Saturday, April 1, 2017

Queens World Film Festival Saturday Night

I didn't get to do the full day like I wanted to due to some unforeseen circumstances. I did get a chance to witness some great short films from independent filmmakers. The theme for the night was called Good Grief where each film was to remind us that the end doesn't mean it's the end. I never been to the Zukor Theatre but been to Kaufman Astoria a couple times so finding the area was easy. While going there I figure it would be a separated building but instead it was a small venue with a small sign in front. Then inside a small screen where people bunched up to witness the films and meet some of the filmmakers as well. I got my seat and a bunch of material(which I threw some in the garbage..too much paper) and waiting for the films to start.

First film up was Manuel. A 5 minute film about her woman trying to deal with life without her husband. It was a great short narrative that packs in enough to let the audience know how Manuel aka the husband death affect his wife and changed the relationship between her and her daughter. The second film called Ultimos Dias(Last Days), a 15 minute short which chronicles a tailor who is being forced out of his location by his landlord's son last days at his location. Even though it had subtitles the dialogue between the tailor and his landlord's son describes the relationship between young and old. As the narrative flows from the man trying to keep his place in order to finally realizing the fight isn't worth fighting when you have your past to preserve. The next film from Germany entitled Kirschkuchen(Cherry Pie) which was the highlight and pretty much was the epitome of the theme. This narrative chronicles a man traveling back to meet his lover after 55 years while she's mourning her husband. In the beginning she's avoiding him and trying to tell him to move him but after seeing his resilience, she decides to give him a shot. For a short film Kirschkuchen packs enough to keep the audience on its toes and tug on their hearts as you may feel sympathy for the man or woman. I personally love the scenes with the cherry pie(serious foodie) then a poignant ending where the couple enjoy time with each other. The final film of Good Grief was The Suitor which takes places during the War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938 where a lonely man encounters a woman who seem fixated to the radio. The man tries to control his emotions and the girl tries to figure out if her family is okay based on the radio report. During the film the couple gets into different situations in their building but in the end is separated once they realized the broadcast was fake.

After watching the films I started to head home and even though I missed out on the majority due to circumstances beyond my control I came to the realization that next year I will try to cover more ground. The Queens World Film Festival is definitely a festival to watch for and one that can not be taken too lightly based on the quality of films I saw and that was a small sample. I gotta thank the festival for giving me the opportunity and hopefully I'll do more next year.

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