Wednesday, September 20, 2006

DC Shorts Film Festival Sept 2006

The DC Shorts Film Festival was held at Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington DC (with a few films at the Canadian Embassy) Sept. 14-21 2006. The slogan was
"Keep it short, Keep it reel." Note the hononym.

The short films illustrate the commitment that it takes even to make a short film. Many of them have extensive credits. They tend to take a simple concept (as would a short story, perhaps connecting two ideas in a simple way) and elaborate with visual, musical, and character effects.

The theater assembled a list of the best of the festival. Here is a synopsis.

Full Disclosure (about 15 min) dir. Dylan Horn, shows a probably engaged couple dining in an Italian restaurant promising to do the "asking and telling" thing. Dylan shows a barren shirtless picture of himself, and admits that he needs to mind his table manners, else drive people away. Ten years later, at the end of the film, they enjoy a wedding anniversary there and the film shows about the right amount of aging.

Bone Mixers (22.44, dir. Mike deChant and Doug Gritzmacher) is an docudrama of a Wednesday night "bone collector" -- that is, dominos party in a home in Silver Spring, MD. It brings back memeories of the poker parties my coworkers used to have Friday nights in Texas back in the early 80s.

Artistic License (23:00, dir. Michael Wohl) has a snappy actor David Lago playing David Milken, turning his job as the photographer at a California DMV into an exercise in self-expression. Too bad that he (the fictive person) smokes. He does conquer the boss. Full wide screen, compressed by cropping.

Vagabond Shoes (18:06, dir. Jackie Oudney) won the prize for best female direction. It is sumptuous jazz musical with that “Chicago” look. A homeless man with a pair of plaim shoes comes inside becomes a male Cinderella for the event, then he dematerializes, or does he?.

Victoria (6:10, dir. Marc Carlini, Cinemascope) provides a retrospect of a full life time of an elderly woman in her final moments as she lets go. There is no tunnel like in a near death experience.

A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie and How It Became A Flying Saucer (17:25, dir. Nina Seavey) was made with the help of George Washington University and shows a woman in a Washington DC assisted living retirement home who makes her baking of sweet potato pies a labor of love and creativity. Unfortunately, they become flying saucers quite literally.

Dirty Mary (19:00, dir. Stuart Rogers) is a bad girl who tempts men at bars. A couple scenes have a bit of the wine country Sideways look. She teases men, gets one back to her place, and she throws up out of a hangover. Call her Bloody Mary and call him Dirty Harry.

Zombie-American (8:27, dir. Nick Poppy) is a satire about how someone who looks “different” will be treated. The protagonist is made up as a horror film zombie, as if from "Night of the Living Dead", and can even stick himself with voodoo pins, into the forehead and nose. Clever language.

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