The 4th of July weekend is typically a big moviegoing time, with theaters full of extravagantly loud blockbusters packed with explosions, gadgets and the fanciest special effects. (Exhibit A: this week's release of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon.") But for those looking for a different kind of movie mayhem, there is the motley, oddball Everything Is Festival, which begins Thursday night and runs through Monday at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater.
Presented by Cinefamily and the group of "video alchemists" known as Everything Is Terrible, the mix of programs -- 19 events in five days -- includes three feature films, found footage presentations, animation, a panel discussion, a keynote address, and some events that rather defy description. Numerous events will be streamed online during the festival, now in its second year.
The festival exists at an unusual intersection among film and video, the alternative comedy scene and found footage culture, and that sense of strange uncertainty -- the "What the what was that?" sensation that many of the programs inspire -- is in no small part the point.
"When you see something and you ask where did it come from or what is it, that sense of discovery has its own pleasure," said Hadrian Belove, a co-director of the festival. "Anybody who's curating is in some sense showing and sharing discoveries and trying to excite the audience with that sense of possibility. There's an inherent pleasure in the slightly unfamiliar."
The festival kicks off Thursday night with a panel discussion featuring writers from the NBC and TBS eras of Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show. That will be followed by a tribute to the surrealist cooking show "Food Party" with an appearance by host Thu Tran.
Friday's events include a keynote presentation by Mark Hosler of the group Negativland, early practitioners of the sort of "culture jamming" celebrated by many of the festival's participants. Also on Friday will be a performance of "The Pelican Brief Project," in which music group Candybox Violence perform their own alternate score to the 1993 Julia Roberts/Denzel Washington thriller "The Pelican Brief."