Saturday, November 20, 2010

UnderWire Festival

The inaugural UnderWire festival of women's short film work is in full swing and concludes tomorrow with an awards ceremony.

Visiting the third day of the festival, I caught the Editing and Directing categories, preceded by a lecture by screenwriter Linda Aronson. Speaking in rather non-linear fashion, she offered some anecdotes from her career and then moved on to a suitably convoluted explanation of parallel narrative structure. This was, unfortunately, rushed, owing to time constraints, but she has some books out that would shed some more light on a fascinating topic. Her message: don't be afraid of flashbacks!

Next up was the the Directing category of five films, the standout of which was The Storymaker. An atmospheric and increasingly creepy set-up finds a bedridden woman delivering unintelligible thoughts to a group of Expressionist-looking scribes. At first I thought it was a wry commentary on artistic inspiration. But, then I decided it was a metaphor for Alzheimer's or some other degenerative illness. Visually striking and gripping, it lingered in the memory. Marigolds was also memorable for its cringe-making mother-son relationship. The climactic scene had audience members gasping and laughing in discomfort.

In the Editing category, I was impressed by Skateistan, a doc on a skate park in Kabul and also liked Dear Mummy, a clever mix of live action and animation.

The awards ceremony for the various categories is tomorrow evening .

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