Two movies last Monday, starting with the first shorts program I've seen this year.
Shorts 1: Personals. As the title suggests, some very personal stories.
BIG GIRL: A 6 year old, her mother, lies, the truth, and school.
HELBERGER IN PARADISE: Kate Lyn Sheil stars as a New Yorker traveling to her small town to attend her friend's funeral. Well, disrupt it is more like it. But a cab driver with a conscience spoils their plans.
KEEP THE CHANGE: Two...sufferers of social disorders go out in the city. He likes cabs and is afraid of the bus. She is the other way around. To maintain an air of normalcy he always pays with a twenty and tells them to "keep the change." Awkward tensions ensue.
PERSON TO PERSON: Don't you hate it when you wake up an there's a girl passed out on your floor? And that's how you answer every question? "How are you doing today?" "I got a girl passed out on my floor!"
THIS IS NOT THE END: A family history and secrets are told through handmade signs.
WEDDING DRESS: And estranged brother in law shows up, and mysteries ensue.
Then the feature that is a leading contender for my favorite in the festival, DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN. A stylish revenge thriller from Ireland, sort of a modern small town Irish take on the revenge western. It opens with a murder, and we see full well who the murderer is. Then we meet the victim's little sister. And while they didn't talk much recently, she vows revenge on whoever did this. And she has her best friend to help her. Problem is--and the audience knows this so it's not a spoiler--her best friend is the killer. The fact that the heroine doesn't know this is the source of unique tension as well as humor (the first time a cop asks her about where she was that night she sarcastically responds, "Oh, you figured it out!") I also loved how it's a traditionally masculine story (murder and revenge) but told via female characters. And it's not just that females are put in places males traditionally go, these are women playing distinctly feminine (tough, but still realistically feminine) characters. If director Patrick Ryan wasn't there to introduce the film (and I didn't pay attention to his name on the credits) one could easily convince me that this film was directed by a woman.
Total Running Time: 173 minutes
My Total Minutes: 382,579