Can sexual predators be rehabilitated? Director Bob Byington’s 2008 film Registered Sex Offender offers a jaundiced and, some critics say, savagely funny answer to that question via a mockumentary about a young man recently released from prison who has a dangerous taste for dating teenagers.
With a title like that, no wonder it didn’t land in any local theaters. But RSO has indie cred — former sitcom star Kevin Corrigan, Slackers director Richard Linklater and “mumblecore” auteur Andrew Buljalski all appear. Local movie buff Graeme Flegenheimer chose Byington’s comedy to kick off what he hopes will become a regular film series at Burlington’s DesignHaus. He’s even set up a post-film speaker-phone Q&A session with Byington, whose most recent film is Harmony and Me.
Flegenheimer is just 17 — he’s headed back to high school at Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts this fall. But he says his friends at Angioplasty Media — a collective whose members “write about Burlingtony musicy things,” according to their blog — will keep things going while he’s gone. Flegenheimer has a whole list of festival films he’d like to bring to Burlington, including Breaking Upwards, Modern Love Is Automatic and Winnebago Man, a feature documentary about the very angry RV salesman featured in a viral video.
In Vermont, “We don’t have a lot of selections for independent film or films that have run the festival circuit,” Flegenheimer says. “I’m just trying to expose films that wouldn’t be able to come to a smaller city.”