Well, pumpkins, your Unkster has been sick like unto a dog with a severe cold. But, as Brother Kipling once said, "the Service accepts not a 'but' or an 'if'", and the wheels of Cinemadom roll over my poor phlegm-wracked frame like a Juggernaut. I know you turn with anxious eyes to my succinct opinions over what and what not to see, and what can I say? You've got the Chinese obligation on me.
Especially with the Charleston International Film Festival practically at our doorstep. By now you've all purchased your passes, selected your premier gala gowns and tuxes, made limo arrangements . . . this, that and the other.
But what to see? There's the question being begged.
Well, let's just cast a rheumy eye or two over the schedule and see if anything of interest pops up.
3 Mile Limit
Sort of sounds like a New Zealand version of Curtis' "Pirate Radio", but perhaps involving a much more intimate storyline here. In 1965, journalist Richard Davis wants to break the government's monopoly on broadcasting while, at the same time, maintaining a relationship with the woman he loves. As with "Pirate Radio" this is also based on a true story, and looks rather promising.
Harry Grows Up
A 12 minute short from Mark Nickelsburg dealing with how difficult it is to find true love in New York City. Especially if you're only eighteen months old and are on your own.
A lot of interesting looking short films are appearing at this year's festival, and this looks as if it might be the pick of the crop. I would personally move Heaven and Earth to see this simply on the basis of the description.
Into the Silent Sea
Yes, yes, yes . . . we all know that I'm a sucker for SF films. Well, someone has to be. Here we have the East Coast premiere of a 25-minute film by Andrej Lantin. Alexander is a cosmonaut adrift in orbit. His life support is fading and his communications system is wonky. Meanwhile, back on Earth, an Italian radio engineer begins picking up a voice from space.
Call this one "Gravity Without Tears".
OK . . . another East Coast premiere, and another science-fiction short film. Love 'em! Love 'em! Love 'em with melted butter on top!
Preston Peterson and Jason Boesch bring us a 19-minute story about an experiment which, on the one hand, promises momentous results. On the other hand, however, there's an ethical dilemma attached. Sounds lean and watchable.
Brian Hartley brings us a 20-minute drama about one Randall "Mama's Boy" Burke: a black baseball player trying to break into the big (i.e. white) leagues back in 1935. As it turns out, there's more than just segregation that's keeping him from making it big time.
Me + Her
Next to SF short films, independently produced animation is what does it for me. At first glance this looks as if someone has brought us "Fandango Commercial: The Motion Picture". But actually it's a 12-minute production by Joseph Oxford. Jack and Jill are two inhabitants of Cardboard City. When Jill dies, Jack has to go on a journey to mend his broken heart. Another one I'd make every possible effort to go see.
The Masque of the Red Death
OK . . . after SF short films and animation it's adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe stories which get me to stand in line.
This is a "work-in-progress" music video by Stephen Boatright, so Festival audiences are apparently being offered only a smidgen . . . a soupcon, as it were. But, in the first place, it's not as if we don't already know how the story comes out. And, in the second place, any halfway literate attempt to bring Poe to the screen should be welcomed with open arms.
The Doll Dilemma
A 10-minute film by Jacob Rosdail about a woman agonizing over whether or not to get rid of an extensive collection of dolls. I don't know about you, pumpkins, but I can sort of sympathize with our protagonist's plight, and I feel this would definitely be worth looking at.