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Sunday, July 8, 2007

DANCES WITH FILMS DAY TWO

I cannot say enough nice things about this festival. It's so great that everything takes place in one theatre. This way you don't have to miss films. There are no two films playing simultaneously. The staff is wonderful and the volunteers are great. This is a top notch festival, with amazing films so far. Saturday 7/7/07 and I just saw 16 films. It's actually Sunday night. And once again I have been through an entire day at the festival.
Lets begin.....

I got at the theatre just in time to see one of the funniest films i have seen in a long time. Directed by Jennifer Sharp and written by Courtney Lilly this is a film that crosses all borders and gaurantees a fantabulous time at the theatre.

I’m Through With White Girls
Here is the synopsis:
Jay Brooks is that Black guy who digs indie rock, graphic novels, and dates white chicks. After a slew of break-ups, Jay goes on a mission: “Operation Brown Sugar”. But Jay doesn't fit the “brotha” stereotype and he fails miserably with the “sistahs.” Then he meets Catherine, a misunderstood “Half-rican Canadian”, who's as righteously quirky as he is. Jay struggles as he realizes commitment is a bigger issue than race.I'M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks), written by Courtney Lilly (Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris), is a quirky romantic-comedy addressing race, class, and cultural identity in America.
Once again, what a fantastic movie. It is well written, smartly filmed and directed and has some of the best acting I have seen in a comedy all year long. Run to this film.
After it was over I saw the first two shorts programs. I will post pics of the films I was given a press kit for. Under each picture is the short synopsis provided. There are so many so I will keep it brief.

Competition Shorts Program 1
Airport Ride
In the City of Dreams, a son, with all the trappings of success, takes his ailing father to the airport. At this final goodbye, will the son be able tell his father the truth?
A sweet little film about trying to make your Dad proud.

Game
GAME is a contemporary musical, with edgy dancing and blazing music on the pulse of what's hot now. Set in South Central Los Angeles against a backdrop of escalating Black and Mexican gang warfare, it's a gritty retelling of ROMEO & JULIET and WEST SIDE STORY that combines narrative, dance and music for a 2006 urban audience. This uniquely American story reveals how passionate love, self-destructive behavior and undying devotion -- to the wrong thing, can destroy everyone and everything in its path.
Great dancing throughout the film. Felt like a snapshot of something bigger.

Small little thing

Goaded by her drama-obsessed friend, a happy housewife, formerly content in her Technicolor world, uncovers evidence indicating her little world isn't as perfect as it seems.
This was like watching a 1950's housewife completely lose control. Fun. Loved the stylization!

Oblivion Nebraska

When Nebraska boy Freddy looses his German mother to a tragic accident, he retreats into a fantasy world to cope with the pain, forcing him into conflict with the good natured teacher who wants to bring him to reality.
This movie broke my heart. Sometimes living a dream is better than facing the reality of knowing your mother is gone forever. A tribute to the imagination of youth and the ability to escape.

Twilights grace
Norman, a recently widowed elderly man, must confront the effects of losing his life partner. Dismissing isolation, Norman enters a mysterious world of warmth, tenderness, and romance that he fears as well as needs to rekindle his spirits.
A beautiful sad storyof an old man who misses his wife and tries to recapture the love he once felt. Written for the directors grandfather. A smartly told film.

American Sinner
American Sinner, The Holy Broadcasting Network's first foray into Reality Programming, follows Cosmo and Mackenzie Carpenter, a quirky Evangelical couple as they try to 'Save' their rebellious, offensive daughter, Tiffany. However, when she turns up pregnant, things take on an even greater sense of urgency. Will Cosmo and Mackenzie be able to save their daughter AND grandchild before it's too late--or will she forever remain an American Sinner?
I wish this was a real show! I laughed so hard I cried. Great acting.

Stabbing stupidity

Janet is an attractive young woman smart enough to know a female's frequently precarious position in the corporate hierarchy. Steve is the business owner's brother and an insufferable chauvinist boor - a figure immediately recognizable and universally loathed by every woman who has ever entered the corporate world. Tricked into lunch alone with Steve, Janet suffers his outrageous and demeaning discourse as long as she can, until she can only retreat into her imagination... A place where she can safely deal with a creature such as this, and make him sharply aware of the error of his ways.
A fun movie that we have all lived at one time or another.

Competition Shorts Program 2
New To Laundry
For Bud, the laid back atmosphere of the neighborhood Laudromat is the perfect place to meet attractive girls. But tonight, his latest pick-up line leads him to expected places.
A cute snapshot of a laundry and the friendship that develops over dryer education.

Tina Bobina
Tina Bobina tells the story of a quirky teenager with unbridled enthusiasm, her own set of business cards and a passion for the macabre. When a holy man visits for dinner and reveals his hidden talent, the now inspired Tina sets off to find her own. Her journey is nothing short of peculiar.
Loved this film. A quirky little gem. As a horror fan this was like a little comedic gift! Fun performances and love The Killer Scarecrow. I would love to see the film within the film!

Spin
Top book publicist, Alex Burke, can spin any story to the benefit of her clients and the detriment of her enemies. After leaving a mega PR firm, her first client became her lover, James Hughes, a former National Fiction Award winner whose last three novels have bombed. Alex has nurtured James to create a masterpiece; yet two days before the big press conference to introduce James' new novel to the nation's top critics, a horrible betrayal deals a deathly blow to their relationship. In the end, Alex discovers that every lie has a consequence. Even her own.
A Melodrama that reminds us to treat the ones welove fairly. A solid cast in a well filmed movie.

Bear Essentials

Scott's life is falling apart around him…literally. As his girlfriend Sarah throws him out for the last time he realizes that nothing is going to change her mind. Not even the Bear he has hired to deliver flowers and balloons for her birthday. Despite the failed last minute apology, Scott holds the Bear to his contract, forcing the speechless courier to accompany him for the rest of the evening. In one night Scott and the Bear will embark on an odyssey that will take them down strange paths and teach them the essentials of what it takes to make relationships survive.
Cute and fun. The bear's performance is nuanced. I am not kidding.

How To Speak Republican
A “How to” Guide for ditto-heads!
Fun!

The vaudevillian
A ventriloquist's relationship with his dummy is strained after they lose their job with a traveling vaudeville act. The ventriloquist realizes he is able to scam farmers for money, much to the dummy's dismay, and struggles with his conscience so that he can continue.
WHAT A GREAT MOVIE! I wish it was a feature because it still had so many places it could go. A wonderful film about the good and bad in each of us during hard times and how sometimes you have to leave your conscience behind to survive.

Mr. Robber
A man breaks into a house on Christmas Eve. Things appear to be going his way until an unlikely encounter changes everything.
An adorable film that made me cringe at first then made laugh. The little girl was great!

Then I saw one of the best films I have seen all year.

Jake’s Closet
This powerful and thrilling story unfolds through the eyes of Jake, an only child caught between the two people he loves most. As Jake navigates his grief through the landscape of his parents? escalating divorce, he finds himself haunted by noises in the night. He soon discovers an evil living inside his bedroom closet. Convinced no one will believe him, Jake must face the evil alone. What he uncovers in the process is a reality that will haunt him for the rest of his life. As Jake, gifted young actor Anthony DeMarco charms the audience with a remarkable combination of innocence and maturity, vulnerability and strength. DeMarco is joined by a superb cast with breakout performances by Sean Bridgers (HBO's Deadwood) and Brooke Bloom (CSI: Miami).JAKE’S CLOSET straddles genres, combining the thrills of suspense and an elegantly woven portrait of childhood. The result is an eye opening and important film that explores the loss of innocence that comes with divorce. In a debut feature film, director Shelli Ryan delivers a unique and thought provoking film that speaks to anyone who's ever been through the distress of being a kid.
What a great film. Smartly directed and written by Shelli Ryan, Jake's Closet is a wonderful suspenseful film that delivers pleanty of scares and a palpable tension from the first frame til the haunting climax. This film had a top notch cast and two great performances from two child actors. Anthony DeMarco as Jake was inspiring. What made this movie so fantastic was how we saw each character unravel and how it affected Jake and the "Zombie" in the closet. This was the world premiere. I have no doubt that this film will get distribution quickly.
Here is a pic of the Q&A afterward.

Kristoffer

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