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  • Jared Huizenga

TCFF Day 5: Telltale Signs That You’re Not as Young as You Used to Be

The cast and crew of “Aquarians” taking part in a Q&A following the film’s world premiere Sunday night, Oct. 22. (Photo by Jared Huizenga)


14 hours.

That’s how long I spent at the Twin Cities Film Fest on Sunday.

“Wow, Jared, that’s kinda weird and sad,” you’re probably saying to yourself.

I can’t completely agree or disagree with your statement. I don’t think it’s weird that I want to sit around and absorb as much art as possible on a cold, rainy weekend in October. I do, however, find the whole ordeal a little sad.

Not sad as in the act itself was sad, because it wasn’t. No, what was sad was how insanely tired I got by sitting around for 14 hours.

Every time a light dimmed on the screen – be it between the TCFF trailer and a feature, or the brief second(s) between shorts – I was fighting naptime like my nephew … before noon. No amount of caffeine was able to help.

Thanks for nothing, gigantic Mt. Dew.

I did, however, manage to take in a lot of really great films.

Sunday featured a lot of family friendly programming – the blind ballerina (for real, not me being “funny”) documentary “Looking at the Stars;” the one Christmas tree shy of a spot in Lifetime’s 30 Days of Christmas lineup drama “The Storyteller;” and a charming block of short films.

The biggest surprise of the bunch was “The Storyteller.” Sure, it was a bit cheesy, but the families I heard talking after the screening – including their young children – seemed to have a blast. And anything that gets people watching indie films and supporting TCFF is alright in my book.

Later in the day I took in “Animation Conflagration (Animation Shorts Block).” Don’t let the title or the perception of animation fool you: this one was definitely family friendly. It was, however, quite entertaining. Sure, there were one or two where I might have to take all of the drugs for them to make sense, but there was no denying the ability of the animators … even if the story didn’t quite reach the same loft level.

The highlight of that block by far was “Catherine” – partially because I enjoy tormenting future cat ladies, and partially because it was a lot of fun.

With the daylight and residual Mt. Dew magic waning, I convinced myself to stick around for the world premiere of “Aquarians,” and am I glad I did.

Every year at TTCFF I find a movie that becomes my favorite and becomes the standard all others are compared to – in the past those have been “Completely Normal,” “June Falling Down,” and “Green is Gold.”

This year it’s “Aquarians.”

It’s got everything you could possibly want – compelling story (young soon-to-be-priest returns to the setting of his capricious youth), dynamic performances, and stellar writing.

A full house on Sunday night has earned the film a second screening – Wednesday at noon. Obviously not the most convenient time, but it’s worth taking a long lunch.

Speaking of additional screenings, “Coyote,” which sold out three screenings over the weekend, has had an unprecedented 4th timeslot added. 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28

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