Conceived as a showcase for digital innovations in filmmaking and, more to the point, as a celebration of their democratizing aspects, the annual touring ResFest (now in its second year) arrives in New York this weekend. The program includes one full-length feature: The Last Broadcast, Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler’s conceptually shoddy but admirably resourceful mockumentary. Reportedly completed on a desktop computer for $900, this fictitious Thin Blue Line gets by mainly on nerve and dry wit.
Everything else is, in essence, a short film, the worst kind being the faux-futurist gibberish that vaguely invokes postmodern, premillennial themes like “dislocation” and “dehumanization.” The longform program is a mixed bag, but worth catching for Michael Almereyda’s ethereal Pixelvision adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s The Rocking Horse Winner. (The highlight of the other, bitty, graphic-design-intensive shorts package is Mitch Butler’s spooky, surreal The Smell of Horror.) The “Cinema Electronica” program is basically an Amp segment with more obscure videos. The music isn’t always up to snuff, but there are two near-classics from the reliably warped mind of Chris Cunningham (best known for Madonna’s “Frozen”): Squarepusher’s “Come on My Selector,” set for no apparent reason in a Japanese mental hospital for children, and the gleefully insane clip for Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy,” which, for my money, should have swept the board at the MTV video awards.