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.

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

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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…?

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

Film Review: HONEYMOON, Switzerland, Romance

A simple, sweet and heartwarming three-minute comedy coming from Switzerland by director Anaelle Morf, HONEYMOON is about a middle aged man and woman who meet at a bar. Over drinks, dancing and flirting the two rush off to find a quiet place to get some more personal time together. When they finally stumble home, slightly drunkenly, it is revealed they are not having a one-night stand. They are a married couple trying to add some spark to their marriage.

While the story may have been seen before, this film carries its own special type f  heartwarming quality. As our couple get interrupted from their evening of fun by the appearance of their child running into the living room- we do not get a sense that their stale marriage is on the rocks. What we feel instead, is that this date night was an attempt at a romantic adventure- but not an adventure they really needed to take. Who needs to pretend to be someone else, when they are happy with who they are? Getting interrupted from their fantasy wasn’t a evening ruined- it was a reminder that they’ve already built a life they don’t need a vacation from.

Romance is not only for the young and single. Romance exists, and lives well, in anyone who loves. And love knows no age. Well done, HONEYMOON, well done.

Review by Kierston Drier

PLAYED at the January 2018 EUROPEAN Film Festival.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

HONEYMOON, 3min., Switzerland, Romance 
Directed by Anaelle MorfA man and a woman meet in a bar for the first time.

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

Movie Review: WAJOOD (SELFHOOD) (India) LGBT, Drama/Romance

Played at the June 2017 LGBT Toronto Film Festival

Directed by Vishal Srivastava

Revolves around a young hijra’s (trans-woman) life, who seems to fancy herself with an auto-rickshaw driver. When confronted by the elders of her community about her unrealistic expectations, she goes on a quest to know if somebody will ever fall in love with her or is this thought as naive as told by everyone around her? 

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

Review by Kierston Drier

WAJOOD, or Selfhood, is a powerful short coming to us from Indian by director Vishal Srivastava. Bright with colors and boasting gorgeous cinematography, this piece sheds light on a little known part of Indian culture. The Hijra, known as the Third Gender, are a community of transwomen who are often misunderstood and shunned in society.

Yet WAJOOD takes a look at this section of society kind, compassionate and sensitive eyes. We follow our heroine through her emotional journey of dissecting her sense of self. She pines for the attractive rickshaw driver near her community, and wakes every morning to watch him. But her community members remind her that there is no future for people like herself. Her fate has been determined- she is not to be understood, and not to find conventional love. Her life, will be a lonely one. Yet a kind stranger will change her mind about what it means to be who she is.

What make WAJOOD special is it’s bravery. It tackles a topic worthy of discussion, about a group deserving of attention. More than that, it stands before adversity and shouts for recognition. But it will charm you as it does so. It will charm you with its stunning images, it’s entrancing music and it’s’ undeniably lovable and sympathetic main character.

If you watch WAJOOD, you may not identify with my main character right away, but you will love her. WAJOOD reminds us that we are far more similar that we are different.

wajood_movie_poster.jpg

Film Review: HORSE PARADE (Puerto Rico)

Played at the November 2016 Best of Under 5 Minute FEEDBACK Film Festival.

  MOVIE POSTERHORSE PARADE, 1min., Puerto Rico, Romance/Experimental
Directed by Otavio Pacheco

In a chess game the black horse and the white queen fall in love, and then the white horse starts a dispute for her love.

REVIEW by Kierston Drier: 

HORSE PARADE is a delightful stop-action experimental romance with a twist. It shows a chessboard where the White Queen and Black Horse have fallen in love in a sort of musical, a-typical dance.

 

Full of rich symbology, HORSE PARADE shows two characters that throw aside the rules of regulations of their universe and step beyond the bounds of their reality, to join each other in dance. Their dance soon entrances the other chess pieces, who cease their game to stand on the sides of the board to watch them. Shades and piece mingle, lines are crossed and sides are discredited, all for the sake of the dance between the Horse and the Queen.

 

This could be a piece about love without boundaries, as the Queen and Horse have a variety of obstacles- they are from opposing sides, they are of different values (Queen being greater than Horse in value), they have different roles within the society which is their world. This story, totally wordlessly and with only music and motion, shows how love can end the fighting. A beautiful metaphor for anyone watching.

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Movie Review: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST (Canada 2016) **

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

portrait_of_a_serial_monogamistPORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST (Canada 2014) **
Directed by Christina Zeidler and John Michell

Starring: Robin Duke, Masa Lizdek, Grace Lynn Kung

Review by Gilbert Seah

This spritely romantic relationship comedy is exactly what the title promises. It is the story of monogamist, Elsie (Diane Flacks), in her thirties who cannot, no matter how much she tries change her ways. A slight twist to the story is that Elsie is a lesbian.

When the film begins, Elsie has just broken up with her girlfriend, Robyn (Carolyn Taylor). Robyn has not taken the breakup too easily. It is tough for them to remain friends without fighting.

Meanwhile, Elsie has a fling or two while trying to survive her job was aTV producer after a corporate takeover. She is offered advice from friends and family. As the saying goes: “Everyone has a advice and everyone is full of sh**”

That is basically what the entire film is about. It is pretty boring for those who cannot connect with the main character. Whether one does depends, but to Flacks, credit, she is not a bad actress.

The film is shot in Toronto and the directors are proud of the fact. Torontonians will recognize familiar sights like the local streets, streetcars and buildings. The film also showcases local musical and art talent.

Diane Flacks inhabits her role comfortably, passing off as a desperate lesion trying not to be desperate. She creates a likeable character and a very human one. She is pretty though not overtly pretty and smart, though human enough to make mistakes and smart enough to recognize them. She takes a little time to figure out what she wants. In other words, she is a normal person, a nice Jewish girl from Toronto (as she describes herself) in the ordinary sense. Of the supporting cast, Robin Duke stands out as Elsie’s mother, a nice Jewish woman from Montreal.

The film ends up an ok watch, but there is nothing exceptional about the film, which is a shame. Everyone tries very hard, as is evident in the last scene of the cat funeral. During the cat funeral, Elsie and Robyn have it out amidst the ceremony. It is definitely a far-fetched scene that is funny at parts, but feels too artificial.

There are no sex scenes, thanks goodness for that! The actresses are pretty but not sexy enough that the audience would like to watch them doing it in the nude. The kissing scenes are sufficient and short.

PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST, made in 2014 finally reaches the big screen after making its round across the country’s LGBT festival circuit. The film is unlikely to become a big hit, but its target audience is clearly the LGBT festival audience and maybe the local Toronto art scene.

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Movie Review of the short film “Submerged”

“Submerged” played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2015, part of its best of horror/thriller short film lineup. It received rave reviews from the audience winning two awards: Best Overall Performance and Best Original Score.

SUBMERGED, 15min, UK, Haunting/Romance
Directed by Darren Mapletoft

When a teleportation experiment goes wrong, submariner Billy Bourne finds his crewmates have all disappeared. Determined to dance with his ‘Baby’ again, he faces a race against time to make his own escape.

SUBMERGED Movie Review by Amanda Lomonaco

WARNING! DO NOT watch this film if you are claustrophobic. I am only very minimally scared of cramped spaces but I am TERRIFIED of being buried alive, and of course this film brought out both those elements together perfectly. Again, as a lover of horror, mystery, thriller, and all things Halloween-esque, I was still able to throroughly enjoy this flick despite my continuous sense of discomfort. In fact I suspect it was Darren Mapletoft’s ability to make me feel so thoroughly uncomfortable that made me enjoy the film so much.

The great thing about the cinema is that it allows us to feel things that we would otherwise never experience in our daily lives. It allows us to embody someone else’s experience if only for a few minutes, and escape from our own world in the safety of the theathre’s seats. Even if what we experience is a series of negative emotions, when it’s all over you come out of it just a little more grateful for your own life, and appreciative of the fact that it’s not half so bad as what you just felt.

Submerged was definitely one of those experiences. One commentator described perfectly the feeling that throughout the film you felt like you were gasping for air. As the oxygen began to run out in the submarine I felt my throat constricting and found myself involuntarily conserving my breaths.

The story itself is quite beautiful, and you spend the entirely short cheering for the young couple, hoping that they’ll find each other again. Some people were a little confused by the ending, but most felt that they enjoyed the fact that it was somehow both open ended and finite. You could draw your own conclusion from it, and it was somehow still satisfying enough that you weren’t left too confused, or overly skeptical.

Submerged was a fantastic way for WILDSound to finish its October line-up, and if nothing else it certainly helped increase my lung capacity. Those averse to soppy love stories, science fiction, tight enclose spaces, or being buried alive, may not quite enjoy this film as throroughly as I did. Then again, maybe you’re a bit of a lunatic like me and enjoy suffering for the purpose of your own entertainment. Give it a try, you might learn something new about yourself.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK for SUBMERGED: