Queens World Film Festival: Two Of Us Block
I am sorry for the late post. The Queens World Film Festival came to Queens November 1-5 where over 100 films got to be showcased in the World's borough in different movie houses. Unfortunately I wasn't able to able to catch the entire festival like I should hopefully next year I can. I will break down what I was able to see and discuss in the next couple of posts. I was able to watch two blocks of short films connected to a theme.
The first block of films I watched: the theme was called The Two of Us. There were four films that was relationships either romantic, family or platonic. The first film "Me Against The World" is about a student who is fascinated by basketball and is asked to tutor of one of the players on her school team. However the first meeting between the two didn't happen due to the player's lateness. The librarian (who have a crush on the student) let the basketball player know that the student should be taken seriously. Later the student and the player meets consistently until one day when a break during a tutoring session almost goes left. The story is a poignant piece of teenage romance and what this generation deals with pressures from their elders and outside distractions. I personally think this was the second best film of the block.
To Be Honest is the second film of the Two Of Us block. It's about two people trying to reconnect. One is in a NYC subway station waiting for a train as a fellow commuter is on the other side dancing wildly. The other is inside their apartment with another lover. As a native New Yorker I can relate to talking to a significant other or ex while waiting on the train. Sometimes it can be frustrating other times enlightening. The cinematography was brilliant and the silence between the two lovers as the train passes through is magnificent. The actors definitely had that New York vibe going. A great film to reminisce about the greatness of this city.
The next film was 1979. A very short animated film (3 minutes) about a relationship from the beginning as children all the way to adulthood. The stop animation is incredible and very riveted. The song "Pain by Salvation" by Sweden is the film's backdrop. This sums up the nostalgic vibe that the film gives as you watch the paper cutouts. The next film is probably the best film of the block: Here For Us which stars Grace Burdick as Abi, Darnell Bernard as Sam and Brendan Ward as Brendan who by the way directed the film. The premise is about Abi and Brendan who are brother and sister looking for a lost fortune that may or may not exist. Sam who is Abi's boyfriend is helping them look for it. The fortune may belong to Abi and Brendan's father who think his grandfather (allegedly) drop it somewhere in the Appalachian mountains along the river. Throughout the film each relationship is strained from the journey along with the abuse Brendan received from his father. That relationship along with Abi's relationship with the dad is the backdrop for the film. Darnell Bernard played Sam well as a ex teacher who did too much for his class that he got fired. His demeanor throughout the film is fair yet sarcastic and in the end realizes everything is a struggle. Brendan was well received. I think his character was the best as he was condensated yet had a heart that needed to be open up to show his true self. Abi is really the catalyst of the film. She brings both her brother and lover together to share the moments with her. Grace Burdick did a wonderful job as Abi. She brought a calming yet compassionate presence with her delivery. The writing was brilliant and the cinematography was majestic. I highly recommend this film as a film well the watch.