Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Renoir's "A Day in the Country": I get led to it by a missed R.A. shorts screening

Reel Affirmations sponsored an additional gay shorts series on May 11, which I did not find out about in time.  I tried to find some of the films on Logo or YouTube and sometimes found other films with the same or similar names.

I couldn’t find Sal Bardo’s “Requited”, but I did find an 8 minute “dramatic short film” titled “Requited” directed by Jonathan Talbert, with an African American woman (Sharina Martin)  analyzing her inability to make a particular (heterosexual) relationship work, link  

Again, I missed Pella Kagerman’s film, but I found another curious short called “A Day in the Country”, by Brett Pausina, for the Watkins Film School, on vimeo, here. The sound has yet to be filled in, but the black-and-white photography in this 13-minute stroll catches one’s attention. A father lets a daughter go off on a walk in the woods, where she meets a menace that seems to turn gentle.  But there’s a bit of “Blair Witch” at one point.

But the famous film by this title ("Partie de campagne") is the “unfinished symphony” by Jean Renoir, based on the short story by Guy de Maupassant, filmed in 1936, released (40 minutes) by Janus in 1946, available on Hulu here  (also from The Criterion Collection). (This is the fist time I've used Hulu, which asks a single survey question about each brief ad, four of them in the film.)  I think we watched this in high school French class, without subtitles, and had to write a paragraph on it.  In 1860, a family of a Parisian shop owner visits an inn, whose manager curiously resent cityfolk (people are supposed to bring their own fishing gear), but the daughter of the visitor falls in love with a worker at the inn.  The rain sequence is great to watch, but not connected much to the story. The romantic background music by Joseph Kosma sounds technically clean for the time. 

Again, I couln’t find Pollino’s film, but I found a 9-minute French film “Regrets” by Fred Bouchal, from the Vienna Film Festival, and it’s rather interesting. 

A man, on the run from organized crime in the winter, encounters a small boy who brings back memories of his own life, before he dies.

I found a curious gay male short by SETEC about two men who meet on the NYC subway, called “Connected”.  It rather reminds me of “Trick”.

I have a review of the recent  apocalyptic film “The Divide” (immediate DVD) on my “disaster movies” blog May 14.

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