Akron Film+Pixel Night radiates new talent

Written by: Alexandra Long

This past Thursday, Sept. 13, the Akron Art Museum held Akron Film+Pixel Night, where numerous directors showed their hard work on the big screen for the community to enjoy.

Four short films were screened: “Laos Free,” “Countdown to an Early Lunch,” “60 BPM” and “Mouthful.” In addition were two music videos, “Generations” and “Ice Cold Water.”

The first film, “Laos Free,” directed by Cory Sheldon, deals with the bombing of Laos in the Vietnam War. For viewer Maria Campbell, the film revived many emotional memories.

Campbell, who graduated from The University of Akron in 1966, was a young woman when the Vietnam War began, and had a cousin who fought in the war. She commented on how the war and the bombing “never made any sense.” She praised the director’s efforts to make the film historically accurate, even though he wasn’t born during that generation.

The second film, “Countdown to an Early Lunch,” directed by Cuyahoga Community College student Brandon Baker, was shot in vintage film noir style, which Baker favors. The plot involves the tension between two private investigators whose lives are more connected than they think.

The third film, “60 BPM,” was about an ambitious young pianist who was auditioning for a scholarship. The director, Jordan Blazak, said the film was an independent project specifically created for Akron Film+Pixel Night. The inspiration behind “60 BPM” came from Blazak’s own musical interests. Although he is musically inclined, Blazak intends to pursue film in college.

“If I were to do anything other than film, I’d probably regret it for the rest of my life,” Blazak said.

The final short film, “Mouthful,” was directed by Robert Putka. It was intended for adult audiences only, and rightfully so, as the plot consists of a man asking his girlfriend to tell him how big she thinks his genitals are.

Putka is currently working on his next film, which he described as more of a comedy/drama involving the death of the main character’s mother, and the strained relationship that he has with his girlfriend.

The audience of Akron Film+Pixel Night was relocated to the Summit Artspace for the premiere of the 29-minute feature film, “T82 Supersonic Tonemaker,” which is about a man’s efforts to construct, along with his alien-like friends, an out-of-this world synthesizer.

The film has a retro, sci-fi feel to it. Brandon Baker, the director of “Countdown to an Early Lunch,” praised “T82 Supersonic Tonemaker” for its use of older technology.

“It looks like it comes from a different time,” Baker said.

He enjoyed the fact that the director used older film equipment to shoot and edit this film, which, given today’s technology, is a considerably more difficult process.

Along with the feature film were two video games that were open to the public to play. In the first game, “Johann Sebastian Joust,” players use PlayStation Move controllers to try to knock out the other players. They do this by jostling their remotes, either by startling the player or forcibly moving their controller.

The other video game, “BaraBariBall,” is a competitive game in which players score points by dunking a ball into the opposing team’s water. The graphical style is reminiscent of the classic video game “Space Invaders.”

Overall, Akron Film+Pixel Night proved to be incredibly entertaining, featuring different types of independent films and enjoyable video games.