Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, DC.
Which one doesn’t belong?
“DC,” you say?
If you have interest in short films (two to 30 minutes), then you might know that Washington, DC is in its 11th year of holding a Film Festival dedicated to these kind of films. And the one in DC is beginning to make a name for itself, specifically, called “the coolest short film festival” by Movie Maker Magazine.
Alright. Perhaps I overstate, but if you like short films, which sometimes are precursors to film makers’ longer works and which sometimes are just delightful in and of themselves, then you’re in for a treat next week.
From September 11th-21st, you can see choose from 135 films (chosen from 1400 submissions) from 25 different countries. The 11-day fest is spread out through five venues in the DC-Virginia area. You can choose from 17 different 90 minute programs where each showing will screen between 7-9 short films.
Plus, you can watch 100 of these online if you prefer that method of viewing.
See the press release announcing the DC Short Film Festival for more details.
* ** ** ** ** *
Two films recently seen:
The 100-Foot Journey ***
Audiences apparently are enjoying this film more than the critics (Rotten Tomatoes 85%/65%). It is one of those ‘feel good’ movies, an adult fantasy of sorts.
Following the loss of their Mumbai restaurant, an Indian family settles in a small town in southern France where they open a new restaurant, Maison Mumbai. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, there is a Michelin one star restaurant just across the street.
I won’t say more about what unfolds, somethings are predictable, some are not, but there are good performances, led by Helen Mirren (Madame Mallory) and including Om Pur (Papa) and Manish Payal (Hassan Kadam).
If you’re looking for a movie to see before heading to an Indian restaurant, then you might enjoy this film as long as your expectations are not too high.
Actually, I think another film built around food, Chef ****, was more satisfying.
Rich Hill ****
This documentary won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
It portrays the life of three adolescents in a small mid-western town over a period of a year and a half.
It is depressing.
It is probably also an accurate portrayal of what happens when you mix poverty, family dysfunction and a failing economy.
I also suspect it is a portrayal of a portion of our society that many of us never see or don’t really know.
But these are three adolescents I found ‘stayed with me’ after I left the 91 minute documentary, even though the film at times seemed long and unsatisfying.