directed by Luca Machnich
THE EVE tells, as the title suggests, a particular Christmas Eve. An eight-year-old boy, who is facing a difficult childhood, puts all his wishes in a meeting with Santa Claus, with the hope that he will accept to take him away and let him live in the toy factory.
Often in films with a Christmas setting, children and toys are the protagonists. From The Nutcracker by Čajkovskij to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium passing through many others, the relationship between children and toys that come to life is transformed into a safe haven capable of protecting the protagonists of the stories from their fears and their moments of unhappiness. It is the most magical moment of the year, where everything becomes an expectation, where every detail makes the difference. Even the oldest ones have a lot of hope at this time of the year, and you don't need to be a believer to celebrate it.
For many other people, however, Christmas is an unpleasant date, especially for those who are alone, because the feeling of loneliness at Christmas becomes unbearable.
THE EVE collects this feeling of helplessness and tells it using all the Christmas symbols such as the Christmas tree, the decorations, the warm atmospheres, the gifts, the toys, Santa Claus, the fireplace, the house, and shakes them, shuffles them, and turns them upside down.
What if the world that is supposed to protect children and preserve and materialize their dreams instead becomes unreliable and cruel? Does the child have a chance or will he have to face reality? THE EVE does face reality with delicacy and provocation.
By creating a small horror film for whom all departments deserve appreciation: Cinematography, direction, writing, set design, acting, editing, and soundtrack. Special mention should be made of the impeccable 3D and animations, not only technically successful but also perfectly immersed in the film.
The rhythm of the dialogues is fast and marks the time, another important element in the storytelling.
THE EVE has already won many international awards, prizes that confirm the success of this film that fully respects the basic rules of the first horror films that became cult.
Directed by Dave Shecter
MEMORIES NEVER DIE is a pleasant song, enriched by a well-done video clip from all points of view. Without resorting to stunts of ideas, the video accompanying the song follows the story told by the song step by step.
And perhaps right because of the simplicity of the script of the video clip, the utmost attention is paid, without difficulty, to the words of the song, which are enough to lead us into the atmosphere that the American singer-songwriter Dave Shecter (also director of the video clip) generously offers.
We do not know if the lyrics of the song are autobiographical or not, but the sincerity and the empathy that is perceived suggest that the author is somehow personally involved with the experience.
Both the song and the video clip tell the loss of a loved one, faced by an adult couple. A love, therefore, mature, which might have been born in the second part of the life of the protagonists but which does not mean that it is less strong or passionate or has built fewer memories of an adolescent love or the love of an older couple perhaps together for a whole life.
What the song tells, in fact, is the end of love. The universality of pain caused by the accidental termination of a relationship, and the pain that follows out of it. What remains of an interrupted love story if not the memories? But are they enough to tolerate pain?
The memory of an afternoon together at a coffee bar, laughing together, some car trips listening to music, a walk on the sand in a random afternoon. This crosses the mind of those who remain and are deprived of their love, this relieves the physical and psychological pain of those who have lost a loved one. At first, memories have the effect of the blade of a sharp knife, because they sharpen the pain and lack. But then, with the passage of time, they are what remains and what makes that lost love immortal.
The musicality of the song is simple but catchy, and the vocal timbre of the singer clear but warm, so much so that thanks to this fullness of the performance is quite impressive realizing that there's just piano and voice.Praise to the impeccable technical quality of the audio of the video clip, which accompanies a sharp, clean photograph, and a reliable and precise direction.
MEMORIES NEVER DIE shows that even when addressing a theme that has always been the protagonist of storytelling, we can still be peculiar, even by relying on simplicity and by actually using it as a medium for the success of the work.
After all, love itself is always peculiar, even though it belongs to everyone.
Directed by Robin Phillips
BEHIND THE NAME SHAKESPEARE is an extraordinary one-woman show documentary.
The exceptional Robin Phillips guides us through the exciting investigation about who is really behind the most important plays in the whole world and therefore behind the name of William Shakespeare.
The position of the author is clear right away: between Stradfordians and Oxfordians, she is an Oxfordian, and so will probably be all the people that will have the luck to come across this movie.
As a matter of fact, all the theories that will be pointed out completely hang on the side of those who claim that William Shakespeare was not the author of the works that bear his signature.
Robin Phillips puts all her talent as an author, actress, and storyteller, playing a sort of comedian detective (a brilliant choice that makes us remain glued to the screen for the whole duration of the film) but contextualized in the era we are referring to. She transforms herself several times, she steps out and gets back into the narration with delicacy and without ever being out of tune.
And as a consequence of this, it's not difficult to get involved in the typical atmosphere of the sixteenth century, also thanks to the beautiful costumes designed by Phillips herself, who also worked on the music, hairstyles, make-up, and artistic direction.
The documentary is full of information, anecdotes, details, and spins around two centuries, between literature, history, and art. Despite being so full of news and quotes, you can easily follow it from start to finish. Not only without ever getting bored but remaining with bated breath in search of yet another proof that helps to agree with an increasingly numerous group of people that supports this extraordinarily beautiful and thrilling theory. It's difficult, after having seen it, not to want to join the chorus of voices of these artists, historians, writers, who claim that a glove maker could not have created what are among the greatest masterpieces of world theater literature. And that it's much more likely that it was the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, Edward de Ver, lover (to be reductive) of Queen Elizabeth, and an erudite and brilliant man of letters.
Art Harman enriches the movie with his cinematography and his technical effects, which join the narrative moments in a fluid and coherent way.To quote Anna Rice, even within the documentary itself there are "very very interesting stuff", which could not tell this crazy part of history in a better way.I challenge the public not to fall in love with this story, with their protagonists, and with Robin Phillips in this delightful documentary film, which teaches and entertains, thus remaining faithful to the primary purpose of Elizabethan theater.
directed by Benjamin Filinson
The importance of the title and a director's statement when it comes to experimental films is as necessary as the title of a painting of any artistic current and as the title of a poem. The instinctive perception of the receiver is fundamental, but the author's message is decisive, as he can guide the audience gently without interfering in the formation of the personal idea or sensation.
"Reflections & Projections is the culmination of combining the mediums of painting, still and motion photography to capture the human condition of how we see ourselves in others, through emotional triggering, the way we unconsciously lay our expectations and blames upon them [...]".
So says about his creation Benjamin Filinson, director of this experimental film produced in Los Angeles in 2018.
This eighteen-minute film is divided into two parts that break apart at the tenth minute.
In the first part, Reflections, the focus is placed on the words that are read superimposed in the female body that is portrayed and exposed. It seems a dialogue between partners in which the questions and answers that are read alternate fluidly, getting formed and dying in the images below that depict women's bodies, women's faces, faces painted inside the body of a woman who multiplies and separates continually but whose face always remains in dim light.
The only moment of realism is entrusted to a black cat that has the task of taking us back on the ground, giving us the same feeling that you get when you are brought to shore by a calm wave after being overwhelmed by a ' more violent wave.
The music is perfect because it conveys a sensation of birth, growth, and death, typical of the waves, and therefore follows the rhythm of the film coherently.
In the second part, Projections, the music changes and loses this sensation of crescendo and diminuendo but becomes more static and constant, perfectly following the style of this second story, in which the images take over the words. The vision becomes clearer, the bodies double as in a broken mirror. The woman now seems less pure, less ancestral, contaminated. Sexuality prevails over interiority, it is more brazen and exposed. In this second part, the external element that suddenly appears is the face of a man, who, like the cat in the first part, drags you down and for a moment makes you stop floating with images and words.
The moment in one of the superimpositions in which the face takes shape in the body that lends itself to the face and whose breast is transformed perfectly into an eye is beautiful. A cry to femininity that seems to be, in silence, the constant theme of this beautiful work.
Directed by Vaggelis Deligiorgis
There is so much in UMBRA, this great little experimental film.
Despite the short duration (only 7 minutes), the narrative structure is crisp and technically perfect. Every act is clear and has a personality worthy of a feature film, a very difficult goal to achieve in a short film but when this happens does a good part of the work and marks the success of it. And this is the case.
The short movie shows a man walking through a long narrow corridor, at first illuminated, then dark (the title UMBRA is wisely and beautifully chosen). The director's statement reveals that this man is a sort of journalist but his appearance and attitude also recall a priest or more generally a confessor. The claustrophobic passages that the man walks through recall a labyrinth. They are full of graffiti that the protagonist ignores while walking, perhaps too busy going forward, perhaps too busy getting to the "final goal". Graffiti and phrases fill both the external and internal walls (the phrase “take a trip to Philadelphia” is highlighted) and they are so strong that they voluntarily obscure the protagonist.
The elevator that leads to the upper floor trembles and frightens, symbolizing the compromise that every journey (especially metaphorical) includes in its essence. Finally, the protagonist reaches his goal. Or perhaps, more than an arrival it is a departure.
The room where he arrives seems at first a regular small room but only after a few moments, we find out it's separated by bars, which divides interviewer from the interviewee, confessor from the reticent sinner (the technique used on this occasion is beautiful).
And it is then, after an active invasion of light, that the roles are exchanged, slowly, more and more, until they merge and mirror each other until the two people are transformed into a single being and a single essence.
There are no dialogues, and they are not needed. Photography, writing, interpretation, and direction are enough to make us appreciate this work.
The actor that plays both roles is a great Konstantinos Koutroumpis that also signed the soundtrack. Cello, flute, and percussion fill the scene with discretion.
Congratulations to Vaggelis Deligiorgis for having written, directed and produced this film (he also performed the percussions) full of meanings and contemporary themes which, depending on the subjective interpretation, can tell both an aspect of society and an intimate experience.