Monday, June 26, 2017

Worldly Affairs (2017)

Worldly Affairs (shorts program)
Friday, June 23, 4:00 p.m., Castro Theatre

One Night Only, dir. Sam Langshaw, 2016 Australia, 11 min.: WORLD PREMIÈRE 👏
One Night Only

The protagonist (the young man shown in the photo) makes a date to go to a party in the big city (Sydney), and he and his best friend schlep in from somewhere far enough into the country that most people in Sydney haven’t even heard of it. He’s dressed to impress, but his date isn’t into “femme” guys. He stands up for himself and goes off in search of a more inclusive coterie of friends. Short and sweet, cute, and definitely affirming of individuality. Highly recommended.

• not yet on IMDb •

Al otro lado (The Other Side), dir. Rodrigo Álvarez Flores, 2016 Mexico, 15 min., in Spanish with English subtitles, WORLD PREMIÈRE 💖
Al otro lado (The Other Side)

Felipe (Eduardo Gómez, left) and Claudio (Juan Pablo Muro) are more than just friends, living somewhere in Baja California del Norte. (Filming was in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada.) They hook up, despite Claudio’s parents’ obvious disapproval, but then Claudio vanishes, leaving Felipe to try to make it al otro lado (to the other side — of the U.S. border) in the hope of somehow returning to his lover’s embrace. The writing, acting, directing, and technical aspects are all top notch, and the editor gets props for keeping just the right amount of detail, leaving us wanting more. MUST SEE.

IMDb page • Note: Al otro lado also appeared in the “Realness & Revelations” shorts program

Dønninger (Ocean Swells), dir. Sverre Matias Glenne, 2016 Norway, 14 min., in Norwegian with English subtitles: U.S. première👌
Dønninger (Ocean Swells)

Two male buddies (pictured) fish together, fix their bikes together, drink together, and clearly spend a lot of time together. A girl that one of them met on Tinder shows up and clearly thinks they’re secretly lovers. The End.

I didn’t get it. Not bad.

• not yet on IMDb • teaser trailer (vimeo) •

Pedro, dirs. Marco Leão & André Santos, 2016 Portugal, 20 min., in Portuguese with English subtitles: Bay Area première 👌

We open on a quote in French: “Tell me what you think of my life, of my adolescence. Tell me what you think. I like both love and violence.” Okay, that’s a bit weird. We then see the title character riding his motorcycle home at dawn. Before he can go to sleep, his mother drags him to the beach, where they meet a guy. The mother thinks the guy is interested in her, but that’s not quite the case. Mom remains nosy and clueless; will the boys get a chance to explore their attraction? This one left me saying, “Huh??” Not bad.

One other small gripe: it’s annoying how ubiquitous the use of “got a cigarette?” is as an ice-breaker in films, although certainly also in life. “Excuse me, do you have any addictive carcinogens that will make my body, hair, breath, and clothing smell disgusting?” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

IMDb pageofficial websiteteaser trailer (opening sequence) (vimeo) •

Pria, dir. Yudho Aditya, 2016 Indonesia / USA, 21 min. 💖

Aris (Chicco Kurniawan, pictured left) is a high school student in a traditional Muslim family. His mother is desperate for him to wed — I mean, he’s almost old enough to shave every day, for goodness sake! — so she arranges a marriage, but the fiancée and her father humiliate Aris, who clearly isn’t enthusiastic about Mom’s plans. Meanwhile, Aris’ thoughts are dominated by his worldly wise English teacher Peter (Jacob McCarthy), as he dreams of escaping to a world where he can define his own happiness. It’s tender, poignant, and sweet, with strong performances from the lead actors, who deftly capture the tension between tradition and the modern world outside. Must See.

IMDb pageOfficial websiteInstagram • Twitter: @pria_film • Facebook: PriaShortFilm

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