Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Oxford Shorts: The Cut, Living with HIV, Fiddler's Green, Bookin, Mo' Bout Joe

A mixed collection of shorts includes one of the best of the fest, THE CUT, with some others that have their moments.

THE CUT (2016)
Truly great portrait of a hairdresser named Rodrigo who tells us his philosophy of life, of cutting hair and human nature.One the truly great films of the year. A perfect blending of image, music and dialog. I would love the film to be longer but I have no idea how it would ever work because Rodrigo says his piece and gets off and we are so much better as human beings for having seen it.

Television documentary about the AIDS crisis in the deep south and Mississippi in particular where 80% of new cases involve people of color.  A good informational film but much too clinical and official to be truly compelling. For me other similar films such as WILHEMINA'S WAR which premiered last year at DOC NYC or DEEP SOUTH which played Human Rights Watch Film Festival in 2013 are much better looks at the problem and may actually move you to do something.

A music video for Cary Hudson's song Fiddler's Green which concerns the place you go when you're not goo enough for heavan nor bad enough for hell. Its a lovely song and the visuals are largely Hudson performing it with a fiddler.

BOOKIN (2015)
Two ballet dancers meet two jookers and talk about the differences in their dance styles. Then they dance together at a juke joint. I'm of two minds concerning the film. The opening discussions and explanation of the dancing and the music is very good but running about 13 of the films 18 minutes it's too much. The dance piece, when it finally comes together is stunning though much too short. I really wish the film had either been just the dancing or had instead had an equal amount of just dance.

Portrait of outsider artist Joe Wren. Its a look at  how his art documents the events of not only his life but also of the community in Mississippi in which he lives. Its an excellent look at a man and his art as well a really good introduction to what outsider art is and it's importance not only artistically but culturally as well.

For tickets and more information go here

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