Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wholphin Issue 8|
Actor: Creed Bratton
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 06/30/2009
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meg | santa monica, california | 06/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is some stuff here that can try a person's patience. Watching James Franco spend a half hour wreaking violent damage on a bedroom as performance art will no doubt provide humor &/or catharsis for some. Frankly I just found it tiring. McSweeney's impresario Dave Eggers conceived and directed this, and companion versions with comic Maria Bamford and actor Creed Bratton.
I actively loathed the short written by and starring indie rock star Carlos Dengler from Interpol. Was it because it seems like a third-rate David Lynch knockoff? The written intro accompanying the disc makes a point of declaring "Carlos is no dilettante," and maybe you, too, will find his film "exquisite" and a "meticulously crafted, surrealist dreamscape." Oh, well. I still like his band.
While these left me cool, I found myself warming to other films in the collection. "Short Term 12" is set inside the world of residential treatment for "at-risk youth" or "troubled teens" or some such catch-phrase. Written and directed by someone who worked in just such a facility, it feels realistic and intimate. Maybe especially as a first-generation Buzzcocks fan, I was charmed by the humor and tart sweetness of the teen story in "Love You More." I guess I should warn that this contains nudity and "frank sexuality." North Korea's politics and propaganda provide genuine, real-world surrealism in "Great Man and Cinema."
I was most affected by two shorts examining poverty, wealth, and class structure from a child's perspective. One of these -- "kids + money" -- may make you feel ill as adolescents from different economic backgrounds in Los Angeles discuss their views on wealth and belonging. Sobering as a hard slap in the face, it reinforces your worst fears about the world we've created. I've read reactions which seem to blame it for the issues it illustrates or the nausea it induces, but this is a sharp and nuanced film. Even more heartbreaking is "Hidden," the story of a boy from Peru living as an illegal immigrant in Sweden. It's animated, but the filmmakers let him tell his story himself."