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On the North Coast (2012)
Tarantino Would be Proud
The one (or 2-3) things that come to my mind after seeing this film is: thank God for - an independent cinema movement! "On the North Coast" is a prime example of "making movies with your heart and your soul". Not much of a budget here, but, this film IS FUNNY. It's very well written, covering and connecting variety of characters within several sub-plots... The director was (probably) influenced by some cinematic works from 1970s and 1980s, and maybe early 90s - anything from B-cinema to Tarantino. Very good soundtrack, with some memorable songs, too. There might be one (or two) scenes that go for too long, but overall - well assembled and nicely put together. Fun and funky!
Uncivilized Servant (2013)
I had an opportunity to see this short film at Cleveland's 48 Hour Contest for horror films (won several awards). What stands out is - film's great humor (from the opening scene, all the way through its ending roll)! It's a science fiction parody at its best. The film touches up on current political situations and "characters", and makes fun of American people's obsession with technological innovations. Great spoof and an ultra-parodic take on modern society. The filmmakers put a lot of work in this short subject - all in just 48 hours! Great writing, editing, and overall assembly. Also, very creative digital effects and strong sound design. Fun to watch!
The End of A. D. 2066 (2005)
Dark Socio-Cultural Metaphor
This is short film - shot on film (not video). Thumbs up for shooting on film! Very pleasing grainy, soft, and contrasty look... French New Wave comes to my mind. It was staged (shot) on one exterior spot, I believe in downtown Cleveland. But you don't see any background movement (cars, people, urban life). It was photographed in a very clever way: low and high angle camera work - to eliminate unwanted backgrounds. And, it works! Image after image, you are given a broad picture of an empty, dying world. The use of narration helps to deliver this message. Plus, use of still images mixed with sound effects and Latin voice-over. It is obvious that this short didn't have a very large budget, but it didn't stop filmmakers from delivering a strong and very visual piece. Entire film is a metaphor, a dream, or a nightmare... Provokes and disturbs at the same time. Interesting and very philosophical statement about our lives, and our societal fears and issues.
This is a short film, which means action-action-action. And the film delivers it very well. Everything happens inside the home of the film's main character. Noura is faced with a problem, she's looking for a solution, but there's no much time... She faces the problem head-on, and she follows through with it. Does she solve the problem? Well, it's not clear, but that's the point. It'a fiasco, and a turbulent outcome of her worst fears. She's brave to admit who she really is, and what she wants to do, but this admission brings her to another (ultimate) obstacle: INS. Enough for a short film, and clearly a good model for a feature film. "Fiasco" delivers an entertaining punch.
The Bad Guy Speaks (2005)
This is a very controversial piece. The story revolves around a bizarre guy (called Bad Guy) who talks to the viewers (female viewers) and tells them about pros and cons of stalking, raping, and - SELF-DEFENSE! The film depicts large amount of violence, degradation, sexual assault... Despite all of it, the film is very entertaining and funny! It's a black humor, absurdity, and it carries a lot of Kubrickian elements of "noir" film-making ("The Clockwork Orange" would be a prime example). This concept always polarizes the audience: some people will hate the film, and others will love it. I've seen this film at the local festival, with a mixed audience (males, females, young, old), and the response was mixed as well, but my impression is that most of the female audience loved it. They thought that the film doesn't intend to degrade women and promote violence, but instead it shows the dangers of modern urban world, filled with sick individuals and the real-world violent behavior. "The Bad Guy Speaks" is an interesting and very controversial short film that will raise the eyebrows of many film critics.