“The situation is so horrible, one way to grapple with it is by laughing at it,” says Will Lautzenheiser, a filmmaker who found himself infected mysteriously by a deadly bacteria. He survived with his life, but not his limbs. Now a quadrilateral amputee, Lautzenheiser lightens his situation by performing stand-up comedy. Filmmaker Robin Berghaus plans to build Stumped into a feature-length documentary, following Lautzenheiser as he attempts ground-breaking arm transplants, but in the meantime, this short offers insights about a man who is determined to keep living life.
We last saw Steve Duncan in Telluride in 2011 with his award-winning film Undercity, where he explored way below and way above New York City. In A Beautiful Waste, he journeys down to the core of the Big Apple to wander its sewers. Of course this exploit offers its share of nastiness, but there’s also something — as the title implies — beautiful in these adventures.
Ten years after Morgan Spurlock made his mark with Super Size Me, he returns to the subject of food with Gluttony, one episode in a highly stylized Showtime series he hosts called “Seven Deadly Sins.” Be forewarned, this take on food is a disturbing tale as he tours the dark side of food in America, which includes a restaurant that celebrates shockingly massive servings, a coffin company that’s building caskets sized for the obese and a 600-pound woman whose 140-pound boyfriend is aroused by feeding her.
Quirky and clever, Self-Storage is a narrative short directed by Telluride’s David Byars that tells the story of a lovable loser who works at a particularly American institution, a facility that stores stuff. He comes up with a grand plan to make money and leave his troubles behind, but his scheme goes wonderfully, comically awry.