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

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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.

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

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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.

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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: BOLD GREEN, Germany, Romance/Drama

BOLD GREEN, a twenty-eight minute coming-of-age comedy about young Alja, who dreams of being an astronaut but is terrified of heights. Terrified of not having her feet on the ground and yet longing to soar above the clouds she seeks help from her friend to face her fears. Ironically though her friend is suffering from MS and everyday for him is a roulette game of debilitating symptoms.

What transpires is a story of love and friendship, humor and poignancy, fear and triumph.   Brightly shot with homage paid to the whimsy of youth, BOLD GREEN is a heartfelt and multi-layered story. There is a charm in its’ composition- the characters are complex, but their goals are simple. Each main character has a rich past and a future full of hurdles, but their dreams are innocent, pure and full of enthusiasm. BOLD GREEN is a film where we watch two young people take the first tentative steps out of childhood and into the rest of their lives.

A lovely blend of comedy, romance and overcoming obstacles, BOLD GREEN is a family film not to miss.

Review by Kierston Drier

PLAYED at the January 2018 EUROPEAN Film Festival.

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BOLD GREEN, 28min., Germany, Romance/Drama 
Directed by Selon FischerAlja just finished school and wants to be an astronaut, despite her fear of heights. Together with her best friend Konrad, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis, she trains to achieve her goal.

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

Under 5min: DATE TO THE CINEMA, 4min, USA, Romance/Drama

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

DATE TO THE CINEMA, 4min, USA, Romance/Drama
Directed by Giovanni Ferrari

Share the inner thoughts of a young man at the very fist date with a woman.CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

This 4 minute USA film follows a nervous man on first date. Our hero has the nervous-but-loveable vibe found in classic Woody Allen characters and the often-relatable habit of overthinking everything.

The charm in this films comes from its authenticity. It’s easy to believe the character’s personal concerns and anxieties as he gets ready for the date- as they are the concerns we all have- is my hair okay? Does this sweater give the right impression? Talk. Talk a lot. But not too much.

Our character also self-sabotages himself with his own concerns, making his date not actually go so well. And perhaps that’s the subtle beauty of this delightful offbeat romantic comedy. Everyone watching it knows that guy, has been that guy or has gone on a date with that guy. But this film, is about what it is like being in his own head.

Film Review: PUMPKIN, 15min., USA, Romance/Drama

Played at the February 2017 ROMANCE Film Festival

PUMPKIN, 15min., USA, Romance/Drama
Directed by Paula Neves

Alice’s best friend, Dan, lives in another country. When he gives her the bad news about his disease, Alice faces the scary feeling of being away, distant and powerless. And she tries, the best way she can think of, to show him support and love. Even if that means pushing away those people that are physically close to her.

Review by Kierston Drier

 his fifteen minute film from the US directed by Paula Neves is a piece to break your heart while it heals your soul. Pumpkin is a story about teenage photographer Alice and her long distance relationship with Dan, a charming and sweet boy from across the sea. Despite romantic interested right in front of her face, Alice only has eyes for Dan and he reciprocates her passion. Yet something is holding him back- that something is a terminal illness. Love knows no bounds it would seem, an Alice is unable to see the subtle hints that her love for Daniel may be ill-fated.

Some things are worth risking everything for, and Alice decides that, in order to see Daniel, she will give up the prom in her own high school, and the money in her new camera fund, to fly to see Daniel. The morning of the flight however, she gets a devastating call from Daniel’s’ mother.

Love makes us do crazy things. This is one of those stories that shows the drive of compassion from all angles. Daniel doesn’t leave Alice completely high and dry, his last ditch effort to contact her will reach her in the end. Alices’ best friend back home, won’t let her mourn Dan forever. From every angle love prevails, even when all seems lost.

Pumpkin has some notes in common with The Fault In Our Stars and with good reason- they are both stories that remind us how crazy love can make us, and the things we are willing to do to see it through. Pumpkin reminds us that a life cut short is still worth filling with love. The lives left behind are equally worthy of being loved.

 

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Film Review: FOUR DAY WEEKEND, 20min, USA, Romance/Drama

Played at the February 2017 ROMANCE Film Festival

  MOVIE POSTERFOUR DAY WEEKEND, 20min, USA, Romance/Drama
Directed by Nicole Jones

A middle-aged couple, married for twenty-three years, takes a four-day break from each other and the aftermath leaves their relationship shaken and tested but not broken.

Review by Kierston Drier

 Rich and deeply compelling, Four Day Weekend an American film from director Nicole Jones, is one woman’s recount of her journey through her 23 year marriage to her husband, through the lense of a four day weekend where they both have permission to seek extra-marital dalliances.

She, having been sexually adventurous in her youth, proposes the nourishes the idea in an attempt to give her husband a chance to explore his adventurous side. He, on the other hand, grapples with his feelings about this newly offered freedom.

This is a film that hits that magical sweet spot in the short film world- hitting every note perfectly. Emotionally compelling, heartbreaking honest, charmingly funny, expertly acted and brilliant composed, this piece still manages to be greater than the sum of its’ parts. Perhaps this is because, not only is it a well made film, but it tackles a unique subject matter with both sensitivity and sincerity.

Many love stories, address young love, or old and enduring love. Four Day Weekend tackles love right in the middle- a mature and well developed marriage of equals facing all the nerve-wracking insecurity that comes with trying anything new for the first time. Yet, despite the subject matter of infidelity, this is a piece that really does centre around love. The love of these two people in their marriage is unmistakingly clear. The lengths they are willing to go to make each other happy is a true testament to that.

A strong and powerfully made film, Four Day Weekend will engage you mentally, emotionally and philosophically, while still reminding you that love will always know no bounds. Bravo Nicole Jones, Bravo.

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Film Review: INDIGO, 19min, Sweden, Romance/Drama

Played at the February 2017 ROMANCE Film Festival

INDIGO, 19min, Sweden, Romance/Drama
Directed by Paul Jerndal

Two young, lost souls in New York City share a common struggle – they are stuck in lives they do not feel they belong. She is an adored actress and he, a bike messenger. On the outside they seem like each others opposite, but on the inside they are the same- dehumanized by an internal loneliness that alienates them from feeling alive.

Review by Kierston Drier

What does it mean to have it all? Wealth, fame, beauty? Friends that love and support you? INDIGO discusses this concept with beautiful and evocative images and exceptional visual composure. Coming to us out of Sweden from director Paul Jerndal, this is a film that examines one day in the lives of two lost souls in the big city of New York. One is a beautiful and famous actress, the other is struggling bike courier. She is lavished with superficial compliments throughout her day working as a model and meeting with friends. He is scolded and shunned and generally mistreated all day.

Both have friends that go out of their way to meet with them and encourage them. Yet both seem utterly isolated- lonely in a crowded city. Both revert into their own minds once in privacy and both break down completely when faced with the prospect of meeting their friends for a night of drinking and dancing. When the two find each other on the dance floor at a club, their worlds meet and both are able to break out of their shell.

Subtle, thick with nuance and emotionally rich, this piece has stunning visuals and a staggering attention is cinematic detail. Gorgeous cinematography and the gripping complexities of the characters make this film worth more than one viewing. Not only is it visually dazzling, but it provides no easy answers. Our characters talk little of their feelings, we never hear their own thoughts or desires. We learn about them largely through the voices of their friends. Both are clearly loved and cared about, yet when we see them privately each one seems noticeably unhappy. Whether they are grappling with their mental health, their places in the world, the futility of their lives- it is unclear. What is obvious though, is that our characters are missing something. And it turns out to be each other.

INDIGO is a thing of beauty, it is a film that asks you to make up the backstory of the heroes, and focuses its’ attention on the moments they inhabit in the film. It is a film that sparkles with visual pleasure and reverberates with the messages “I was lost until I found you.” Check it out.

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