The Film Week in Review.

I’m glad I traded my “Reservation Road” and “The Cake Eaters” tickets for some of the less popular films at this year’s WFF.

Here’s what I saw… no regrets.


Christian Pozo’s “Anonymous” was absolutely gorgeous.
The film won Best Director at the 2007 ECU European Independent Film Festival.

“Anonymous” is a love story between a tortured writer and his neighbor.
It’s 20 minutes of magical, dream-like scenes sandwiched between brilliant title sequences, and appropriately minimal dialogue. This avant-garde Spanish film brought tears to the eyes of several audience members at the Hunter Theatre Fri., including mine.

“To Paint the Portrait of a Bird”
Based on a poem by Jacques Prevert, it is Director Seamus McNally’s first film.
15 minutes was entirely too long for this ‘short’, although I rather enjoyed listening to the ten year old narrator’s speech impediment. Just darling.

“The Letter” was remarkable. The short tells the tale of a Russian soldier who decides to test the loyalty of his wife– whom he hasn’t seen in two years.
It’s a 15 minute historical piece focusing on trust, betrayal and commitment and
I just read that it won BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the Rhode Island International Film Festival this past August.
Matvei Zhivov is one to watch.

“The Hunter” is based on a short story by one of my favorite writers, Tobias Wolff and directed by Ohio native Benjamin Grey. The film is his MFA thesis for the Columbia U School of the Arts. “The Hunter” is shot in 35mm, lending to the classic nature of the story. My favorite part of this short was the acting. The characters deal with the fairly unique challenge of delivering a sort of atypical cause and effect– which is hard to find in a good film these days, in my opinion.

Here’s a few thoughts on some of the NARRATIVE FEATURES:

“Night of the Living Jews”
What would a film festival in 2007 be without a Zombie flick?
What can I say?
Bearsville Theatre was packed and the laughter was so loud, I didn’t know who was providing the entertainment, the audience or the film.

“Trigger Man”

Ti West is responsible for making me suffer the following (and I think in this particular order, too):
Dizziness…weakened knees…sobbing…nausea…paranoia…the opposite of Delusions of Grandeur (trust me, you’ll know what I mean when you see it).
The slow-burn suspense really works in this 80 minute narrative.


“Black, White and Gray”
A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Directed by James Crump and narrated by the chilly Joan Juliet Buck, the film examines the lives of legendary curator Sam Wagstaff and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
This film made me feel like I was back in grad school again, only this was an enjoyable art-history lesson.
Crump focuses a bit much on Wagstaff; I wanted to know more about Mapplethorpe’s dirty secrets.
On second thought, I doubt he had any…
I enjoyed Patti Smith’s stories of the trio’s friendship the most. I love her.
“F**K THE CLOCK”, baby.


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