Reel Affirmations 2004
Review by Kristina Campbell
Rating: (3 out of 5)
Tuesday, 10/19/2004, 6:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $0 at Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC
THE SEVEN SHORT films in this collection cover an array of clever, provocative stories centered on young women and girls and offer a little bit of something for everyone. Unfortunately, while most of the films are entertaining, none really stand out as solidly good cinematic offerings.
Baker’s Men () tries to be cute, but the two little girls sitting in the sandbox spouting psychobabble are more annoying than precious. They recite patty-cake over and over and speculate on whether the boys on the playground would be caught in such a game. “Society would deem it too emasculating,” one of them says.
In a single minute, The Frog Princess () tells the quick story of a lonely woman having breakfast whose world changes when she hears a croaking toad on her balcony. But sometimes finding true love requires a little extra effort.
Viewers of a certain age will surely love Afterschool Delight , a retro romp in 1977 Santa Monica where two sexually curious young girls get more than they bargained for when they hide inside one girl’s brother’s closet. What starts as a conversation about hoping they never get their periods leads to a search for porn in the brother’s bedroom, which leads to ducking into his closet when he and his girlfriend get home.
The Drive North () is artistic and well-written, but the young narrator talks waytoofasttounderstand. It’s too bad, because the story seems solid and reminiscent of many people’s unfortunate adventures in college. But using a blend of video, still photography and sketch animation, the end product is at least interesting to watch, and what comes through of the dialogue is funny and poignant.
Fly Cherry () boasts magnificent casting — including Shirley Knight as the reclusive neighbor and Sharon Lawrence as the mother of Cherry, an offbeat little girl who keeps to herself and wants desperately to fly — and is artfully written by Michele Greene, who made lesbian TV history as bicurious Abby in 1990 on L.A. Law. Through a brief and insightful encounter with the neighbor, Cherry finally finds her wings.
Asian lesbians get some overdue screen time in both Skate Her , which shows young lesbian skateboarders in California (says one, “I get a rush when I land a trick I never thought I could do”) and Troo Bloo , a love story that comes full circle over tea.