JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Squeegee | Last Ferry from Grass Island | Familiar Strangers (Directors: Morgan Krantz, Linhan Zhang, Murat Sayginer) - August 19, 2020

Squeegee | Last Ferry from Grass Island | Familiar Strangers

5 5

Last Ferry from Grass Island reviewed for the 2020 edition of the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.
Sexual fantasies, stark drama and a semi-successful experiment

11 minutes, USA
Morgan Krantz
Five stars

“Windows” 11 definitely cleans the hard drive

Shot in and—literally out—of Toronto’s Commerce Court, this high-rise, er, two-hander will have every office worker on the planet praying for a similar experience.

Late for a real appointment, Lori (done with compelling lust by Amy Rutherford) eschews an important business appointment in order to have an equally wet encounter with the window washer (Blair McKenzie does a most convincing, ah, job, as the can’t-believe-my-luck squeegee, yet also manages to convey, “not my first time” demeanour while at work…).

Having sanitized her now locked-in office space, imagine the following:

The dangling rope (foreplay of a most unusual kind);

The turn from computer screen to the mustachioed “cleanser”;

Their mutual “looks” (who needs dialogue?);

Window tonguings (Ali Helwein’s derivative score—with a little Vivaldi Seasons to lift off, morphs into an appropriate ode to Ravel’s sensual Bolero here);

The strip down: first skirt, then bra revealing…

Washer is more modest given his public perch;

The fake fight (lots of window slaps—see foreplay above);

The “glassy” kiss before a just off-camera descent to a much more personal “squeegee”;

And very cheesy violins as the windows (inside and out), suddenly require another, very different, regimen of “wipe up”.

Enjoy this titillating fantasy (no matter what persuasion and whether “caught” or not), but always keep in mind that what happens as a hot lark far above the streets might have far more sobering consequences below. JWR

Last Ferry from Grass Island
14 minutes, Hong Kong
Linhan Zhang
Three and one half stars

Life (or not) in one of the 250 islands that compose Hong Kong, is put under a small microscope in Zhang’s tale of a man with a shady past (apparently), his ma and a servant girl who sports a silenced revolver to ensure her passage to a better life. Nothing really ends well (but prophetically “my time is past?”).

As has all of ours? JWR

Familiar Strangers
4 minutes, Turkey
Murat Sayginer
Two stars

Sorry, lost me

Self-described as “experimental film showcasing a series of faces emulated with deepfake technology to resemble famous actors and actresses,” I never got the point and wasn’t pleased that the music of J.S. Bach—Air on a G String—only added insult to injury. But that’s just me. JWR

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