"JOHN VAN HAMERSVELD CRAZY WORLD AIN'T IT" is a tribute to the art of John Van Hamersveld and a tribute to the fantastic world of surfing.
The documentary opens with the definition of the concept of Art by some witnesses of John Van Hamersveld's works: Artists and professionals from the world of surfing themselves. "Being an artist is being brave (Jim Fitzpatrick), it's a process (Nina Palomba), it's making mistakes and learn from them (Gary Wong), it's doing what you love and why you love it (Shplinton), it's living and breathing (Jeff Ho), it's believing in what you are doing (Carol Caroompas) ".
Since the creation of record covers in the 1960s and 1970s, John Van Hamersveld's vision has often also filled the void created by the lack in some cities of museums, representing the materialization of the elevation of design and illustrations in popular culture. Rock culture, psychedelic culture, car culture, surfing, John's work is unaffected by time, remaining contemporary year after year, decades after decades. And he definitely contributed to making the world of surfing even closer to the world of art, becoming a point of reference and union of both worlds.
The documentary is about ten minutes long. The photography is sharp, clean but at the same time intense. The soundtrack follows the film with consistency. The interviews are carefully chosen and never superfluous, handled with great awareness. The pace is fast, the writing flows smoothly reminding the movement of the surfboard on the waves (massively present without being heavy).
Great teamwork by Andrew Van Wyk and Adam Cude as authors, the directors Christopher Sibley and Dave Tourje.
Tourje is also the producer along with Ariana Capriotti.
Together, they made us discover such an important and representative artist through a documentary that does not present flaws.
THE FUNERAL, a short film by Sara Eustáquio who wrote it, directed it, and edited it, is just over four minutes long but leaves a lot to dwell on.
Four guys, two girls, and two boys are on a roof. They smoke and drink under the stars, which are not there as a romantic kind of frame but seem to be there to watch them, and judge them. As a mirror maybe, or as an audience that already knows the show. Are these four young guys going to be as good as all the other people that came before them?
One girl of the four guides the audience through her inner monologue. It's the night of her metaphorical funeral, in which she would like to feel all the possible feelings, with the hope of finding answers to understand how to grow.
A fear that unites all young people on the verge of the "turning point", which destabilizes and terrifies, which causes the same pain of the death of someone beloved.
But that night no one has died. Or maybe someone actually has, since it hurts so much? Is growing up death and rebirth? Is there the detachment of another umbilical cord, metaphorical this time? Or is it always us, who change fluidly?
A fear that the author feels and shares with the audience in a real way, all the way in, through the warm and beautiful voice-over of Olivia Michael.
Luis Simas created a perfect soundtrack, which helps to create intimacy in this brief yet powerful stream of consciousness, universally understandable.
Written and directed by Sven Oliver Kuerten
DOSE, written and directed by Sven Oliver Kuerten, is a short film that could not be more in line with the contemporary worldwide situation.
Doctor Berg (played by Cihan Palabyik) must find a cure that appears to be of an urgent need for the German government. Pressed by the army, Berg, who tests his experiments on mentally unconscious patients, finds himself at a crossroads. How far can he go to pursue his goals? And above all, can a career and a professional oath ignore personal feelings and relationships?
In a social context like today's, in which we all find ourselves in a situation of constant uncertainty, this short film makes us dwell on priorities and on whether or not we did a good job as humanity so far. It does not need to resort to common tricks of the genre it belongs to. The subject and the script are enough to shake and scare the audience.
The direction is very good, as well as writing, photography (Yuriy Chubenko), continuity (Rosanna Puzzo), and acting (Roberto Puzzo -also producer, Andrea Karten, Luenya Santiago).
The soundtrack (David Klemencz) is perfectly consistent with the script. The scenography couldn't be more suitable.
A short movie that in just ten minutes still manages to respect the rules of writing and it's undoubtedly produced with awareness and mastery.
Written by Francesco Nuzzi
LIFE IS COMPLICATED is a short script written by Francesco Nuzzi and based on the works of Barbara Becker Holstein.
As the title itself foretells, what happens in a couple's life when something doesn't go as planned? When something gets "complicated"? Is the couple solid enough to withstand a painful and unexpected event? Hannah and Adam, a well-established young couple, find themselves facing a difficult existential moment that has put a strain on their relationship. As often happens, Hannah seeks comfort in her partner. On the opposite, men tend to face pain by closing in on themselves. And indeed so does Adam.
It will be a day at her parents' house, and the comfortable presence of her longtime friend Angela, to help Hannah figure out whether or not it's worth fighting to keep her relationship alive.
Just like her parents that are about to move out of the house that saw Hannah become a woman, Hannah too finds herself having to go through a major change, be it the permanent separation from her husband or a new promise of commitment to make things work.
Sometimes, in relationships and life in general, the only thing it takes to get the answer we're looking for is to take a step back, look at reality from afar, listen to the voices of those who have seen us grow, and hope that on the other side there is someone willing to understand and appreciate the effort it takes to fix the pieces of a "broken precious plate". Because, as Francesco Nuzzi and Barbara Becker Holstein write in their well-paced and well-conceived script, "it - always - takes two to tango".
Directed by Luca Machnich
The short movie THE EVE by Luca Mechanic opens by informing that "the dream and hallucination colors are based on Max Lusher’s theory of psychological meanings of colors".
The color test invented by Max Luscher in 1949 is based on the assumption that the preference shown towards each color and the reactions that this provokes in the subject change according to individuals and moments. The test contains eight colors: the 4 basic colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) and 4 auxiliary colors (purple, brown, gray, and black).
Used by psychologists, teachers, and doctors, the Lüscher test can be used by everyone with excellent results.
This means that we know from the very beginning that this horror movie is going to be set on the psychological patterns.
The film begins with the opening credits alternated with images shot in a mall during the Christmas holidays (symbol of contemporary consumerism). The camera runs through the mall very quickly and stops only in front of an antique cuckoo clock held by a child's hands. The clock keeps time until it falls and breaks. Then again the mall, the presents, and on contrast the hands of a child who writes a letter to Santa Claus.
The soundtrack here has childish and fairytale sounds until the director takes us inside the child's house where something starts to be off as the Christmas balls that roll from the tree towards us suggest, providing foreshadowing an idea of danger and chain reaction (very nice close-up of one of the Christmas balls which, taking possession of the whole field of view, resembles a planet).
From the shopping center, we get to the house. From the outside, we arrive inside, from the appearance to the substance. All the good intentions of a magical Christmas are sucked into reality, an unhappy reality that pushes the child to take refuge in a dream, where Santa Claus arrives to tear him away from the pain and take him into a world of toys and serenity.
The colors follow the feelings of the protagonists and act as a true soundtrack. The stark contrast between the bright, decked house that is shown from the outside and the blurred and almost confused colors that characterize the interior of the house is used as the visual aspect of the film's theme. Once inside, unrest is felt. The characters seem deliberately little involved in the story, almost wanting to represent that the problem of domestic unhappiness is universal. The actors are then more storytellers than interpreters as if the house they are in were everybody's home. Because everyone, from the outside, apparently seems happy. But inside?
Beautiful special effects and illustrations and good all the technical departments directed by Luca Machnich that did a great job on his first-time director work.
Directed by Sophia Romma
“There’s not a poor jew. They control media, show business, airlines”. "Chinese are everywhere, taking everything". These are two of the lines of the beginning of the experimental movie USED AND BORROWED TIME by Sophia Romma.
The imprint is therefore clear since the very beginning. Racism and bias are the themes of the movie, eviscerated through a deep plot that tells the story of the blind Eva Gold (portrayed as young by the very good Emily Seibert and as old by the amazing Cam Kornman).
Eva is a Jew that as a young girl fell in love with an African American young boy back in the sixties, during the segregation laws. When she is around 70 years old, she travels back in time and meets herself right during her love story.
The writer and director Sophia Romma jumps back and forth in the tale using a bridge that links two historical periods but that is both times compromised by racism, whether it's about Jews or African Americans, or Chinese people. But she never leads the audience too far away from the sets that she’s decided to use. This choice provides an atmosphere of claustrophobia that compels the audience to stay tight on the words, on the racist, deliberately awful, lines that the antagonists pronounce. Even the unusual length of the movie seems on this goal. Intent totally and successfully achieved.
It might sound like a regular drama movie, but the use of illustrations that appear on the screen unexpectedly, the length, and the stationary direction and filmography, makes it definitely an experimental work, as the director and writer herself said.
So the writing and the acting are the most important compartments and they did not fail. Besides the two protagonists that we’ve already cited, we urge to mention the amazing Grant Morenz, who portrays Wade Woods, an unbearable and racist uncle.
Also incredible is the job made by Alex Voronin for the sound, that doesn’t fail once, despite the very long length of the movie.
There’s not a real soundtrack, but an amazing band (Queen Ilise, Gabriel Lawson, Travis Milner, Larry Ross, King Beat) that walks the audience during the story, almost like if it was an external spectator of the pain of the actors.
The warm and perfect voice of Queen Ilise caresses the characters kindly and represents an additional element that seals this movie as an experimental work.
Directed by Andrés Ricaurte and Martín Agudelo Ramírez
UN CAMINO PARA TOMÀS (A WAY FOR TOMÁS), directed by Andrés Ricuarte and Martín Agudelo Ramírez, tells the journey of a man in his past.
The metaphor is clear from the very beginning thanks to the remarkable use of colors (only green, white, and black) that show images of rare beauty.
The film opens with the protagonist Tomás (portrayed by Sergio Dávila Llinás) walking in a forest. The photography (signed by Mateo Londoño) is predominant and recalls a painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing.
We are in the present, for whose story is strangely chosen a cold tone. Step by step Tomàs goes into the woods and at the same time into his past, which instead is told in warm tones, actually coherent with the emotions that stimulate him.
And again thanks to the masterful photography we jump from Dewing to the dazzling colors of Frida Khalo in which red, white, and green form the background of Tomás as a child, and fade into the memory of Tomás as a teenager who lives the memory and promises of his first love, where we return to softer colors.
The dialogues are direct, clean, they seem to recall small monologues, deliberately disconnected from the 'question and answer' system but more like a flow of consciousness that is unique for each character. This happens until we return to a painting by Frida, with Tomás's mother (Carolina Ramírez) who acts as a mirror, as a revelation of truth exposed like a " beautifully decaying" bride in front of the flame of a fireplace (a scene in which we can also appreciate the amazing costume design by Laura Vallejo).
Tomás was looking for answers, but as often happens in the face of a confrontation with those who brought us into the world, therefore in the rawest and pure comparison, one comes up with further questions. And the author himself (Martín Agudelo Ramírez), in fact, leaves us in front of the question previously posed by Edgar Allan Poe: "Are we in a dream within a dream?"
To season this "little" visual masterpiece is the music of the rising band La Banda Del Bisonte, which with soft rock notes caresses Tomàs and the audience during his journey, demonstrating together with the whole cast and all the crew of this film how alive, active, and rich is Latin American artistic production (and in this specific case the Colombian one).