Not knowing exactly what to expect, in advance I figured that the Bastard Film Encounter would serve to define the term, or at least get us started down that path. It did, and that’s a significant thing to have accomplished.
Here’s my takeaway lesson – it’s about programming. I have long known that it is important to present the right program to the right audience, simple as that. But I’m not conservative, I don’t play very safe. My experimental film background moves me to push boundaries and challenge conventions. The screenings and discussions at Bastards clarified and strengthened this basic programming idea – the right film at the right time to the right people. Yeah, I’ve known it and practiced it for a long time, but when lots of people introduce with some variation on “I’ve known this film for ten years and really don’t show it to anyone, but figured this would be a good place,” you know you are in a safe place. Seeing the films, you also see what a crazy and fucked up place the world is (yeah, you knew that already, but once you’ve seen THAT film, everything is different, right?) Being that far out on the limb but still feeling safe is extraordinary. As a result, as a curator and a programmer, I feel that I understand this basic concept better than ever