Z Film Festival: The Death of Z | Chicago Reader

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The organizers of the Z Film Festival have decided to make this year's installment the last, which seems like a sound decision: the new shorts collected in the first program, “ZFF 5,” lack the vision and audacity of the greatest hits gathered in the second, “The Best of Z Fest.” Christa Conforti's new stop-motion animation Germs, about a sock-puppet monkey fascinated with its nasal residue, seems even more juvenile compared to John Goras's hilariously profane Chirpy, which screened at the inaugural fest in 2001. Justin Brady Cooper's photo montage Large Gourd, a wry send-up of performance art, is the most original of the new offerings, but nothing has the impact of Mark Hejnar's 2002 entry Proxy, a disturbing rumination on pedophilia. 110 min.

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