Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I Work In Public" Film Review

When the work gets tough, the touch get working. That’s what recently laid off corporate man, Julian, believes. Blending performance art and innovative thinking, Julian (played by Julian Osen) sets up shop as an open air administrative assistant in the middle of busy Downtown… right on the sidewalk. His boundless workspace comes complete with desk, water cooler, and coat rack. Cash strapped execs walk by, take advantage of the services Julian offers, then walk away and get on the rest of their day. Everyone saves money. No one pays overhead because there is no overhead!

Though Julian’s brilliant plan to work in public may not be the answer to worldwide economic woes, this short film by writer/direct by Matt Judge, has a hopeful message: There’s always room for creative solutions. Upbeat, fun, and well done “I Work In Public,” is an innovative mockumentary that succeeds brilliantly in eliminating the walls between mock reality and the real world, quite literally in this case!

"Midlife" Film Review

Arye Gross stars as Sam, a middle aged man with an unremarkable life, in the dark comedy, "Midlife," by writer/director Michael Swingler.

Sam wants to die. His ball-busting wife, punk kid, and total lack of accomplishments leave him empty and in desperate need of change. He thinks life can't get any worse, until he's hijacked by the insane CEO of a paperclip company. The experience teaches Sam that despite his age, life is only as over as you think it is. Reality and fantasy intertwine in a collage of dark and stunning images. If "Midlife" is any indication, Michael Swingler is one filmmaker worth watching.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The after hours playground of the carnival’s true freaks becomes a dangerous place for one young girl in writer/director Alex Ferrari’s short “Red Princess Blues.” The film opens as tarted up ingĂ©nue, (Tabitha Morella) catches the eye of a perverted, much older carnie (Richard Tyson), and follows him into the carnies’ den. Though she seems at first willing to go along with the sweaty, dirty man’s advances, his attempts to ply her with liquor and her quickly developing better judgment, spur in her a futile desire to get away. It seems the story will end badly for the foolish girl until a mysterious woman appears.

Several characteristics of the film draw parallels to the archetypal (read: not sanitized) fairy tales commonly written about by author Isabel Allende (Women Who Run With the Wolves). The narration-reminiscent of The Twilight Zone-frequent references to fairy tales, and pervasive use of archetypal characters all give the film an older, wiser feel than the subject matter suggests. There is the naive young girl, duped into listening to a dangerous man. There is the more experienced female, the personification of womanly intuition and wisdom, who comes to the girl’s rescue, but only once she accepts that she is truly in danger. Even the film’s title, “Red Princess Blues,” lends itself to this modern fairytale feel. This might seem a complex analyzation for an indie, action short, but the essence and imagery of Ferrari’s film leaves one feeling that there must be more to this story.

Polished effects and eerie setting give the film a finished glow that many indies lack, and the fluid action sequences make it easy to see why “Red Princess Blues” has been getting it’s fair share of buzz on the festival circuit.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Beautifully photographed and immaculately scored, “The Last Night” takes the viewer on a Latin flavored voyeur voyage through expectation and deception. The films writer/director Brad Cruz delivers a raw and sexy cautionary tale, redefining old ideas of risky behavior.

Alejandro, (Augusto Valverde) is the perfect man, chivalrous, sensitive, and successful with powerful features and a chiseled body. Of course, like most perfect men, he’s too good to be true. No sooner does his fiancĂ© call to cancel a date because of a last minute babysitting emergency than Alejandro gets ready to hit the town. He soon finds a beautiful companion to share his evening, but even from their first encounter, the whole thing is a little too perfect. Alejandro soon learns that this night will be much more than he could have anticipated.

Cruz does a wonderful job of making sure every detail of the film lends itself to the mood of the moment, creating a strong sense of place and time. He doesn’t shirk from the grim details of the plot as men and women switch roles in this bizarre power struggle. “The Last Night,” is sensually evocative, and is at once both thought provoking and a cheap dirty thrill.


Now this is how a historical mockumentary is done. Immaculately constructed or altered 1930s footage discussed by actors that seem to have crawled straight from the archives of the top European universities build a narrative that slides effortlessly in and out of history.

Charlotte Keppel (Serena Brabazon), is an Irish female scientist at a time in history when neither females nor the Irish were looked on very highly. During the rise of the Third Reich, science (both real and crackpot), was exploding. It was the time of Einstein and of Hitler. It was on this treacherous and often friendly stage that Charlotte unveiled her great and later marginalized contribution to human history, the chronoscope. Capable of capturing waves of energies past, the chronoscope could accurately reconstruct the images of history the way a television captures broadcast programming. Imagine a world stripped of pretense and lies, a species forced to confront its past exactly as it was, void of gloss and glory.

Beautifully narrated by actor, Jeremy Irons, "The Chronoscope" forces audiences to ask themselves, who would I be if I could not escape my past? One may even come to realize, with sadness, why Charlotte Keppel was wiped from the pages of history.