Saturday, September 28, 2013

More DC Shorts: "First Snow" hits eldercare ethics; "Frame of Mind" is a little high-tech thriller'; "Ephermal" presents an odd view of Spain indeed

I saw the DC Shorts Program 12 at the Anacostia Arts Center, across the “river” from Nationals Park and an adventure to reach.

The most important film socially was the first one, “First Snow” (“Premiere Neige”, 13 min), from Montreal, by Michael Lalancette.   Adult family members gather in a hospital waiting room as the nuse informs the family that the father needs an emergency kidney transplant since hemodialysis is failing, and that all the members, even the wife, are suitable matches.  A younger adult family member arrives as “superman” in bobsledding clothes ready for the onset of winter.  There are pontifications about sacrifice and selfishness.  Will any family member step up?  Does anyone really have to?

Ephemeral” (“Efimera”, 18 min, by Diego Modino) is a bizarre visual pate probably inspired by Cervantes himself.  Alicia (Paula Penarva) dreams of becoming a ballerina as she grows up in her windmill home.  But the community around her somewhat evokes David Lynch as much as it does modern Spain, with bizarre tenements and industrial plants.  Soon she encounters an underworld hostage situation of utmost brutality.
Frame of Mind”, 14 min, by Brett Cramer, sets up a kind of combo of “Zodiac” with “Minority Report”, paying homage to recent hit police detective movies.  A witness to a playground killing (Johnnie Oberg, Jr.) is wired up to electronic gear and his mind is probed as police try to stop a supposed serial killer in a playground situation.   It gets dangerous to the subjects, medically speaking, more so than the kids.  A young teen gives an outstanding performance outwitting the stalker.
“Loveseat” (15 min, by Matthew Richmond) has a young man, to please a girl friend, parting with a piece of furniture that talks.  Echoes of “The Puffy Chair”, maybe.
A Little Something on the Side” (11 min.) explores old-fashioned matrimonial jealousy in situation comedy, the way they did it in the 1950’s sitcoms.  I’m immune to it.
Konig Ludwig” (5 min), a male couple plans for a “hereafter” future in the Bavarian forest, and urns and ashes matter.

Tomato Story” (4 minutes, Russia, animated), has two women competing to cultivate the perfect tomato.

The Boxer” (3 minutes, animated).  I’ve never gotten the moral point of this sport, so I leave it be.
Performance” (4 minutes) also escapes me, as dancing and boxing combine.  That’s not to say that dancing can’t be very macho. 


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