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Monday, September 10, 2007

LA SHORTS FEST 1

I arrived a bit early and there seemed to be a good turnout at the previous program segment. I actually arrived early enough to stop by IKEA, Loehmanns, and Barnes and Noble. I bought two ties… bet you can figure out where. I’m sitting in the lovely AMC 6 in Burbank, with its stadium seating, cushy seating awaiting the start of the 1PM program of shorts. Okay, I splurged and bought popcorn, which I will probably regret.
Now to the films...

CUP HALF EMPTY



The sound was a bit off at the very beginning of the film, but finally the sound matched up and so did our characters. He wants a relationship; she just wants to fool around. After he convinces her to dive in for something more, she decides it’s time to meet mommy and daddy and to plan the wedding, and he gets much more than he bargained for or even wanted. I actually found this one entertaining. A simple story with much humor.

THE MIDDLEMAN

This tale is about a bike messenger who recently had a break up with his girlfriend. Meanwhile he schleps letters and cookies between two elderly people either in a courtship or a relationship that has been going for some time. The messenger gets the idea to use the letters the elderly gentleman is writing to his sweetheart to rekindle his own relationship. It works. As is said, absence makes the heart grow stronger, and the elderly couple no longer receiving each other’s exchanges meet up and embrace. The end. A sweet story.

THE LOANER

I can’t help but think the women in the audience might get a bit pissed off with this story—any Lillian Hellman types around and all hell could have broken loose. Okay, that’s taking it a bit far. So our leading lady goes into a restaurant and is told that women can’t eat alone in the restaurant and that they would “loan” her a dining partner, a man of course. After several attempts to get a seat and even bringing a dog as her companion to try their famous crab cakes, she resorts to taking matters into her own hands and grabs the crab cake off another patron’s plate. Funny.

THE FEDERAL AFFAIR

A jealous boyfriend spies on his girlfriend in unconventional ways, with full on tactical gear, helicopters, surveillance, you name it. He surprises her as she is meeting with a strange man (who turns out to be her brother) and this is the last straw. She’s had enough and this time means business. This one was silly; on the verge of a Leslie Neilson comedy.

THE ONE

This film begins with a woman who has had enough of the dating game. She’s been through cancer and a man who couldn’t handle it and has wanted a family for some time. She wants a baby and has decided to go it alone. Enter a new guy through an awkward encounter in a stuck elevator and serendipity takes hold. He asks her out, they meet, they make love, and she still decides to go it alone in the baby department. We hurt for the guy, but we know what she’s been through and her resolve is stronger than her feelings for this guy. In the Q&A, the director, Deborah Reed, said this is being made into a feature.

DIAMONDS IN A BUCKET


God this one has so much potential. I really want to see more of it. It really made me uncomfortable in areas, which I think is good. This poor girl goes from one bad relationship to the next and she finds comfort in a singer/songwriter twice her age and he takes her in. We soon learn that she won’t be treated like an equal, but more as a servant. She’s almost okay with it, because it’s better than what she had, which is the uncomfortable part. It’s really sad that a she just doesn’t know any better and he’s just preying on her naïveté. I really think this can be taken further and developed into a full length feature.

MASCULINE TIMING

Okay, I don’t ever need to see another teenage girl masturbate on film again. I’m sure it’s tittilating for some, but I just don’t see the need for it. That aside, this film about teenage angst and when to give up one’s virginity is a common theme. In this treatment, however, the guy is being patient and the girl wants it and she takes him on a picnic to seduce him, when he finally blurts out “I want to fcuk you!” Okay, party’s over. She’s done, but then he says the right thing and she gives it up anyway. The actors did a good job and the film was well shot, just didn’t care much for the subject matter.


RB

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