JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Soft Sounds of Peeling Fruit | Salvador Dali | Mirage | NYC Tips and Tricks | Man or Tree (Directors: So Young Shelly Yo, Eldiar Madakim, Dustin Tan, Amber Schaefer, Varun Raman, Tom Hancock) - June 28, 2022
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Soft Sounds of Peeling Fruit | Salvador Dali | Mirage | NYC Tips and Tricks | Man or Tree

4.5 4.5

Still more shorts from Palm Springs 2022

Soft Sounds of Peeling Fruit
14 minutes
So Young Shelly Yo
Four and one half stars

A different sort of appeal

Who knew that bookending a film with Asian pears (whole, then peeled) could say so much about class, servitude, possible love and dismissal.

In these days of survival of the fittest (aka wealthiest) it is a cautionary tale that speaks on multiple issues.

Take a look, then examine your own mores and beliefs. JWR


Salvador Dali
19 minutes
Eldiar Madakim
Four and one half stars

A breath of fresh, clean air

Here’s a wonderful pastorale set in the mountains and valleys of two villages in Kyrgyzstan. The scenery is beautiful, full of rushing water, melting ice, snow-covered hills and soaring peaks. Everything is wonderfully reinforced by Murzali Jenbaev’s original score, featuring thoughtful piano lines and sympathetic solo flute when the family pictures come into frame.

Yet it’s a small family indeed, consisting of stoic/sage Grandma (Kenesh Kurmanalieva, ideally cast) and her precocious grandson, Orozbek (Damir Nurmamatov revels in the role whether laughing with his friends, feigning sickness to avoid class or dreaming of becoming an artist).

In a world as broken as ours, Madakim’s imagination and vision remind one and all that there is still much beauty in life. JWR


Mirage
9 minutes
Dustin Tan
Four stars

Becoming a woman

Discovering self, accepting self then doing something about it is one of life’s greatest challenges.

In this instance, Elaine (a convincing performance from Nicola Collie) whose ambitious husband (Joey Finiguerra, making a brief appearance—in all senses of the word), is frequently away from their home searching for the next big deal.

The key to the narrative is an envelope from nowhere, addressed to Elaine (in a mauve envelope, the colour of which the recipient also favours in her wardrobe—surely not a coincidence!). Curiously, artfully the “E” on the envelope is shaped like fulsome buttocks. Could this be a past lover, or new paramour?

After all is revealed—do discover for yourself—there’s nothing left to do but dance away the night to freedom, at last.

A feature sequel is in order. JWR


NYC Tips and Tricks
11 minutes
Amber Schaefer
Two and one half stars

Where’s the beef?

Comedy—especially madcap—is a tricky art. What is one person’s belly laugh is another’s “Oh…” 

Schaefer begins well by establishing the Coney Island cred of YouTube channel meister Cody Friedman (Yoni Lotan) as he—and the energizing score—literally flap around scenes with pigeons and seagulls before braving the ups and downs of a coaster ride. So far so good.

But once the major plot point of Cody’s son having lice and needing to be removed from school is launched, it’s all downhill from there.

But that’s just one opinion: do take a peek and pass your own judgement. JWR


Man or Tree
4 minutes
Varun Raman, Tom Hancock
Four and one half stars

To tree or not to tree?, that is the talking question

Raman and Hancock pose the fanciful question: “What if trees could talk?”

Their answer is a few minutes of hilarity and an expertly edited short.

Cheers to more? Er, dandelions next? JWR

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