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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

LA SHORTS FEST Continued

Crossroads
Drama/United States/12 min
Director/Producer/Writer: Cecilia Robles



Crossroads is a Latina Cinderella story with a twist. Rich boy meets poor beautiful girl---he attempts to sweep her off her feet by luring her in with materialist goodies. She takes the bait and really it is the rich boy that gets taken. Cecilia Robles is the Director and Writer of this modern fairytale. Set in the soul of the city, a beautiful Latina mute, played by Cristina Mendoza, makes her living as a car windshield washer. A chance meeting with a lonely man, William, creates a mysterious love connection. William’s infatuation keeps him restless and like an itch he wants to scratch he returns to the same intersection daily just to capture a glimpse of this chica bonita and of course to get his car windshield washed. William makes his move by offering the mute money, an heirloom necklace, and a warm bed. Love is made, hearts are broken, and a fantasy is made real. Since the film has a twist, I suggest you see this spicy film to reveal the ending.

Robles paired sociological issues with a keen photographic style to produce a crowd favorite. Using only $300 dollars and 12 minutes she took the audience to Mexico and created a film that will be appreciated by all who have been infatuated or wondered what it would be like to get extra benefits based on physical beauty. Robles deserves special applause for her observant camera angles; especially the window washing scenes that were cleverly done. The film industry is gifted by the art of Cecilia Robles.

Le Shakedown
Drama/United States/12 min
Director/Producer/Writer: Johnny Bogris

Le Shakedown is an undercover cop story of a dope score gone bad. Borgris creates an excellent story line that is gritty and chock full of chaos. You could tell that Borgris enjoyed making this film. The cast is the best ingredient to this short. Hopefully we will see more of these actors in full length features.

The Sled
Comedy/United States/21 min
Director/Producer/Writer: Brad Yuen

The only way to describe The Sled is zany. Director, Brad Yuen, commented that he created this film submission for a spot on the new television show called The Lot. Yuen cleverly creates a story that takes us on a wild goose chase in pursuit of recovering a valuable piece of movie memorabilia. The story line gets a bit confusing at times and maybe should have been edited down to 12 minutes instead of 21 minutes. Private investigator, Chuck Chen, is on a mission to recover the original Rosebud (the snow sled used in the film Citizen Kane). The story has funny tidbits, especially the scenes with Chuck Chen’s sidekick sister; she really makes the movie amusing. Also, kudos to the actor that played the pawnshop owner; he was very believable and hopefully will be in more comedies…his facial expressions are extremely funny.

Superman #1
Comedy/United States/5 min
Directors/Producers: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms Writer: Caffeine Inspiration

Have you ever borrowed something valuable from a good friend and ruined it? How about something sentimental and made in limited editions? Did you borrow it without asking? This is the brilliant premise of Superman #1. A beloved and prized Superman comic book goes missing and the owner wants it back…the interrogation begins and tension is thick. The owner doesn’t want to get mad, he doesn’t want to debate...he just wants his comic book back…dead or alive. Was it sold? Was food dropped on the colorful pages? The dialog is funny and real. And, the actors pull each and every audience member into the prank. The Nelms’ used a small space, some friends, and one little comic book to create comedic tension. The lighting and camera angles add to the urgency and stress of the potentially explosive situation. Superman #1 is easily the funniest short film of the day. There is nothing like a good prank to tickle the funny bone. Congratulations to the directors and, hey, you guys owe me $2.50 for the soda pop that came out of my nose when I laughed.


My Confession
Drama/United States/23 min
Director/Writer: Brad Schreiber

Brad Schreiber creates a macabre story of a demented woman and calculating serial killer. The creative use of a foreboding setting, a dimly lit bar and a basement, invites the audience in for a twisted plot. If you liked the movies Misery and Fatal Attraction, then My Confession is the movie for you. Dark lighting and grotesque special effects make-up added the final touch to this creepy feature.

Tormenta’s Ear
Suspense/United States/10 min
Director/Producer/Writer: Collin Blair

Blair’s creative story involves two Mexican fugitives on the run in Death Valley. Tormenta’s Ear seemed like a full length film packed into ten little minutes. The acting was excellent, the setting was superb, and the story line interesting.

The Last Laugh
Comedy/United States/6 min
Director/Writer/Producer: Gregory Mazzotta

The Last Laugh is a combination of a “Funniest Home Video” and a “Got Milk? Commercial.” A grandfather is peacefully sitting on the couch doing a crossword puzzle and nibbling on a gigantic cookie. As time passes his cookie is disappearing, but he hasn’t touched it. Across the room a stuff toy, Elmo the happy, loveable Sesame Street character, is staring at him. Poor Elmo is guilty with association and his cuteness is soon destroyed. The grandfather tears up Elmo and red fuzz and white stuffing flies everywhere. Enter the adorable grandson who quizzically yells, “grandpa, what are you doing!?” Mazzotta wonderfully captures the mundane grandfather and innocent Elmo with unique camera angles.

Ode to Fredo
Music Video/United States/3 min
Director/Producer: Zeke Hawkins Writer: Tom DiMenna

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the surface of the lake is inviting and this is the last day of Fredo Corleone’s life. Two men placidly row across the lake in a tiny boat. Fredo is singing in an accepting and non-chalant manner serenading his hit man. And, in an instant Fredo is shot and slumps over. Hawkins and DiMenna display comedic excellence in this clever music video based on last moments of Fredo Corleone’s life (a mobster in the classic Godfather films).


Ms. Lily La Bare

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