NYC Independent Film Festival Reviews

Part 1 Reviews: DYING ART, SELL YOUR BODY, SLIP UP, STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER!

 

DYING ART
Directed by: Brendan Kelly
Written by Brendan Kelly
Starring Brendan Kelly
Australia | 2017, 8 min

Cast: Brendan Kelly, Colin Giles, Shanie-Lee Smith, Michael Ubrihien, Scott Bowcher, Amy Gilmore, Dave Turner

Cameron, played by Director-Writer Brendan Kelly, is about to appear in the final scene of a movie showing him being pushed off a steep cliff. As Cameron prepares for his death scene, suspicion grips him.

He sees no safety net at the bottom of the cliff. There are no safety pulleys attached to him (that could be digitally removed in post production). No other precautions to protect him from the fall. Rather, harbingers of the next few minutes of his jump come to him in squirts of innuendos and intimations. His subconscious is picking up on clues that his conscious mind is keeping at a distance. He’s like a bungee jumper being encouraged by comrades to jump, and he’s still waiting for bungee cables to be attached – and he begins to wonder what the hell is going on.

DYING ART audiences don’t need Rod Sterling to tell them something wicked this way comes. Cameron conveys his fears to his director, played by Colin Giles, whose beguiling rapt about trust and dignity and honor to actors who work for him is eloquently seductive, and, in this reviewer’s pinion, a piece of the pièce de résistance making DYING ART a must-see.

Cameron’s Darwinian solution to the predicament he perceives, reminds me, in sort of a wry way, of BAMBI MEETS GODZILLA. It’s a bit of a reach but …

DYING ART is a very slick short.

From IMDB: Brendan Kelly is an actor and writer, known for ACCEPTANCE (2014), SOCIAL MEDIA DUEL (2015) and ME AND MY MATES VS. THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015).

 


 

SELL YOUR BODY
Directed by: Jaanelle Yee
Cast: Nadira Foster-Williams, Pauline Sherrow, Menuhin Hart

 

Eleven minutes of sassy filmmaking  about a medical student, a very zany Nadira Foster-Williams, playing a desperate Hannah who dropped out of med school, is burden with student debt and desperate, absolutely desperate, about keeping her parents in the dark about her destitute situation. Necessity the mother of invention? Hannah takes it to the next level.

For this low budget film – Director Jaanelle Yee said at the film festival that it was her SVA thesis film – Yee uses minimalistic cinematography strategies for the sagacious use of space and lightning and wisely selected props for important scenes, like Hannah’s soliloquy as she slaves as a bartender, the nightclub where, via an app, she meets up with a swinging couple (or a couple that thinks it’s swinging) that accept her invitation for a ménage à trois back at the apartment where her feral plan for financial redemption and salvation (her salvation not theirs) is revealed – at the couple’s expense, of course. Darwin would appreciate Hannah’s survival of the fittest strategy. So, would Hannibal Lecter.

Considerable creative thinking went into this surprising accomplishment by Yee and her crew and cast. Will the student film eventually evolve into a feature film? The elements certainly are there. Check out Yee’s site: https://www.jaanelle.com/

 


 

SLIP UP
Directed by: Ben Clark
Writers: Samuel Bailey, Ben Clark
5 Minutes

A jogger on the track of a college stadium comes upon a thief rifling her bag she left on a bench. She intrepidly bears down on him, a confrontation in the making, and, unaware of the cruel fate awaiting her, she – oops – slips, hits her head on the ground and dies. The thief, a pimply-face millennial with glasses and a baseball hat, tall and skinny, encounters misadventure after misadventure as he tries to dispose of her body – he too unaware of the fate awaiting him.

Saying any more would be a spoiler so check out this link.


Slip Up from samuel bailey on Vimeo.
 


 

STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER! (ETAT D’ALERTE SA MERE!)
Belgium, 6 minutes.
Subtitles: English
Directed by: Sébastien Petretti

Publicity and other reviews describe STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER! as a wacky, surrealistic film with a thematic mission calling out racial profiling, police violence and invasion of privacy. The short is draped in a running gag of two working-class lotharios in a dystopian society where they motor-mouth publicly to each other about sexual conquests even as cops are cracking down on them – literally – but they don’t stop talking.

In the hands of other directors, a film like STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER! would be pretty silly and way over the top – and, possibly, boring – but Director Petretti and his characters Sammy and Mehdi let us know that we don’t have to m*therfu*king suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the film.

STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER! opens with Samy and Mehdi stuffing their faces with kebabs as Samy recalls with lascivious gusto his conquests from his latest assignation. The police move in! Samy and Mehdi ignore them. STATE OF EMERGENCY MOTHERFUCKER! oozes slapstick comedy laced with a lot of menace that teases the brain, that’s for sure. The brothers-for-getting-it-on are in rapture as they keep talking and Medhi wants to know if his Sammy scored.

This reviewer just didn’t get the social-theme-pitch – and he doesn’t  care. With that said, check out the trailer that follows – and then the m*therfu*king spoiler right below it if you dare.

 

 

Spoiler Alert! Click here if you dare.

 

Gregg Morris can be reached at gmorris@hunter.cuny.edu

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