Friday, September 25, 2015

NYFF Shorts Program 1: International

I've been covering the New York Film Festival as a member of the press for six years. I have been attending it for 25 years. I say this because when I talk about this collection of shorts I want you to know I have a lot of years behind me  when I say what I'm about to say.

This year instead of two mish mashed shorts collections they are doing four collections broken up into four selections, Genre (actually horror),  Animation, New York and International. This is the way they should have been doing it all along. I applaud the programmers for finally getting it right.

While I love that they are splitting the films up, I really wish they had rethought the International collection because quite frankly it's got some of the least necessary shorts ever to play NYFF as far as I'm concerned. With a couple of them I really have to wonder what anyone saw in them. There are so many good shorts out there these were the best that they could come up with with an international flavor? Yes one is great, and one is interesting but the rest have no place at the New York Film Festival.

La novia de Frankenstein concerns a girl in Argentina who is renting apartments to English speaking tourists. She's also running scams on the side. Its kind of a weird shaggy dog story that is amusing but has no point what so ever.

MONACO- Burn this f-ing movie. Nothing happens. A kid wanders around going into car repair places, picks up his sister, works on his car and does donuts in the desert. That's it. there is no explanation- just stuff. They explain nothing, and after the screening I read the write up and went "well none of that is on the screen". Everyone at the screening I talked to hated it and debated why it was being shown.

CARRY ON- absolute winner. This is a truly great film about a farmer who can't bring himself to part with his sick donkey. moving touching and wonderful.

Marea de Tierra-disjointed story telling about a girl who has broken up with her boyfriend is wrecked by the way the story is told- via a voice over- which turns out to be someone else telling a similar story.

THE MAD HALF HOUR- is 20 minutes long. A huge shaggy dog WTF about Juan and his boyfriend who can't commit and the weird people they meet. It doesn't end it just stops dead for no reason. I will say some of it is really funny in a "what the hell is that" sort of a way. (Bonus points to the film because the central relationship just is)

I know I'll get in trouble for this but this is one collection you can skip (which pains me to say because CARRY ON is so damn good, and MAD HALF HOUR is crazy enough to be interesting). Go see any of the others they are much better.

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