The Film Slam kicks off its 10th year with 8 new shorts. As alway host Tim Anderson selected an interesting collection of shorts from a masked killer, 2 music videos, 2 Documentaries and a mockumentary to an experimental and drama film. Let’s begin..
Thoughts From The Popcorn Gallery:
The 1st film “Sonadora” Directed by Lauren Kesler
A documentary about a young woman Andrea Haro from rural Pintag, Ecuador, who dreams to better herself, learn English, and graduate from the University. Almost completely in Spanish with subtitles I found myself a little lost at the message the documentary was trying to convey. My Spanish is pretty good, but I have a feeling it was the way the filmmaker approached the doc by introducing the person in charge of the Manna Project International and their goals about education in the region of Ecuador. We are then introduced to Andrea and her family and by the end of the 6 plus mins doc we are left with the hope that Andrea will achieve her dream. (Not a bad doc, short and sweet, albeit a little confusing at first)
The 2nd Film “Medium Justice” Directed by Reggie Peters & Masood Ahmed
A film about a masked killer seeking out justice. At first glance this film has some good cinematography and good performance, however that doesn’t make it a good film. What hurts this film is the story or the lack there of, it doesn’t really know what it wants to be, it seems like 2 films in one. First it looks like a Punisher style film. Then suddenly it’s a Halloween rip off with the Mr Sandman playing as the soundtrack, which totally shut me off. I wanted to like it and parts of it I did; the filming, acting and cinematography. However, the filmmakers need to decide whether they want this to be a horror film or a Punisher comic book type film. Oh, and the title “Medium Justice” has to go. Also I can tell by the visual style of the film the filmmakers like John Carpenter 80’s style filmmaking so they got to be careful here because there is a fine line between paying homage and coping.
The 3rd Film “Lesson Learned” Directed by Charles Frisby
Lesson Learned is a music video which is actually a lot of fun as it is set in the late 80’s about a guy who got dumped. The music from artist Louie St. Claire is actually pretty catchy and his personality comes across the screen, as you can see he had a lot of fun doing this video. Charles added some cheesy yet fun looking CG with some great edits to complete this video. Fun Fact: Charles Frisby’s film “Broken Triangle” aired on ICS season 3 Ep 3.
The 4th Film “SP#13” Directed by Carl Knickerbocker
Carl Knickerbocker films are alway experimental, strange and short. Not much else to say.
The 5th Film “Life Between Us” Directed by Jones Levenon
The film is about an elderly woman who confronts a young intruder, whom then, in turn, helps her answer some of life’s greatest questions. This film was shot really well with only some minor flaws, but the story was the real issue and it could have been edited down a little shorter. The young man is not really likable in the film because the story sets him up as some sort of a stalker/bad boyfriend. The filmmaker tries within the story to make him charming by having him appear nude at the elderly woman’s house for a cheap laugh. She then calmly asks him to leave, but honestly the real reaction would have been screams and police sirens. The actress playing the elderly women does a good job, but there are parts that she does come across as dry. The movie tries to make itself as a thinking film, but in the end it left me not really caring about the characters even at the final frame. There are some really neat ideas in the film (Life & Death, What is the meaning of life & What happens at the end) but the script really needed a few more re-writes and tweaks to have made it what it really wanted to be.
The 6th Film “The Ring” Directed by Christopher Gotera
A Documentary about a young boxer who is on the rise. However after we learn he had a major injury, the documentary ends without us really seeing or hearing about his victories or defeats. The doc is well done with the footage they had, but unless we will see a part 2 we will never really learn anything more about this young boxer.
The 7th Film “Words” Directed by Dale Metz
Dale started his career as a photographer and he is slowly becoming one hell of a DP. This music video is another great example of his visual work. The song is okay, not as catchy as the first music video in this review but thats besides the point. There are a few little flaws such as with the editing, for example when the singer began to sing, it took a few seconds to really figure out who were the actors and who was the singer. The editing of the story here is a little hit and miss, but the visuals and Dale’s eye really take center stage. Fun Fact: Dales Metz first film “See” was shown on ICS season 3 Ep 1.
The 8th and Final Film “Dirty Justice” Directed be TL Westgate
What can we say about TL Westgate… He loves the 48 hour film challenge, and his films never fail to impress. His strong suit is comedy and he has another winner on his hands with this film. This mockumentary is a look at a new fake film called Dirty Justice, as told through the eyes of a fake TV news outlet “Excess Hollywood”. What ensues is a belly full of laughs as TL pokes fun at every stereotype in Hollywood, from a fake British actor to a coked out Latin drug dealer who manages to play the same roles over and over. There is nothing negative to say about this short, except to say: TL it’s time for you to take that comedic mind and do a feature. The ICS team helped out in the production and in acting so I am a little biased about this film.
Over all great job to all the filmmakers and a great kick off to the Film Slams 10th year….