Film Review: MY BODY, (Germany, Horror)

Played at the HORROR FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2017 to rave reviews.

Review by Kierston Drier

 

MY BODY is a six-minute short coming out of Germany. Uncanny in an almost unknowable way, this is a film that chronicles the breakdown of one mans’ mind as he deals with a body in his living room. It’s up to the audience to decide if the bizarre visions and terrifying world of our hero is his strange reality or the disintegration of his own mind. Haunted by shadows and spiders that weave their way through his home, our hero must make a twisted peace with his circumstances, including coming to terms with the body in a bag in his home.

 

The peace is simply shot, although it boasts excellent performances and editing. it is nevertheless a chilling and skin-crawling film to watch, as it slowly dissects one man’s struggle with reality. A chilling, thrilling short indeed.

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Film Review: ANTICA, (Canada, Horror/Thriller)

Played at the HORROR FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2017 to rave reviews.

Review by Kierston Drier

A slow burn of a horror film that takes its time to build suspense and heart-racing panic. ANTICA follows the journey of one, solitary man working a night shift where everything is slowly going wrong. Minor workplace injuries and misfortunes build tension as our hero gradually realises something isn’t right. As he continues his shift in an otherwise empty warehouse he begins to realize he might not be alone. What ensues is a creeping, tantalizing and utterly uncomfortably series of events that bring our hero to the terrifying realization that he may not be the only one skulking around on the job.

 

What is truly fascinating about this horror-thriller work, is that creates fear, unease and anxiety with no words, and only one performer. The editing, sound, lighting, and setting create the uncanniness that drives the terror for the audience just as much as the excellent performance by our hero. Another fantastic element of this film is the inversion of the classic horror tropes. So often our horror film sets up a scenario with beautiful but naive youngster heading off on a misguided adventure with ill-thought-out plans and a failure to read the warning signs. ANTICA doesn’t take this route at all- our hero is a middle-aged everyman, in a familiar setting and going about a well-known routine. It is more horrifying when one is endangered in the place they know than when they wander into the unknown and discover danger there.

 

ANTICA takes its time to terrify you, but it is well worth the wait.

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Film Review: GIRL #2 (USA, Horror/Comedy)

Played at the HORROR FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2017 to rave reviews.

Review by Kierston Drier

One of the hardest areas of genre blending is terror and delight. Unlike romance and comedy or science-fiction and mystery, comedic-horror has an incredibly tight margin for error. Slightly too much in one direction and you have an awkward or unbalanced film. GIRL #2, directed by David Jeffery, is an example of a perfectly orchestrated success of these two styles. GIRL #2 follows two girls trapped in their sorority house while a crazed murderer follows them. Several of their friends fall victim to him and when the girls barricade themselves in a room for safety, the debate who will be able to get away. The tables turn in the debate when the girls get into a fight over who will have time to escape the villain- because based on horror cliche, the most attractive girl will likely get killed first.

 

Hilarious in its absurdity, GIRL #2 hits a tone similar to known horror-satire CABIN IN THE WOODS, because it delivers the classic horror tropes while also making fun of its own genre. A rollercoaster blood-and-thrill start to the short makes the comic turn all the most delightful as the subversion of expectations is take to a raucous extreme. GIRL #2 will surely please comedy lovers and thrill seekers alike.

 

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Film Review: PROMETHEUS INDUSTRIES – 2017, Germany, Animation/Comedy

Submit your STUDENT Film to the Festival Today: https://studentfeedbackfestival.com/

SHORT FILM played at the October 2017 STUDENT FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Review by Kierston Drier

A comical take on humanity and technology, PROMETHEUS INDUSTRIES is a quick and witty 7-minute animated feat coming out of Germany. The super-sleek technology company of the future enlists a hapless Joe-Everyman to try out some new products, but things inevitably go awry.

 

PROMETHEUS INDUSTRIES is a commentary on technology, hubris, and human stupidity, while still delivering laughter. The story has a charming simplicity to it that lends itself well to the comic tone the piece takes.

 

A special note must be made for these creators, as animation can be a laborious task. Yet this film is a strong example of fluid animation. Director Amr Kamel should be proud of this well executed comedic piece.

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Movie Review: DISNEY CARTOON CAMERA (USA, Documentary)

Played at the August 2017 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival

by Kierston Drier

A fascinating look at the history of cartoon cinema, from the early 20th century to present, Disney Cartoon Camera breaks down the cartoons through the technical lenses- literally and metaphorically.

 

Following respected and often renown Disney animators, archivists and technicians, this 30 minute short doc takes us step by step through the detailed and highly nuanced breakdown of creating lush and realistic art. From Snow White to Chicken Little we see the elaborate and innovative technology that makes it all possible. Bright, colorful, nostalgic and beyond fascinating, there is something for everyone in this cartoon-classic doc.

 

Disney Cartoon Camera takes on a far more educational tone that a more story-driven or character-driven doc, but it is nevertheless engaging and captivating. For the movie buff, the young-at-heart or even the cartoon geek, this is a film to watch, savor, learn and enjoy.

DISNEY CARTOON CAMERA, 23min, USA, Documentary
Directed by David BosserDisney Cartoon Camera, hosted by acclaimed historian Leonard Maltin, tracks the history of animation cinematography – from the origins of crude “down shooters” to the first multi-plane camera fashioned out of old car parts, to the latest digital camera capture systems – through the eyes of the camera operators and technicians.

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

Movie Review: MY NAME IS JOAN (USA, Documentary)

Played at the August 2017 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival

by Kierston Drier

My Name is Joan, packs an exceptional emotional punch. Poignant, compassionate and full of intrigue, it follows a story that is nothing short of scandalous, involving the mother-and-baby homes of the 1920-1980’s in Ireland. We follow Susan Drew, born Joan Fagan to an unwed mother in Dublin and adopted under mysterious circumstance, as she recounts her story of discovering her past. As Susan revels her own history- and that of her mother who lost her daughter in a mother-and-baby home to an overseas adoption, we also uncover the history of illicit adoptions performed through the Catholic church in a time when unwed mothers faced extreme persecution.

 

Untold numbers of women gave birth out of wedlock after the second world war. While the Irish government looked away, those women were sent to Church-run mother-and-baby homes, where they were promised totally anonymity and safety to deliver their babies. What they were not told was that they would be subjected to difficult conditions, poor treatment, neglect and that their children could be taken from them and adopted out- with very little they could do about it.

 

Susan would have been one more unnamed child lost in a sea of murky documentation. That is, if it hadn’t been for one nun who saved and scanned the paperwork of every child she saw under her care- Susan being one of them.

 

My Name Is Joan is an incredible documentary. Susan’s journey being the primary tale, the story still branches out, spider-web like, into the larger scandal. With jaw-dropping statistics and frightening conclusions to be drawn from them, it is incredible that such an event can take place, seemingly under the nose of a country. My Name Is Joan is one woman’s story of finding her past, and changing her future. It is also a story of a nation whose women and children were under siege. A gripping, emotionally ambitious and incredibly moving film.

 

MY NAME IS JOAN, 30min, USA, Documentary
Directed by Margaret Costa

Tells the story of Susan Drew, a woman who was born Joan Fagan to an unwed mother in the St. Patrick Mother and Baby Home in Dublin, Ireland in 1949. While the documentary chronicles Susan’s journey to find her true identity, it also highlights the illegal exporting of children by the Catholic Church to families in other countries for profit while the Irish Government looked the other way.

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

Movie Review: THE MARCH SWEATER – PART 1: THE CARETAKERS (Canada, LGBT, Documentary)

Played at the August 2017 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival

by Kierston Drier

This special part 1 of March Sweater, follows two seniors, Peter and Vincent, who shared their lives together as a married couple, and become caregivers to Peter’s 95-year-old mother. A fascinating peer into at a community from an often-overlooked angle, Peter and Vincent talk about their lives together and the various lessons they learn through loving each other.

 

From their meeting, to their courtship and through to their marriage of cohabitation, they address the major areas of their world- compromise and sacrifice, but also the love that makes it so very worth it. “I don’t want to think about life without Vincent,” a notable line from Peter that seems to distill the depth of their feelings. For anyone who has ever loved another person, they are, as a couple,  instantly relatable.
This film sparkles. Peter and Vincent are easy to love. Peter’s laugh is infectious and warm and Vincent’s’ kindness and compassion are clear in every word. The March Sweater, PART 1 is a testament to true love ability to transcend any obstacle, culture, society, age. They are proof for any skeptic- love always wins.

THE MARCH SWEATER – PART 1: THE CARETAKERS, 8min, Canada, LGBT, Documentary
Directed by Cory AshworthLGBTQ2+ seniors speaking of life, love and the wisdom that comes with growing older.

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