Film Review: MARTINA, OH MARTINA, Spain, Romance/Drama 

Oh to be young and feel the feelings of life for the first time!  MARTINA, OH MARTINA is a story about such times. Martina is a young, quirky girl with her first crush. As that crush entices her, then fails to reciprocate, the world- or, rather, her world, begins to come to a cataclysmic end. A giant meteor is heading for the earth and life as we know it is about to end.

Or at least it is for Martina.

The beautiful thing about this twelve minute quirky-romance-comedy coming to us from director Fatima Martin, is how beautiful it captures the passion of youth. Our sweet, lovable and relatable heroine, Martina, so perfectly encapsulates the familiar feeling of early unrequited love. Not only that, but she also creates a relatable voice for that unique feeling that, without reciprocation for said love, the world will surely come to an end.

Smartly witty, disarmingly charming and boasting excellent casting in choice for Martina, MARTINA, OH MARTINA is the story of adolescence come to life. A  coming-of-age film that delivers on thought, feeling and whimsy, and worth every frame.

Review by Kierston Drier

PLAYED at the January 2018 EUROPEAN Film Festival.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

MARTINA, OH MARTINA, 12min., Spain, Romance/Drama 
Directed by Fatima MartinSandwich: roll or slices of bread with a layer of meat, cheese, or other food between them. Typical or characteristic of those of romantic nature, sensitive to acts of love and destined to die crushed by a big fat comet.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Film Review: CARGO (Netherlands)

Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

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On a lonely ship, in the middle of the North Sea, fourteen men work together for a month. Day and night they sail around oilrigs to provide them of supplies. In this world of fellowship, waves, storms and containers, Frans, an Amsterdam sailor, seems to be at his best. However, the longer the journey lasts, the more it becomes apparent that something essential is missing in this male microcosm at sea. A small film about loneliness and the importance of love.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

CARGO a documentary about love, family and men at sea, will pull on your heart. It follows the 14 men that make up a deep sea water crew, and their time away from their families while out. Gone for long stretches of time, the crew make peace with themselves by reliving their youth, their young loves, talking of their families, their children, their birthdays.

Like any good documentary, the filming team captures moments of the crew where they take no notice of the bulky machine recording their lives. Instead, the camera floats among them like a phantom, seeing the moments they hide from the rest of the world- a birthday shared at sea, a long-lost love, a phone call home to one’s’ children: Daddy will be home soon.

Another remarkable thing about CARGO and to director Marina Meijer’s credit- is the spectacular B-Roll in this piece. Bright colors, remarkable shots and beautiful moments litter this film like gems along the ocean floor. They elevate this piece to a mastery level.

You may never have spent a day at sea, but you will feel the ocean mist on your skin while you watch CARGO.


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Film Review: THE ARK (France)

Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

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A rhino is walking into the ruins of a cathedral under a heavy rain.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

A two minute animation directed by Jean-Baptiste Aziere, The Ark is a powerful, riveting and emotionally provocative piece. Highly symbolic and deeply moving, it follows a Rhino slowly making its’ way to a dilapidated Christian altar where it bows with it’s final breath, then falls to its’ knees. It gives us no answers, asks us no riddles- it is simply a sharp, dramatic piece that will take your breath away.

You may argue that this is a piece about religion, or a piece about spirituality and the animal kingdom, or that it is about environmentalism, you may even argue it has no deeper meaning that what is visually there. But it cannot be denied- this is a film so hauntingly beautiful and so visually rich that once it begins, it demands your attention. Perhaps that is the most symbolic and meaningful part of the entire piece. In a world run by humanity, where things that not human are often ignored in favor of the things that are, there is not a single person in this film. Yet our hero bows like a praying human being, and dies soon after. You cannot help but be moved at the sight, interpret what you will.

THE ARK is a brave cinematic piece. Short, stunning and impactful, this is a piece that carries itself with beauty and deep meaning.


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Film Review: FAREWELL (Switzerland)

Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

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What happens if you want to say goodbye to a loved one but this suddenly no longer find ? The short film “Farewell” tells how want to accompany a group of friends with different characters their deceased friend and brother on a last trip and so much goes wrong.

In bizarre and comical way this short satire will pull you in its spell – and what, if such a thing happened once to me?

Review by Kierston Drier

When we love something, we let it go. Right? It is certainly something we have all been taught. But when you have your buddy’s urn with his ashes in it, you might want to keep it where you know you can find it- just in case. But for five friends charged with the task of caring for their dead friend’s ashes, things don’t go so smoothly.

Enter FAREWELL, a comedy with a curious mixture of strange happenings and humor styles. The dialogue is punchy, the action is raucous and outlandish and the tone is similar to Analyze That with it’s back to back escalation of unbelievable stakes.

Our heroes lose their friend while out to dinner before delivering him to have his ashes scattered. Where they find him? Well they need to backtrack through their steps, stopping at the restaurant, tracking down the waitresses, going through the kitchen and…well things only get more complicated from there.

Boasting some hilarious twists and turns and some great recurring humor, every character in the piece is bright, sharp and full of life. A great piece about learning not to take life too seriously.

Film Review: EAT ME! (Bulgaria)

Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

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Glittering socialite Laura starts slipping from the daily reality of a weight obsessed rich man’s mistress. While on a fancy dinner with her gluttonous lover she enters a strange world where food dances and sings. The whirlwind of dance blows the air out of Laura’s head and she becomes a different type of girl…

How people treat each other is mirrored in the way we treat our environment and our food. That’s why “Eat me” focuses on our attitude to food, its dubious contents and food waste through the prism of a skewed relationship.

Review by Kierston Drier

A twenty minute dive into food and psychology, EAT ME, is an adventurous musical romp telling the tale of a beautiful young woman having dinner with her very hungry partner. She fights the internal battle between craving and self control, as she stares down at various lavish plates sent to their table. Seemingly driven crazy by hungry, she slips slowly into hallucinations- her food literally sprouting legs and dancing in front of her, singing and tempting her to eat them.

She tries desperately to escape her phantom food, but to little avail. They torment her with jazz hands, seamless choreography and painfully catchy tunes. In a desperate attempt to flee her visions, she ends up making a scene, and is escorted outside. She is left in a dumpster, where all unwanted things go. Among piles of forgotten food, she can finally be alone with her thoughts, and give in.

What is interesting about this piece- besides the obvious humor of singing and dancing foodstuffs, is the careful detail in the visuals. Our leading lady is a stunningly flawless beauty, and the plates put before her are equally gorgeous. Yet the film is shot primarily in black and white, with a few choice scenes and items being colored. Seeing the film in black and white acts as a constant distinction between the audience’s’ reality and the story. Until, that is, our heroine lies in a pile of trash. In this scene, the piece is colored naturally- as though her illusions are shattered, and reality has seeped in.

It can be interpreted in any number of ways and that is part of its’ mystique. EAT ME is delightfully fresh, something you want to look for in your films, and well as your food.