OK. So I walked into the Moondance Film Festival after a horrible 24 hours of dealing with construction by my house. They were causing vibrations that were shaking pictures off the wall and glass off of shelves. It was like an earthquake. I had assigned myself to cover this festival because I thought it sounded very interesting. I had to miss the first day and they played quite a few films, that I was sad to miss as well as many workshops. Hmmmm.... Next year I will be here the entire time. The festival takes place at The Universal Studios Citiwalk Cinemas. This is its 8th year and I was truly amazed by the amount of programs they have at this festival. I almost never go to Universal Citiwalk because you have to pay between $5 - $10 for parking. Not a big fan of that. However it is a great theatre and Citiwalk has many nice dining options. Now to the films!
A short film starring Stephanie Zimbalist from Remington Steele. OK, I admit, I loved that show. This short film is a little overdramatic, BUT... it deals with a mothers grief for her daughter. Now you do not really get to meet the daughter before you find that she died. I didn't have a lot of sympathy for the situation because I didn't really feel invested in the emotional arc of the characters. I also wanted the writing to allow the mother to really lose it instead of only kinda losing it. However, despite the reasons I have stated, I actually really enjoyed the short film. It was very sweet and warmed my heart. And sometimes its just nice to see Ms. Zimbalist on the big screen!
I love scripts that use board games from my childhood as a plot device. I loved Monopoly and this movie used the idea of the game very well. It was a film about sibling rivalry and how an older sister bullies her younger sister in the game and in life by using the rules of the game. I thought this was a cute film and I truly enjoyed it. However, some of the shadows in this film had blue casts to them and that kinda drove me crazy.
GIRL STARS- ANITA THE BEEKEEPER
I saw this film at Hollyshorts and truly enjoyed it then. It is in someways a retelling of the story and at times a documentary. It is about a young girl who wants to go to school in India. To go to school she has to be able to help pay for it. This is the story of how she has been able to go to school and pay for her education up through college. Now Anita, has taken on a proffesion that is considered a mans job in India... Beekeeper. This truly is an inspiring tale of a young girl who defies the odds, her place in society and the village in which she lives so she can get an education and become a leader in her society. A remarkable journey of a remarkable girl with more courage and persevearance than most!
A young girl dreams of being as pretty as the movie stars she idolizes in her film books. An accident causes her hair to be shorn (A BOWL CUT) and she finally sees herself as beautiful. I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! I completely got it and laughed and understood every choice. If you get a chance to see this film do it. It is a short that is worth every cinematic frame.
An animation that spoke to the soul without uttering a word. A beautiful film that captured the symbolism, style and simplicity of the wings of a dove or the limb of a tree.
Based on the author/Directors play, this is a story of a jewish lawyer who defends and betters a young skinhead punk. It does not get preachy or show the evil the youth culture. It mearly tells a small story of two people connecting in a world with barriers. It has one of the best musical scores I have recenly heard. It has a sense of being a Mametian world the characters live in,without the Mamet dialogue. It was filmed very intimately and boasts two fantastic performances from Andrew Walker as the Nazi youth skinhead and David Straitharn as the liberal who helps him become an adult.
As the skinhead is in prison he states this one sentence that sums up the whole film for me... "In an ideal world I would have you eliminated. In this one I need you more than anyone." Yes. He means it but by the end of the film he has had some redemptin for his hateful crime and thoughts.
This is a beautiful film that is not afraid to show compassion. Go and see it as fast as you can. Go to www.steeltoesthemovie.com to learn more about this fantastic film!