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MSPIFF: getting in the groove on Saturday

Posted at 4:39 PM on April 18, 2009 by Euan Kerr

"The sevens were busy," said Ryan Oestreich. "People were clamoring." Meaning the 7pm screenings were jammed.

The MSPIFF programmer says with opening night and the first full day of the festival now out of the way he thinks they are almost in the groove, A few more days and things should be really grooving.

The big sellers Friday were "The Girl from Monaco" which got mixed reviews (great acting and cinematography, but people weren't sure about the script,) and "Getting Home" Zhang Yang's tale about a man who, because of a promise to an old friend, transports his corpse over a thousand miles back to his home, despite having no money. (Oestreich reports this got raves from the audience.) Both films will screen again later in the festival.

Oestreich was preparing for his list of visitors over the next 48 hours, and was keeping track of each and every one of them.

He has also the honor of setting up the beer pong contest which will run after the screening of "The Last Cup" the documentary about the world beer pong championships in Nevada (where else?)

The movie follows some of the 250 two person teams who duked and drank it out for the title. Beer pong is the game where teams try to throw ping pong balls into half filled cups of beer at the other end of a ping pong table. Each time they sink a ball, the cup is removed. The first team to clear all the cups wins.

What makes the film fascinating is the diversity of the people involved. Some see themselves as serious athletes and train as much in the gym as at the beer pong table. Some just train in the bar. Some, it seems don't really train much, but live on their raw beer pong talent.

While some people, including the contestants themselves, might jeer at these people's hopes and aspirations, it does shed a light on the way we compete in the modern world.

Anyway, Oestreich says he's been dropping fliers along Frat Row at the U to encourage a crowd at the screening at Oak Street and at the MSPIFF Beer Pong tournament.

"Am I going to try it? Are you out of your mind?" he responded when asked.

April 2009
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