I think most people go in to a movie that’s labeled a found footage anthology film might be expecting something like “VHS,” but directors Michael McQuown and Vincent J Guastini have so much more ambitious in mind. While the aforementioned horror film garnered a small assemblage of horror stories with a framework, “The Dark Tapes” tries to add more cogency. Everything in “The Dark Tapes” is cryptic and complex, and what we’re watching ends up making more sense the more we think about it. The directors obviously aspired to make a movie you have to watch more than once to understand. And of course they invite audiences to go to the movie’s website to perhaps convey their own theories about what the movie entails.
Technology has become such a humongous part of our everyday lives it’s now become a tool that we take for granted, and use without caution. It’s embedded in everything we do now, and because of that, we’re prone to broadcasting how stupid and absurd we can be to the outside world. Peter Huang’s short anthology entitled “5 Films About Technology” is a laugh out loud funny and realistic look at how five groups of people all end up committing some kind of ridiculous act with their own technology thanks to stupidity or circumstance.
Speaking as someone who has dealt with mental illness for my entire life, “The Voice in the Head” brought a tear to my eye. Cyrus Trafford’s short film is a riveting and gut wrenching look at mental illness and how small the disparities are between those with a mental illness and those that perceive themselves as sane. Most of all, “The Voice in the Head” is a unique look at how often we jump to conclusions toward those with a mental illness or with people that seem to indicate mental illness. Too often in society has mental illness been stigmatized and demonized, and there are still too many individuals with zero understanding of psychological illness and how it can destroy lives and those around them.
Director Chris Esper and writer Jason K. Allen have a lot of ideas about fate, irony, and destiny and integrates them well in his absurdist comedy short about a couple that meets on a bench one afternoon. “The Deja Vuers” is funny, but it’s also quite intelligent, arousing some unique thoughts about how much control we have over our own lives. Are we following some rhythm, or are we voluntarily setting the stage for our own futures? Kris Salvi is great as a man named Chuck who approaches Morgan one day while sitting on a park bench. He insists he’s had déjà vu with her, and remembers them meeting in a dream.
Elizabeth Arledge’s PBS-aired documentary offers a snapshot on the impact that Alzheimer’s disease has on the national economy and individual families. According to the medical professionals interviewed here, the near-future costs of Alzheimer’s care threaten to bankrupt both Medicare and Medicaid while rivaling the Department of Defense’s budget for the sheer level of spending. This is because there has been no breakthrough in Alzheimer’s treatments – unlike heart disease, cancer or HIV/AIDS, nobody can survive this disease once it begins to take its lethal toll – but federal spending on research for the disease is much smaller compared to other medical categories.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Roger Sherman sets his camera on Israeli culinary culture. With Israeli-American restauranteur Michael Solomonov as the on-screen narrator and guide, the film wanders throughout Israel sampling the foods prepared in the nation’s finest eateries and in the homes of several private cuisine.
Director Max Beauchamp’s “Iridescence” is an excellent short film and one that we desperately need these days. Conveyed through motion, body language, and dance, “Iridescence” is the story of one family torn apart and destroyed by ignorance and misunderstanding. Relying on ace editing by Duy N. Bui and fantastic choreography, director Beauchamp tells the story of the tragic death of a wife at the hands of her husband one fateful night. Years later their son grows up confused about his own sexuality and is struggling to hide his affair with another man from his violent father.
Being an artist is tough work. Not only do you have to work very hard to hone your craft, and perfect it, but you also have to fight to be taken seriously. Jeremy Weinstein’s chronicle of his brother’s life as a Jazz Musician is a funny and charming slice of life and how a talented Jazz Musician finds himself on the end of man condescending remarks.