HollyShorts delivered a very impactful afternoon of movies for their drama category. The series was a layered play of cinematic gravitas that gave rise to themes of complications and romanticized fatalism.
Robert Van Halteren’s movie, “Cigarette”, kicked off the program in a portrait of a suicidal paraplegic in desperate need of a cigarette. The main character, Denise, played by Abigail Wilson, is indifferent to death and her triumph over her complication of getting a cigarette is profound.
A character piece, “Queen”, by Adam Rose, is an artistic rubic’s cube about a transsexual entertainer who desperately wants to adopt a baby but is denied. Her fight to adopt leads her to change roles and take on the appearance of a gay father rather than a transsexual. Rose shows a sign of real love and juxtaposes it with fleeting romance which brings the series to “One Night Stand” by Michael Thai, a short set in Beijing, China. This is a work of precise realism that also imposes a theme of fleeting love, you can see the trailer on YouTube.
Just like the triumph over conflict in the opening movie, “Simone”, directed by Wolfgang Bodison, delivered a one-two punch of triumph. The protagonist, Simone, played by Ingrid Clay, is in a crucible fighting for her livelihood and love interest against her boyfriend’s disapproving parents. The resolution leaves Simone victorious with a baby and a chance to embark on a new life with her boyfriend.
The level of complication reaches an extreme in the closing movie, “Asad”, directed by Bryan Buckley, based in war-torn Somalia. This poetic drama gives the audience a window to the lifestyle of a young Somalian boy who brushes against death. Bryan Buckley lets the dialogue translate a story and softens fatality to help the audience laugh. In the filmmaker’s Q&A, the producer mentions casting and the language barrier were some of the challenges in making the movie, “the cast was really… really a tough thing for our shoot only because there isn’t really a Somali acting community, so…we were shooting in South Africa, we pulled from some of the refugee populations and that is where we got our cast.” The movie received the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and was edified as an expression of hope from the Somalian people.
The festival will be going on at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood until Thursday, August 19. Be sure to visit this film festival for a high-quality moviegoing experience and a star-studded affair. Tickets are available also on their website at HollyShorts.com.