I attended the screening of "The Procession" which had its world premier at Tribeca this year in the short film block. I personally have a fondness for short films and believe them very underrated so am happy to say Festinger's was a delightful, dark comedy. Ironically its plot is simple yet original. Basic human nature sprinkled with happenstance and irony. While attending a funeral a bickering son & mother, played brilliantly by "Modern Family's" Jesse Tyler-Ferguson and comedy legend Lily Tomlin, accidentally get caught in the procession to the cemetery and thanks to a few ill timed red lights, begin leading it. Unfortunately they don't know their destination. What makes the film work is how the circumstances are so relatable to the viewer. For instance who doesn't hate attending funerals, who doesn't get caught at red lights, what son & mother don't bicker and so on. This sets up the basic comedic elements quickly and easily which is essential for a short film. Kudos for both Festinger's writing of the premise and the back & fourth rat-tat-tat dialogue between Ferguson and Tomlin that keeps the action moving at an even pace with the film's actual procession. Special credit should also be given to this NYU grad for taking on the herculean task of directing dozens of slow moving cars in traffic on actual city streets. The precision and timing needed for continuity of this type probably required as much patience as directing a feature. Festinger's previous work includes an Oscar nomination for adapting the script for "In the Bedroom" and more recently for writing the 2011 film Trust. As these films were full lengths dealing with more serious subjects Festinger shows great versatility and range in both art and genre.
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