Saturday, March 23, 2019

"I Flew 10000 Miles to Meet His Parents": Not exactly in outer space, but just winter in Ontario



I Flew 10000 Miles to Meet His Parents”, a little short (10 min) by Anthony Cushion.

Actually, Anthony says he lives on the English coast, so if his husband is near Toronto, it’s more like 3500 miles. He says he flew a lot of other places.

The movie is in three parts. He arrives, he meets the dog and gets the dog’s approval. 
  
Then both men work out, in the middle section.


Then they go snowboarding, on a hill behind their home.  This may be somewhere around Waterloo, I suspect. It’s about 7 degrees F outside at about sunset, in February.

There’s one letdown of the whole idea of visual suspense, if you go to the Instagram linked on the video. The Before and After gives away too much.

You'd think the husband would live away from home as a young adult. But it's tough these days with the economy and low wages. 
    
Wikipedia attribution link for Waterloo picture by Andre Recnik,. CCSA 3.0.

Friday, March 22, 2019

"Unplanned" creates controversy before release with its "duck and cover" strategy, and gets an R rating for nothing


Chrisitan Toro of the Washington Times makes a lot of the way the film “Unplanned”, by Chick Konzelman and Cary Solomon, is being kept out of the public eye until just before release on March 29.

It’s also controversial that it got an R rating from the MPAA.


The film was shot in Oklahoma and distributed by Pure Flix amd stars Ashley Bratcher and Brooks Ryan. The film is based on the life of a former Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson.

The pro-life movement focuses all of its concern over the value of human life on the unborn, when you can pose the same questions in so many areas – although it’s true that there has been attention to end-of-life issues and the idea that the pressure to end life with severe disability or severe age could increase if it were permitted.
  
Maybe there is a deeper problem in the way our culture leaves so many people behind, “left to die”, as Alexandria Octavio-Cortez says.  But the changes aren’t just institutional, they are personal.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

"Why Do It? Why the Caravan?" LGBTQ migrants from Honduras and El Salvador make the trip in late 2018




Why Do It? Why the Caravan?”.  Now This presents an 11-minute short film (dir. Melissa Fajardo) tracing several LGBTQ migrants from El Salvador and Honduras, through Mexico all the way to the border.


At the end, the film covers the DHS refusal to allow those into the country to ask for asylum. Trump wants to hold them in Mexico so they don’t become a political responsibility for individual Americans (whom the latest information suggests could step up as sponsors after all).

Humam Rights campaign had a forum on the LGTBTQ migrant issue tonight. The possibility of sponsorship is greater than we had thought, as once in the country, is no longer restricted to relatives.
   
HRC showed its own similar six-minute video from Honruras on gay and transgender migrants.

USGS public domain picture of Hurricane Mitch damage to Honduras in 1998, wiki 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Alex Cohen's "Honor Among Thieves"



Here’s another short film, character driven, this time not so funny, by Alex Cohen, “Honor Among Thieves”. It appears to be set in Cambridge, MA.

Liz Kantor and Ben Sorscher play clean-cut college kids who seem to have a habit of nighttime cat burglary, looking for specific items they want.  




The scenes where they try rationalize it seemed to go nowhere.  Is this the beginning of nihilism, to deny moral compass? (a favorite term on AC360).   Liz has a line about “breaking the rules”.

Grant Hoechst provides the background piano score, somewhat impressionistic.

The dialogue, especially Ben’s, is hard to hear sometimes;  is this deliberate, or am I supposed to use earpieces for smartphone viewing? Like on an Amtrak quiet car?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Gay and in Love at an Evangelical Christian College", from New York Times op-docs




The New York Times op-doc offers this 17-minute short film “Gay and in Love at an Evangelical Christian College”, directed by Jared Callahan and Russell Sheaffer.  

Santiago Gonzalez IV and Austin McKinley are the two characters, and the narration is through Santiago’s (first person) voice.   Aaron Michael composed the music.



Santiago says he is of Mexican descent (apparently US citizen) and Latino, but he looks white and speaks with no accent. This is very common. The two men will graduate soon from a small college in San Diego.  

Santiago ponders inviting his parents for dinner with his lover or intended husband, and his parent have said they love him as a son but will try to convince him to renounce his identity. Santiago talks about the tribal nature of his culture and that members of the group expect to count on all young men to join in on strengthening the group, including protecting women and fathering and raising children.

The idea that everyone can count on this reinforces marriages within the tribe.

Santiago talks about “truth” like a “feminine” in Rosenfels terminology.

The film on YouTube shows on extremely wide screen, with one-third of the width of the picture often showing a second image.

Annapurna pictures makes some of the NYTimes short film documentaries;  I don’t know if it is part of this one.  The photography is extremely professional and sharp and the film may be intended for a 360 virtual reality device.

Picture: San Diego at night, near gay bars and University Blvd, my visit, 2012 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Alex Cohen's "Swedish Fish Man", a brawl on the Harvard campus for snack food



Here’s a curious little comedy, “Swedish Fish Man”, apparently filmed on the Harvard campus.

It’s on a short film channel of Alex Cohen, writer and director.

Three undergrads chase a lonely man who likes this particular fast food (Andrei Ciupan), who is seen as a physical challenge to three young men played by Ben Sorscher, Tim Waddick and David Frankle.

There are battle royales galore with a lacrosse raquet.  In a couple scenes Ben’s handsome character just seems to be cruising.  Or you could think of the men as like tomcats just chasing their share of the food. Humans are primates, are mammals, are animals, and they can’t make their own food.




 The woodwind music score is by Harvard percussionist Grant Hoeschst; it is lively (often in a 6/8 tarantella-like meter) and accessible, and tonal (which is unusual these days).

Somehow you think about the days when Mark Zuckerberg invented “The Facebook” on campus.

Picture: My visit to the campus, Aug. 2015

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"I Am Puma": a Russian couple adopts a mountain lion cub who grows up to be a typical house cat


I_Am_Puma” is a series of videos from Russia about a couple, apparently on the Arctic coast, who adopt a puma cub, Messi, because he is too small to survive in the wild.

He grows up to be a normal puma, slightly smaller than normal, and has a companion, a white hairless domestic cat.



In the video shown here, both cats have a GI-tract infection and are coming back to health but have to get shots at home.

Messi makes a lot of different sounds and behaves like a house cat.

In another video, he messages (grooms) the husband when the husband has a sore shoulder and back.
 
By Cm0rris0n - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1994869