Most cities caught the indie/experimental film bug sometime in the last decade, but Ann Arbor, Mich., is nearly 40 years into the celebration. Now one of the most reliable homes for international avant-garde cinema of all shapes and sizes, the 39th incarnation of Ann Arbor brings two hours of hits and misses. This year's festival boasts a wide variety of animated pieces, most of which are charming and brief bits that come and go in a matter of minutes. Live-action film The Walnut Tree is a touching holocaust remembrance, while acclaimed San Francisco filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt's The Worm is a major disappointment, with none of the eerie aura of his other pictures. In the end, film-festival package tours are kind of like mixed tapes, reaping unexpected treasures one moment and falling flat the next. But without Ann Arbor, the experimental film renaissance we're now experiencing might never have begun. NR (Brian Libby)

Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., 221-1156. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, May 18-19. $6.50 SHORTrUN