Kings County Cinema Society Unveils New Short Films
Kings County Cinema Society Unveils New Short Films
১৩ আগস্ট ২০২০ ৯:২৭ পূর্বাহ্ণ
Last Friday I attended a weird and exciting event within walking distance of my apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; Kings County Cinema Society presented a showcase of short films made by filmmakers from Brooklyn and beyond, including several NY and Brooklyn premieres, at Littlefield NYC, a performance and art space with a well-stocked bar and a good-sized screening room. As is to be expected during a kind of punk rock/hipster gallery, seating for the show was folding chairs, which made the viewing experience a touch but comfortable after a short time, but the films were mostly quite good, and additionally, to the standard popcorn and peanuts, there have been delicious spread chocolate chip cookies available at the bar, freed from charge. I helped myself to at least one of those and a bottle of beer and settled a certain night of mostly comedic shorts from the borough that's now my second home (Minneapolis will always be my first).
The showcase started strongly with "Jesus involves Town," a loving spoof of the film noir genre directed by Kamal John Iskander and featuring some veteran Hollywood character actors, including Alex Veadov (Contact, Drag Me to Hell) and Steve Eastin (Catch Me If you'll, Up within the Air). during this film, Jesus (Veadov) engages during a late-night poker with a couple of lowlife noir types during a seedy apartment. The script is amusing, but what really elevated the film was the gorgeous black and white cinematography (hurt slightly by the transfer from Super 16 mm to digital projection) and great performances all around.
This was followed by Daniel Cowen's spectacularly weird pseudo-documentary "Body Magic," during which the filmmaker attempts to recreate Alejandro Jodorowsky's famous elemental transformation from The Holy Mountain (1973). Before attempting this strange feat (those of you who have seen Jodorowsky's film can guess what it is), Cowen relates tales of other strange "body magic" phenomena, like an event when, after an evening of heavy drinking, he supposedly vomited an entire clementine, despite not having eaten one that day. The fake sincerity and mysticism of this short made it a crowd-pleaser, though much of the laughter was mingled with groans of delighted disgust.
The best film of the showcase's half was D.W. Young's "Not Interested," which premiered at the South By Southwest Festival before getting its NY premiere here. it's a hilariously strange short a few knife salesman (Khan Baykal) who gets tons quite he expects on a house call one day; to mention more would spoil the film. Dan Bowers & Matthew B. Maguire's "This is Don" was also quite good, a slice-of-life check out an aging skate punk (James Kloiber) who ekes out a meager living walking other people's dogs on the streets of NYC. My least favorite film within the half was Christopher Bell & Ryan Sartor's "Pilgrimage," a lazy, slow-paced mumblecore sort of movie about two awkward highschool friends (Adam Perry and Mike Lieder) who not have anything to speak about. It wasn't terrible, but it stood out mainly for its strangeness and for the ironic, detached presence of the 2 filmmakers within the Q&A that followed.
The best films of the entire showcase came in its last half, and it might be difficult on behalf of me to settle on a favorite between three of them: Roberto Minervini's "Las Luciernagas" ("The Fireflies"), Daniel Muller's "Goodbye Canarsie," and Jessica Burstein & Robbie Norris's "Abbie Cancelled." However, my least favorite film of the entire showcase was also within the second half: Andrew Lee's "Home Again," a boring, repetitive check out two unlikeable characters, crammed with expository dialogue and average performances, and topped off with the foremost absurdly contrived ending I've seen during a while. I even have to offer it a couple of points, though, for the impressive computer graphics wont to realize this surprising, but ultimately very lame, conclusion. A much better short was Durier Ryan's "Monroe St.," another slice-of-life film a few young men named Khalil (James Beca) who wants to form his mark as a photographer. a number of the acting during this one was quite flat, but the cinematography is crisp and pretty, and therefore the tone of the film jogged my memory a touch of early Lee. Now let's mention those three favorites of mine.
"Las Luciernagas" may be a bittersweet, warm-hearted story of two elderly people within the Dominican Republic, where the film was made in 2006; it's just getting its NY premiere. Virginia (Olga Bucarelli) may be a grandmother who has lost her husband and, alongside him, her will to measure, until she meets Alfonso (Pericles Meija), an active older man still trying to seek out his place during a world that not seems to possess much use for him. this might are a particularly bleak film, and it doesn't recoil from the sadness at its core, but it ultimately displays a love for all times that's inspiring and inspiring. Also, its opening sequence, during which Virginia remembers her day only to be abruptly brought back to her harsh present reality, was one among my absolute favorite moments of the showcase.
Another favorite moment was the start of "Goodbye Canarsie," during which the protagonist, Warren "Wolfman" Winkler (Tomas Pais), makes sweet like to his apparently bored girlfriend, Frankie (Melissa Strom); it's only within the last shot of the sequence that we see the bullet wound within the center of her forehead, eliciting wonderful shocked laughter from myself and just about everyone else attending. This sets the tone nicely for the remainder of the film, leaving us to wonder how exactly these characters (who we meet via extended flashback) need to now, and therefore the result's quite surprising. This film, which closed the showcase, left an enormous smile on my face, not just for its lovely sense of caprice, but also because it had perhaps the foremost impressive production of the entire evening. A work of art set in 1973, the cinematography and costume design are Hollywood slick, and therefore the acting is top-notch, especially Pais as Warren and Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper as Sal, the hitman sent to require him out, who also happens to be Warren's good friend from high school.
In between these two, "Abbie Cancelled" also had a couple of surprises up its sleeve, also as probably the simplest ensemble cast of the night. Each of the four lead performances was excellent, as we the audience watch two couples get through the foremost awkward banquet imaginable when the mutual friend connecting them (the unseen "Abbie") cancels at the eleventh hour. Amir (Craig Glantz) and Amanda (Stacie Theon) are divided before they even arrive, with Amir taking the news of Abbie's cancellation as an excuse to bail on the party, and once they get inside, things only get hilariously worse. Grayson (Yuval Boim) is their affable host, who seems resigned almost to the purpose of obliviousness to his shrewish companion, Karen (Monica Knight), a lady who radiates tension throughout. Grayson and Amir get along great, leaving Amanda, who wants to write down for television, and Karen, who works for HBO, to speak patronize the dining table while they disappear to the basement for an unexpected liaison (not what you're probably thinking). This short is being developed into a feature, and that I for one am enthusiastically waiting to ascertain what is going to happen next, but the film manages to face on its own also.