Moises Aguilar's tidy office includes a shelf with unusual film titles such as Roof Sex, Papal Cab and Angry Amputees: The Rockumentary. The films are part of a collection that he's incorporated into Cinema Social, a weekly screening of short films at Thin, one of the Gaslamp's trendier nightclubs.
Now that Madstone Theater has gone mainstream and the Museum of Photographic Arts has cut back its programming, San Diegans may feel at a loss when it comes to independent films. That's the gap Cinema Social hopes to fill. And, anyone bored with the sameness of the club scene or intimidated by cost-prohibitive film festivals can spend an evening enjoying a cocktail, taking in a few movies and chatting with some local filmmakers.
Aguilar, who manages Thin, is matter-of-fact about Cinema Social's purpose.
"I love going to museums," said Aguilar, "but sometimes you just wanna watch TV or watch a really cool short film with a hundred other people."
What one notices upon entering the club is not loud, aggressive music or drunk metroholics, but a sizable crowd of young locals laughing, discussing, enjoying and actually watching the films that are projected onto two screens at either end of the club.
A Cinema Social crowd includes people like Ken Mozdlowski, a Washington resident in town on business. "They don't even have anything like this in Seattle," he says.
On this particular night, Aguilar selected a series of comedic short films including the five-minute Mira Mesa, in which two Mira Mesa-area real estate agents get into a heated battle using only their park bench ad images and angry voiceovers.
A couple months ago, Aguilar dedicated a night to Tijuana's Nortec movement, showing a documentary that explored the Tijuana arts scene. The evening also included DJ Bostich, one of Nortec's founders who rarely performs stateside.
When asked what he enjoys most about film, Aguilar said he sees "film as the medium that gives you everything... the music, the visual and the inspiration. It just gives it to you all. Like, here it is-here's my whole vision."Cinema Social screens films every Wednesday at 9 p.m. No cover. 852 Fifth Ave., Downtown, 619-235-6699. www.cinemaso cial.com