Film Review: THE WRITER’S WOMAN, Mexico, Romance/Drama

Hot and smoldering with intensity, THE WRITERS WOMAN is a piece about love, jealousy, and control. This 23 minute mexican film coming to us from director Leslie Aldana, is a masterful work of cinematic seduction.

Our heroine is in love with her husband. Her husband is in love with her. But he also has affairs. So she decides to have one of her own, with a beautiful woman he has been eyeing. And when the three all get together at last the tension is equal parts sexually exciting and painfully tense.

What is so vibrant about this film isn’t just the slowly burning sexual fire ever present within the characters, or the fantastic performances, or even the larger free-love philosophy constrained by societal stigma. What is fascinating is that this story revolves around a mature relationship- a couple that has been married decades. Unlike young love, so prone to jealousy and heartbreak, this relationship has stood the test of time and still falls victim to the fears and insecurities that claim so many young lovers. What THE WRITERS WOMAN reminds us, in its own tragic, beautiful and sensual way, is that we are never too old to hurt. Exceptional performances and gorgeously composed, THE WRITERS WOMAN will take your breath away.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

THE WRITER’S WOMAN, 23min., Mexico, Romance/Drama
Directed by Leslie Aldana

At the end of the 1940s, the poetess Helena is the couple of acclaimed writer Martin. She constantly knows that Martin has had different lovers, before the anguish of losing him decides to seduce the one who could become the next lover. A game of power and jealousy is transformed into a new love story, which fades the search for a structured love imposed by society for a free love regardless of gender.

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Film Review: 116, USA, Romance/Experimental 

A beautiful mature woman wakes up in a hotel with a beautiful young man. Sounds great yes? Certainly. What follows is an sizzling experimental romantic piece- the dialogue utilizing only lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets. 116, directed by Julia Campanelli, will delight a Shakespeare lover. And if you are not a lover of Shakespeare, then you will love the rich and sumptuous details loving woven into this piece. It sizzles and crackles with sexual energy and rich and lush sense of heavy dramatic style.

Being and experimental film, it is best to go into 116 with an open mind, as it is highly interpretive. We do not know the relationship of the man and woman (although we can guess, wink, wink) There sensual, passionate, dramatic yet playful struggles are not made overtly clear by the use of the minimalist interpretive scripts of Shakespeare’s sonnets. But 116 is a delight to watch. It has intensity, romance and sparkles with lust. Who wouldn’t love it?

116, 15min., USA, Romance/Experimental 
Directed by Julia CampanelliLove – no bed of roses.
A woman wakes up in a hotel room with a younger man at her side. She insists he leave, he resists, and the struggle begins.

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Film Review: GOD CAME ‘ROUND, Italy, Romance/Comedy 

This five minute romantic comedy from Italy is a bizarrely literal take on a music video. Sandeep (Deep Roy), a flower peddler who can’t catch a break, falls passionately in love with a beautiful passerby he believes to be the girl of his dreams. She, however, doesn’t feel the same way. Sandeep is dragged through depression, hope, despair and desperation while trying to win her affections.

Utterly hilarious with its vibrance, literal comedy and the wonderful performance stylings of Deep Roy, GOD CAME ROUND will make you laugh. A comical trip worthy of watching for its absurdist comic style and total commitment to literal humor. The piece sparkles with Deep Roy as the star and Derek Fey’s direction is sharp and effective. A film to sure to entertain.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

GOD CAME ‘ROUND, 5min, Italy, Romance/Comedy 
Directed by Derek Frey Down on his luck flower seller Sandeep (played by Deep Roy) pines to make a connection with the girl of his dreams.

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Film Review: THE WEDDING SONG, Romance. USA

This 13 minute romantic drama from the USA, is a charming and bright film about temptation, love and the power of music. When soon-to-be-married Mae decides to write a song for her husband for their wedding day she enlists the help of an old classmate to teach her to play the ukulele. But her new teacher Johnnie and her soon strike up a close and endearing friendship and quickles begins to sparkle with a tantalizing sexual energy. Equal parts innocent and dangerous, the two carry on their music lessons, all the while pursuing a goal of writing a love song- for the groom we never get to see.

Beautifully shot, fantastically performed and boasting an exceptional soundtrack, THE WEDDING SONG has the ability to do something all short films should strive to do- make you think. While we root for the lovers we see on the screen (Johnnie and Mae), we wriggle with discomfort for the relationship suspended in jeopardy (Mae and her fiance). Do they ever cross a line? You’ll have to watch and find out. THE WEDDING SONG will make you laugh, make your heart skip a beat, make you feel and most importantly- make you think.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

THE WEDDING SONG, 13min, USA, Romance/Drama 
Directed by Thia Schuessler & Rex New

When bride-to-be Mae hits a wall writing a song for her future husband, she solicits the guidance of her musician friend Johnnie, who helps her find the inspiration she was lacking.

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Film Review: EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY, (USA, Romance)

We all want a fairytale ending. Fairytales are not always being swept away to a castle to live a life of luxury. Sometimes a fairy tale is simply loving someone effortlessly, without fear of repercussion. Enter EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY. A love story about two high school boys in love. Although they belong to different faiths, and although one family is pleased and the other disapproving- their love is unchanged.

What is so special about this sweet, simple and beautiful film is that is speaks to something every person, from every walk of life can understand. That love makes you invincible, impervious to pain. Moments exist in our chaotic and terrifying world that save us from losing our minds- they are moments born out of love. They are moments that make fairytales things of reality. EASY A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY is about moments like these.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

 

EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY, 3min., USA, Romance/Drama 
Directed by Robert GuthrieTwo high school guys are in love. One’s Christian. One’s Jewish. A father disapproves – the other’s parents are thrilled. Who cares that it’s not perfect? They got this.

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Film Review: WHAT IF?…. (Hungary, Romance)

Hot with wit and hitting the ground running, WHAT IF…? Is a romantic drama from Hungary directed by Balazs Juszt. It follows a long-parted couple who now meet to pick up their children from dance class. The children they have with other people. The first part of their tale is the world where they recount what might have been- a romance they shared that died too soon, paths that parted too early and the fleeting promise of the world they could have had together. Sexy, witty and filled with sparkling dialogue the two dance the dance of lovers who knew each other once upon a time. The second half, however, shows what the world would be like for them had they stayed together. In this reality, their relationship is no less passionate, but it is ten times darker and more filled with tension. These are the lovers who have had their young love eroded away by a year after year of unaddressed problems.

WHAT IF is a story about never knowing the truth- but instead seeing the polar extremes of possibilities- the world of what might have been at odds with the world that was never meant to be. So what is the world are lovers really live in? What is their happy medium? That, is for the audience to decide.

Gripping, sensual and full to bursting with palpable emotion, WHAT IF…? Is a strong and engaging film. Spectacular performances make this film a powerhouse to watch.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

WHAT IF…?, 14min., Hungary, Romance/Drama
Directed by Balazs Juszt

When it comes to relationships, everyone has a story. Whether it’s the one that is, the one that could have been or the one that never was meant to be – one thing is for certain: we can only tell after the fact, and then it’s too late. Then we’re left to wonder, what if…?

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Film Review: VIOLET AND JUNE (Romance)

VIOLET AND JUNE, a six minute Canadian Rom-Com from director Linnea  Ritland, is a delightful and charming in every way a Rom-Com should be. Endlessly popping with color and fun, the tone falls somewhere between the more lighthearted moments in Juno and the more whimsical moments of any great Wes Anderson piece.

Violet is in love. And all the wonderful oh-so-familiar romantic feelings that come along with being in love plague her. Except she is in love with her best friend June. Who has a boyfriend and is otherwise totally unaware of Violet’s affections. Doom, despair and melancholy will follow Violet as she falls into the vibrant and artistic world of her mind’s’ eye, and wrestles with her feelings.

VIOLET AND JUNE is a sweet, simple and utterly adorable comedy about coming out and coming of age. A playful and wonderful romp into the world young love.

Review by Kierston Drier

Film played at the 2018 ROMANCE Film Festival on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto, Canada

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

VIOLET AND JUNE, 6min., Canada, Romance/Comedy
Directed by Linnea RitlandViolet & June is a short film about falling in love, the terror of being alive in a cold heartless universe, and butts.

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