Theodore Collatos’s latest short is one that is positioned as an origin, of sorts, for his upcoming feature-length film, Tormenting the Hen (which I covered here); an influential starting point that informs a certain segment of his feature, specifically, as variations of
Another restoration is slated for the screen, this time premiering at Quad Cinema this July 14th, by way of Rialto Pictures, is Andrzej Zulawski’s L’important C’est D’aimer from 1975 in what is being billed as the “U.S. Theatrical Premiere Engagement of the film.” Up until this point in time, the best way in which to view this particular Zulawski would be an imported copy from Mondo Vision paired with an all-region player.
Maybe it’s nothing more than a nod to Noboru Tanaka’s 1972 film, The Night of the Felines. Perhaps, something was lost in translation or there is a cultural disconnect but as it stands to me now, in the present, Dawn of the Felines contains an absolute dearth of redeeming qualities.
On the surface, writer/director Christopher Jason Bell’s short film, left, appears to be a rudimentary walkthrough of a very basic premise - a young woman roaming an airport; and to a certain extent, this is true. It is, in its entirety, nothing more than a young woman wandering through the confines of an airport while attempting to arrange a place for herself to stay. However, it is within this elementary narrative framework that Bell experiments with the role of the camera as well as a minimum allowance in terms of narrative.
This edition of Unsung Indies marks the first time a director has been featured for a second time for their work. In this particular case it is directors, plural; as in, Ahmed Khawaja and Andre Puca, whose first film together, KWAK or Kassandra with a K, was not only a film I featured here but also one that I consider to be one of the best films of the current decade. Their second feature-length collaboration, AP & AK, is a natural extension of KWAK, another chapter entry in the diary film saga of their friendship.
The mystifying nature of The Missing Sun works well in maintaining a certain level of captivation since no developments nor actions are alluded to in any noticeable way. There is an unpredictability to it all that is able to keep interest levels piqued. Although, there is a sense that that same fog of stimulation slowly condenses over time, occupying and obstructing the path to insight through obfuscation. Which opens the door to questioning the ambiguity present; its structure, an appearance that once indicated careful construction starts to look more hurried in its creation and semi-neglected in its development as the film moves forward. That the ambiguity that sustained interest in the beginning was not cultivated nor curated with consideration but more so a happenstance formation born out of narrative absences.
After an extensive run on the festival circuit Alice Waddington’s debut film, Disco Inferno, has made its’ way to the general public; now available through Amazon and Vimeo On Demand. It’s not often that a director gets the ability to showcase their debut - let alone one that also happens to be a 12-minute short - in front of 63 individual, international festival audiences. Not to mention, being awarded on 10 separate occasions on top of those 63 inclusions. What’s even better is the fact that those 10 awards amongst 63 inclusions are justifiable considering the talent on display within those 12 minutes.
Tension abounds in writer/director Theodore Collatos’s latest feature, Tormenting the Hen, as nearly every discussion and/or interaction is laced with potential avenues providing offense and/or judgments, even the more inconspicuous and trivial subjects up for discussion harbor the possibility of illuminating surprising truths and viewpoints. With his script, Collatos has crafted a proverbial minefield for his characters to navigate, one that is laden with opportunities to weaponize any and all words and the hazards of crafting conclusions about others with incomplete information.
Introspection is not an easy task in private, let alone in public; it isn’t rare either, although, one’s introspection is usually shrouded in narrative creations to dampen and/or conceal its full extent. But, Arnow’s particular brand of introspection is of the splayed-open-for-all-to-see variety, which can be jarring at times given the breadth of intimate interactions she’s willing to share with the audience. Much of it seems ill-advised, but then again, who are we to judge. This is the director’s life, they’re making the decisions (for the most part) and one gets the sense that Arnow is doing this for herself mostly, we’re just spectating bystanders.
Alice Waddington’s horror short about Mephistopheles, Disco Inferno, is now available on Vimeo on Demand, as well as Amazon (also available on Amazon in Japan, Germany, and the UK). Waddington’s short was featured on my Undistributed and Honorable Mentions list from 2015 where I described it as “a 12-minute horror short profuse with striking imagery (in black and white), Waddington’s short informs us that we desperately need an Alice Waddington feature as soon as possible.”