing body, while examining what hope looks like in places where it shouldn’t exist.

IT AIN'T OVER
Caleb Slain 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

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'memorial film'

Morbid as it maybe, we’ve all thought about it. What would it be like to attend your own funeral? Kanaskevich comes close to finding out, weirding out his close friends and family on camera by asking them to speak as if he’s already dead.

memorial film
Yonatan Kanaskevich 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

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'We Win or We Die'

Can one person win the war? Mehdii Zew, by all accounts, was just an ordinary man. But in one heroic sacrificial act, he breached the walls of the Katiba, Moammar Gaddafi’s looming, 2-mile fortress, liberating an entire city. Now he's a hero.

We Win or We Die
Matthew Millan 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

View the trailer:

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'Sheryl's Keyosk'

Meet Sheryl, the key lady. She’s been making keys in her tiny little key shop for more than 20 years. The cutesy, quirky, upbeat tone of this short might distract you from questioning whether Sheryl's key obsession is actually just an attempt to connect to her deceased, locksmith father.

Sheryl's Keyosk
Jeffrey Palmer 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

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'The Joseph Szabo Project'

A love letter to high school and the 1970s, this time capsule-like short is sure to make you feel like you're right back in homeroom. The Project is drawn from thousands of never-before-seen images from photographer and former Long Island high school teacher, Joseph Szabo.

The Joseph Szabo Project
David Khachatorian, George P. Pozderec 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

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Matter of Fact Shorts
Categories: Shorts Program

View the 2012 Clip Reel:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

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16Jul/121

Indy Film Fest 2012: DETROPIA

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Evan Strange Guest post by: Evan Strange
Bio: I'm an Indianapolitan working in tourism who loves tasty food, live music and just about every type of film.

Show me a good documentary, and I’ll show you a happy, happy filmgoer.

I love them, and as a matter of fact, docs are one of my favorite aspects of the Indy Film Fest. Last year’s Better This World – a documentary about domestic terrorism- was one of my favorite films of the entire year.

With a great love for this type of film, I was excited to find out that I was getting the opportunity to screen the Detroit-in-decline story Detropia before it opened at the film fest.

And before I continue, let me say that I’m lucky to have seen this great piece.

By now, we all know what’s going on in Detroit.

With what we have all seen and heard in the automotive industry, the Super Bowl halftime commercials and the cool photo galleries of crumbling buildings we like to stumble upon online, we can build an idea in our heads of what we think is happening up in Michigan.

But as much as we think we know, we can’t possibly understand what it’s like to go through such a drastic boom and decline as a city unless we live there.

Or, unless you see the film Detropia.

Through the eyes of an automotive union president, a local bar owner and a young blogger who chose to stay instead of abandoning one of the fastest shrinking cities in the country, we get a true picture of how Detroit came to power and then quickly lost it.

While this isn’t a feel-good movie, there is a sense of hope that runs through the entire film.

You can see it in the eyes of the locals as they talk about their city and their stubborn refusal to join the masses and condemn it. Instead, they’re staying in the city that made them and hope to be the people that spawn its renaissance.

When you’re making that list of films you have to see at this year’s film fest, make sure this documentary is on your list. And hopefully, you’ll drive to the theater in your Chevy Volt to see it.
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DETROPIA
Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady 2012
Categories: Featured, Matter of Fact Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

15Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: LATE SUMMER & ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Aimée MacArthur Guest post by Aimée MacArthur
Bio: Aimée writes the blog, Indianapolis Amy, where she takes photos and shares her recommendations on food, movies, pop culture, and travel.

Late Summer

Some of my favorite films are character-driven films like Victor Nunez’s Ruby in Paradise or Tom McCarthy’s The Station Agent, with quiet, but strong lead characters.  We see the characters in their everyday life, whether it’s at work, walking along a street or at home making dinner.  You learn a lot by watching someone else’s routine.  And, pay close attention to what they say.

In Late Summer, the film’s lead character, Nadia (Michelle Lynn Hardin) confesses to a friend, “You know what I hate?  When people say ‘I can’t figure you out.’ Like it’s a bad thing, like you’re some kind of math problem.  I don’t ever want to be figured out.”  Nadia may be young, probably nineteen or so, but she’s complex and you can tell she’s got a lot on her mind.

Nadia is a devoted daughter, but also smart and full of spunk.  Nadia and her mother, Sonya (Tomiko Robinson) share a tight mother/daughter bond.  They spend their free time together and genuinely love each other.  Nadia delayed college for a year in order to stay home and take care of her ill mother.  Sonya’s character is a strong African-American mother who’s an excellent role model and wants the best for her daughter.

Late Summer may seem slow a bit slow at first, but stick with it, it’s a touching coming of age film with a healthy mother/daughter relationship.  And, healthy relationships can be complicated and filled with tough decisions. Change is hard.  There are plenty of movies out there that show strained, dysfunctional and highly unhealthy mother/daughter relationships (yep, I’m referring to Terms of Endearment).  Late Summer shakes things up a bit and shows a mother/daughter relationship that has mutual love and respect.

Late Summer is a beautiful film by writer/director Ernie Parks, with a breakout performance by Michelle Lynn Hardin (Nadia).  Other highlights:  contemporary score that drew me in and simple, yet gorgeous cinematography.

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Late Summer
Ernie Park 2012
Categories: Hoosier Lens Features

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Rolling On The Floor Laughlng

In the contemporary drama short, Rolling On The Floor Laughing, adult sons, Chris and Stephen, come home to celebrate their mother Caroline’s birthday.  Caroline is a widow and is in a new relationship with Jack.  There are complications when Jack arrives and joins the festivities.

Although there are some laughs in this film, the title is more sarcastic and definitely not to be taken literally.

This short film is a contemporary drama about what happens to the family dynamic when a widowed parent moves on with a new relationship.  The celebration starts out joyous, yet is later filled with tension and awkward moments.  Add a few bottles of wine and angry sons who are jealous and feel threatened and you’ve got a helluva evening.  As the evening progresses, the sons make more and more rude and crass comments to their mother and to her new boyfriend.

Introducing your sons to a new boyfriend at a family party?  Talk about setting yourself up for a mess of an evening and an awful birthday.

I won’t lie to you. I squirmed in my seat a few times while I was watching this film.  The family relationships in Rolling On The Floor Laughing seem very real and there is palpable drama.  I’ve been to a few awkward dinner parties and  I’m always the first to try and be the peacemaker during angry and embarrassing conversations.  If that doesn’t work, I usually leave as quickly as I can.  So I’ll admit it was hard to watch family members say things to each other that they may not be able to repair later.

A cocktail of booze and seething anger isn‘t good in real life, but it makes for an entertaining film.  Rolling On The Floor Laughing provides a good mix of family drama, suspenseful moments and sharp acting by the ensemble cast.  I enjoyed this clever script by writer/director and Indiana native, Russell Harbaugh.  See this film with your favorite family member.  You’ll definitely have lots to talk about.

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ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING
Russell Harbaugh 2011
Categories: Hoosier Lens Shorts

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

15Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: GIRL MODEL

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Guest post by Leslie Bailey
Bio: freelance writer | lifestyle blogger | cultural observer | fancy-pants columnist | martini lover |  adventuress living a  semi  charmed life

Ah, to be 13 again. The glowing cheeks, the sparkling, wondering eyes and the virgin hair that has yet to see a bad dye job. It’s this very look that has created an obsession with youth within the Japanese modeling market – but that’s not where this story begins.

The documentary Girl Model introduces 13 year-old Russian girl, Nadya Vall at a modeling cattle call where innocent and often very young girls parade around in string bikinis, hoping to scrape up enough English to tell the critical scouts their name and age – which is usually falsified anyway, for legality purposes.

The film follows Vall on her journey from her stark home in Siberia to the bright lights of Tokyo to pursue a modeling career.   While most hopeful models seek fame and fortune - a thought that certainly spreads a smile across Nadya’s face – the willowy, blonde Nadya only hopes to find a better life and perhaps support her financially-struggling family.

The loosely constructed, low-budget film also follows the eccentric (she keeps naked toy baby dolls behind her couch in her bare, museum-esque Connecticut home) and emotionally flat (why is she so numb) model scout, Ashley Arbaugh, a former model.

Film-makers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin attempt to parallel Arbaugh and Vall,  using Arbaugh’s own video clips from her time spent modeling in Japan in the 1990s. If her present condition is any indication of what’s to come for young Nadya, one hopes she winds up taking another path – preferably one not connected with human trafficking, eating disorders, drugs, and prostitution – subjects which the film dances around but never addresses directly with hard-facts.

While there’s little subject matter in Girl Model that one would find shocking (except for a disturbing foray into Arbaugh’s personal health issues) it’s still a disturbing yet universally important reminder that in the world of girl models, some can only hope to make it past 13.

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GIRL MODEL
David Redmon, Ashley Sabin 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

15Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: SPORTS IN INDIANA

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Guest post by Nik Browning
Bio: Began musical blogging under myspace/facebook dev. http://redrkr.blogspot.com/  http://redrkr2.blogspot.com/ - movies.

'Black Baseball in Indiana'

In this short, a group of Ball State Students study the Negro baseball league as it took place in Indiana in the 1920s. This film keeps its focus not as much on the politics or the ignorance that makes the league necessary at all. Instead, the focus is mainly to celebrate the history and the players that made it possible. This documentary is rich with photos and films of the time. As we transition from Indianapolis' ABC's to the Clowns, we learn about the teams through historical accounts as well as amusing anecdotes from those still around to tell the tales.

Also remarkable are the local shots taken with today's cameras with a bold richness that still transitions nicely to the well-worn black and white footage. The film stops short after Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in the majors. We see how the Negro league worked to keep its audience in spite of the changes that were coming in the national scene. Having said that, little attention is given to Hank Aaron, who entered his minor league career with the Clowns before taking a job in Boston.
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Black Baseball in Indiana
Zachary Perlinski 2011
Categories: Hoosier Lens Shorts

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'Lucky Teter And His Hell Drivers'

A wonderful story of a fellow Hoosier who fell into an accidental career path. After a car wreck nearly killed him, Earl Teter recovered, dubbed himself "Lucky" a decided to entertain people by crashing cars for a living. This being a time before cable TV brought us daily trainwrecks on 127 channels by way of Reality Shows, Lucky traveled state fairs and speedways testing the limits of Detroit's finest.

With great narration by Indy's own Dave Dugan, who could easily take Keith David's place as voice man for hire, this film brings a human element to a performer who was otherwise all explosions and twisted metal. The tragedy that was certain to unfold finalizes the story, but the archived footage will help us to remember the ride of Lucky's life that brought excitement to thousand of national spectators.

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Lucky Teter and His Hell Drivers
Dan T. Hall 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Shorts

View the trailer:

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Overall, two very well-made local docs bringing to light underreported aspects of Indiana sportsmen.
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Sports in Indiana
Categories: Shorts Program

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

12Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: AFICIONADOS

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Rebecca Masbaum Guest post by  Rebecca Masbaum
Bio: Social Media over-sharer, life & style blogger, and a natural red-head. I'm obsessed with my bike, food, and grammatical correctness.

Watching a movie with subtitles can take the challenge of comprehending a movie to a new level. I admit, I am one of those strange people that enjoy watching movies with subtitles. I enjoy the challenge of essentially reading the book while watching the movie. Aficionados was enjoyable for reasons beyond this small challenge.

Aficionados is a small-budget film. It could be argued that it was so low-budget, they could not afford a script. That’s right – the entire dialogue of the film is improvised – ad-libbed, made-up! Piecing together the best parts from what was undoubtedly innumerable takes, director (and star) Arturo Dueñas created one surprisingly good film! 

Individuals from a variety of backgrounds join a group ostensibly to learn to make friends and to gain confidence, but to also face their own self-doubts. These misfits immediately grab your heart and keep your attention throughout the movie, as you’re unable to turn away from each of their awkward anti-socializing quirks. Co-workers become friends; a single mom learns to stand up for herself; a silent man finds his voice. Particularly enjoyable for me was watching Arturo, a librarian and hopeful author, grow through his experiences with the group. He is poignantly sad – with such sad luck – it’s good to see him have some good luck and gusto in the end. In fact, everyone wins in the end. It might be a bit campy, but I was happy with a happy ending.

If you’ve shied away from viewing foreign films before, Aficionados is a good one for you to branch out on. It’s a relatable plot, where the characters learn to write their own stories, and to happen to life instead of letting life happen to them.

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AFICIONADOS
Arturo Dueñas 2010
Categories: World Cinema Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

10Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: SEE GIRL RUN

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Heike Baird Guest post by Heike Baird
Bio: Heike is a social media specialist for BLASTmedia. She also blogs for Indianapolis Monthly and puts hot  sauce  on everything.

“The second we got together, I instantly stopped caring about what other people thought. Because I had Jason, and he had me.”

Thus opens the heart of Emmie and the flood of her memories that shape See Girl Run. You’ll recognize familiar faces in this film (Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott; William Sadler from, well, everything), and you’ll also recognize the familiar melancholy that plagues us, as adults, when we romanticize the past.

What is it about the past that’s so attractive? To Emmie, a kennel owner in Maine, the attraction lies in her high school boyfriend, Jason. Nowadays, Emmie’s married. She’s not exactly happily married, but she’s not miserable, either. Her marriage to Graham is the relational equivalent of a bowl of cereal: functional and edible, but certainly not a ricotta-chocolate éclair that she’s leaping out of bed to eat.

For Emmie, Jason is the long-lost fling whom she thinks she’ll never really get over. His dorky drawings (always frogs) and romantic sensibilities (always idealist) made him special, and she’s still thinking about him years after they parted ways. See Girl Run follows Emmie as she travels back to her hometown in search of Jason, and whatever it was that made their time together unforgettable.

The characters and their plights read more genuinely than those in most rom-coms. I’d partially attribute that to the supporting characters—specifically, Emmie’s brother Brandon and parents. The lion’s share of romantic comedies focuses exclusively on the hot-bodied protagonists; their families barely factor in to the inevitable marriage (or hook-up). I came to understand Emmie and what made her relationships succeed and fail by spending a fair amount of screen time with her family.

The final impressions you’ll absorb from this film may depend on where you are in your lost-love journey. Do you think it’s too late, or do you love the one you’re with? Have you changed too much for your ex to understand you? (Or maybe you’re just happy. If that’s the case, rejoice in how much you don’t find Emmie relatable at any level.)

See Girl Run is a heartfelt reminder to never give up on love—and to run toward it if you ever do.

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SEE GIRL RUN
Nate Meyer 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Features

View the 2012 Clip Reel:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

10Jul/120

Indy Film Fest 2012: CINEMA SIX

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Guest Post by Nik Browning
Bio: Began musical blogging under myspace/facebook dev. http://redrkr.blogspot.com/  http://redrkr2.blogspot.com/ - movies.

A movie for fans of Kevin Smith!

These filmmakers certainly are. And they do him proud, all things considered. Mason, Gabe and Dennis all work in the local small town movie theater. They are all in a state of suspended adolescence, well past the age that they should be content with that. They wax quixotic about pop culture references. They have a lazy work ethic and they hate the clientele that they cater to. Right now, you're thinking, "Clerks III"....

Which is a fair comparison. Other clichés follow- Mason is having problems because his wife is frustrated with his lack of direction or ambition. Dennis is floored by a recent broken heart. And Gabe is a paranoid, self-loathing nervous wreck who's afraid to take chances on anything- especially the fairer gender.

The good part is that while all of this is overly familiar, it is also instantly relatable. And while friendships are tested and lessons are learned, the main enjoyment of this film is the ride. I didn't get an F-bomb count while watching, but I'm pretty sure that the screenwriters were going for some "Scarface" record. Also, you will leave this movie with 204 new ways to emasculate your male friends in increasingly profane ways.

A great comedy that will bring out the most childish aspects of your personality, but may help you grow up a little too.

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Cinema Six
Cole Selix, Mark Potts 2012
Categories: American Spectrum Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!

10Jul/121

Indy Film Fest 2012: ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS

Posted by Amanda Harbeck

Kate Pell Guest post by  Kate Pell
Bio: Supporter of cool things & cool people. Lover of previews & movie trailers. Communicator at the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

According to The Ecstasy of Order, two out of three Americans have played Tetris, a video game released by Nintendo in the late 80s. And if you are like me, the second you hear that techno-Greek music start to play, your heart rate jumps a few beats, your eyes glance to the top of the television screen, and your right hand starts hunting for the red A and B keys.

For those who might not have had the luxury of growing up in the 1980s to early-’90s, Tetris is a game of strategy and split-second decisions. It plays to one’s innate Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In 30 levels—the final level is one of myth and lore—players must arrange seven different blocks that fall from the top of the screen to build solid rows. The speed with which the blocks fall increases with each level. When a row is complete it is eliminated from the screen and pieces move down. Points are given for speed and the number of rows deleted.

The Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters is a documentary of one man’s quest to find the ultimate Tetris player. The movie follows a handful of men and women fighting for one of eight spots in the playoffs. Profiles are done split screen with the interviewee typically in front of the TV, controller in hand. The other half of the screen shows the game that he or she is playing. The split screen is a perfect device for this film; watching the change in concentration and anxiety as players move up in levels is made better by seeing the game in action.

What I love about documentaries like The Ecstasy of Order is that they make something commonplace interesting. This film lifts the veil—or opens the basement door—on a subculture typically overlooked and misunderstood. It shows the true artistry and brainpower of gaming.

Over the course of the 90-minute film, we learn the tips and tricks of the trade, and how seemingly impossible moves are now possible. We learn that a plastic controller can turn “mushy.” We learn that Tetris is a game so complex and varied that even MIT couldn’t build a computer to beat it. We learn that winning is not about looking only at your current situation, but anticipating the next three, four, five moves.

And, gamers or not, we can all stand to learn that lesson.

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ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS
Adam Cornelius 2011
Categories: Matter of Fact Features

View the trailer:

The 9th annual Indianapolis International Film Festival features more than 100 films in 10 days. July 19-29 at IMA and Earth House. See the entire 2012 line up!