JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Pruning | Death & Ramen | Sulam | Boat People (Directors: Lola Blanc, Tiger Ji, Noam Argov, Thao Lam, Kjell Boersma) - July 1, 2023 id="543337086">

Pruning | Death & Ramen | Sulam | Boat People

4.5 4.5

Reviewed at the 2023 edition of the Palm Springs International ShortFest
Four random shorts to start

Lola Blanc
2023, 15 minutes
Four and one half stars

“I am free”

There’s a well-known adage, “To stem the rot, it is necessary to prune”, but by and large that dictum applies to horticulture.

In Blanc’s latest step into the shorts arena, viewers will quickly discover an exemplary cautionary tale of the consequences of left versus right in the polarizing world of politics.

At the centre of it all is Sami Geffer (soberly portrayed by Madeleine Brewer whether sticking to her liberty; beliefs or—literally—redefining abortion).

Like so many hosts/guests on cable TV, as her unflinching opinions become more widely known, her media value increases exponentially.

Sadly, all too typically, one of her most fervent detractors literally opens fire on innocent bystanders before doing what needs to be done to himself.

If only his was just a work of fiction…

How free are any of us? JWR

Death & Ramen
Tiger Ji
2023, 15 minutes
Four stars

“I can’t die with an empty stomach”

Here is, essentially, a two-hander (Bobby Lee as suicidal Timmy; Matt Jones as eager-to-harvest Death) that has comedic moments, but more to say about how all of us try to survives lifetimes’ ups and downs.

Best in show is the concluding “Dance of Death” that symbolically offers some hope for those amongst us who have opted to stick around a little while longer.

Savannah Jo Lack’s original score is worth the price of admission alone. JWR

Sulam (Ladder)
Noam Argov
2023, 11 minutes
Three stars

Pathetic family values

It’s difficult to know where Argov’s brief tale of bossy mom (Mor Cohen) and intellectually superior daughter (Oriah Elgrabli) want us to discover.

Hopefully, the younger aced the math exam. JWR

Boat People
Thao Lam and Kjell Boersma
2023, 10 minutes
Four and one half stars

A cautionary tale of ants and aunts

Through the beauty of first-class, multi-textured animation techniques, a young Vietnamese girl (Lam) shares magical memories and insights of leaving her homeland, and, like ants who have variously uprooted for over 140 million years, still manage to thrive and survive in their new surroundings.

Superp! JWR

Your comments are always welcome at JWR.

Click here to have your say (please mention the headline for the article):Feedback to JWR.

Further information, future screening/performance/exhibition dates,
purchase information, production sponsors:
Palm Springs International ShortFest