Chris Jopp’s short horror film feels like a lost segment from “Cat’s Eye.” It’s a nice and fun horror tale about fate intervening and coming to rescue of someone who didn’t know they needed rescuing. Samantha just moved in to a new apartment in a new town and has to deal with an overbearing mother who insists in calling her every chance she gets. What worse, is that she also has to deal with a very intrusive and overly attentive landlord who insists that pets are not allowed in the building.
From Showtime and Kino Lorber comes what is basically a fun primer of adult cinema for folks that might want to either re-visit the genre, or perhaps learn where to start their collection. “X-Rated” is a very R rated look at some of the greatest Adult movies of all time, and manages to interview many of the surviving cast members of films like “The Opening of Misty Beethoven,” “Deep Throat,” and the once very controversial “Taboo.” Its surprising to see how much involvement many of the cast members had in making these classic porn movies, and how affectionately a lot of modern adult stars discuss these movies with a lot of insight and enthusiasm.
Director Amy Grappell digs deep in to her childhood and touches upon a part of her young life that normally might hurt others or inspire discomfort. In 1969, Amy Grappell moves from Brooklyn to Long Island with her mother and further. Both parents were struggling with their own marriage and were working hard to stay together. After meeting another couple at a local beach club, both her mother and father Paul and Deanna eventually found kindred spirits in Eleanor and Robert, both of whom were also struggling with their own marriage at the time.
Director Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner’s short “Scavengers” originally premiered on cable television and is admittedly at home in the Adult Swim studio library. The studio that thrives on creating different entertainment, “Scavengers” is an ambitious and thought provoking animated film with no dialogue, but incredible sound design. The experience of “Scavengers” hinges on every sound we hear in this new environment, and we’re thrust in to a new world without having characters over explain and hold our hands through what we’re watching.
Alex Glustrom’s documentary focuses on New Orleans’ Charity Hospital, a healthcare landmark that fell victim to political machinations in the post-Katrina period.
Founded in 1736, Charity Hospital was located at different locations over the years before the 1939 opening of its massive 2,680-bed facility. Originally operated by the Daughters of Charity religious order and celebrating for providing high quality medical care to patients of all races and economic conditions, the hospital was administered by the Louisiana State University (LSU) System in 1997. LSU advocated for a new medical facility in the early 2000s but was unable to obtain state funding. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – when the rescue effort to evacuate patients and medical staff was uncommonly lethargic – LSU abruptly shut down Charity Hospital even though the facility had been restored to functioning ability by the U.S. Army.
After the slow burn of his indie thriller “Absentia,” director Mike Flanagan delights again with “Hush.” One of the many films in the grand tradition of “Wait Until Dark,” director Flanagan teams a disabled heroine against a merciless predator who not only wants to murder, but also delights in making her final moments as painful as possible. With a limited setting and cast, director Mike Flanagan is able to take what could have been a tired rehash of tropes and clichés, and transforms it in to a devastating and intense game of cat and mouse. Maddie is a woman who was left deaf and mute after a viral infection. Seeking to finish her new novel, she ventures out in to a condo in the woods as a means of getting away from a turbulent relationship and figuring out how to finish her new manuscript. One night, Maddie doesn’t notice the wolf standing at her door who quickly realizes her inability to detect him.
Lluís Quílez’s short science fiction drama reminded me of the famous opening line from Frederic Brown’s “Knock”: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” Director Quílez centers his science fiction tale on a man named Edgar who spends his days biding his time for inevitable rescue, and looking for some semblance of companion ship in his every day life. Edgar walks around the ruins of his city after an undisclosed “incident” has caused many to flee or die off.
In 1984, Toronto-based filmmaker Richard Fung released Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians, which focused on 14 men and women of South, East and Southeast Asian backgrounds. The film broke new ground in detailing both the increasingly visible LGBT community within Canada and the unique cultural challenges that Asian-Canadians faced both in the LGBT world, their own cultures and the wider national society.