Rocker correspondents will be reporting on several screenings, but a few IFFB selections have already been previewed. Here are five worth checking out.
“Beauty is Embarrassing”
7 p.m. April 30 at the Somerville Theatre
Wayne White was one of three artists behind the iconic design of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse,” as well as the puppets in Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” video and the production design of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Tonight” video. More recently, he’s been inserting hilarious messages into thrift store landscape paintings. Documentary filmmaker Neil Berkeley handles this entertaining subject with an appropriately light, playful touch. A direct line to the source should be even more fun; White will be joining Berkeley for an appearance at the film’s one festival screening.
5 p.m. April 29 at the Somerville Theatre
This hypnotic fly-on-the-wall documentary puts to rest the old joke about super-hot models being inflatable instead of human. In fact, they’re often harvested in their teens from poverty-stricken outposts like Siberia, sent to faraway countries alone and sold a line about their chances of career success. Trailing one 13-year-old hopeful and her recruiter, herself a former model, filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin expose the truth behind the glamour.
“God Bless America”
10:15 p.m. April 28 at the Somerville Theatre
The confrontationally wacky shtick Bob Goldthwait honed as a comedian has been ground to a skewed edge by his filmmaking career, resulting in work that’s not for all tastes. His latest is no different, but if you’ve ever found yourself screaming at the TV during a particularly painful example of reality TV idiocy, you’re bound to get a chuckle out of Joel Murray’s white collar sad sack-turned-spree killer and his blood-lusting teen girl sidekick. Goldthwait offered quite the crowd-pleasing intro at the Toronto Film Fest screening, and is expected to do the same in Boston.
“It’s Such a Beautiful Day”
9:45 p.m. April 26, 6:45 p.m. April 27 and noon April 28 at the Somerville Theatre
Any Bostonians who missed animator Don Hertzfeldt’s recent appearance at the Coolidge have another chance to catch his mind-blowing new work, which concludes his trilogy of “Bill” shorts in sad, weird and wonderful ways, in Shorts Package 5: Animation. The line-up also features The Maker, a clever, efficient stop-motion collaboration between Australian animator Christopher Kezelos and Ohio artist Amanda Louise Spayd.
8:30 p.m. April 29 at the Somerville Theatre
Walking out of a Guy Maddin movie is almost exactly like waking from a dream, but considering the gorgeous, early cinema-inspired imagery and bizarre symbolism he conjures, Maddin generally does your own subconscious one better. His latest feature, a take on “The Odyssey” follows gangster Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) through the rooms of his home to find his long-neglected wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini). Sound simple? It’s anything but.