TRIBECA 2008 Short Films Review

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April 23- May 4th, 2008 –The Tribeca Film Festival has begun and will run now till May 4th with an incredible cross section of films, both 121 feature films and 53 premieres from around the planet. With a variety of engaging activities which include- The Tribeca Family Street Festival, and world premieres of both Universal’s Baby Mama and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Speed Racer. There are also other free events, including Tribeca Drive-In outdoor movies, and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day. As part of Tribeca’s roster of works includes 79 shorts making their debut at the festival. Some of shorts include the following:

Kirksdale (22 min.): Horror
A Southern mental hospital is the stage for horror at Kirksdale Hospital.
This is a nail biting film, with all the makings for a fright fest. Musically, it sets the tone with suspenseful moments which build to a climax. Acting is above par, and I consider it a heavy hitter in the short film competition. Set in rural 1960s, Florida, the eeriness and sadistic overtones is classic horror at its best. ****

Zombie Gets a Date (3 min): Animation, Kids
A Zombie and his not so enthralled dinner date.
Tensions are high as this undead single is looking for amor. Really entertaining and funny. In fact, the premise is enough to get you laughing and hooked. *** ½

The Aviatrix (10 min.): Science Fiction/Supernatural, Drama
A woman faced with life and death combats her affliction in the form of her intergalactic fantasy life.
Visual FX was promising, and plot-wise was interesting, however, it never got off the launch pad. The dialogue was flatter than one month old soda which made the film crash and burn. **

Last Time in Clerkenwell (4 min): Animation, Comedy
The Royal Bird Legion has its sights set on world domination.
Paired with the musical overtones, Clerkenwell is expertly produced. The black and white contrast cinematically creates a rigidity and martinet qualities that the legion possesses. Well done and just purely entertaining. ****

Goldfish (13 min): Comedy, Youth
Two third grade girls take on a mission to save imprisoned goldfish.
Suzy and Jenny take their mission seriously to liberate school goldfish. After viewing “Finding Nemo” nearly a dozen or so times, it’s their duty to send the fish back to their parents who they think are searching the entire ocean for their offspring. Hilarious story. Great acting which was reminiscent of “Ferris Bueller”. Mindy Sterling (“Austin Powers”) plays the girls’ teacher who first cautions the students about their captive fish. Great film! *****

New Boy (11 min): Coming of Age, Drama
It’s tough being the new boy in school.
Based on a short story, this story about a nine year old boy from Africa, named Joseph who struggles with trying to fit in his new school. Silent yet aware of everything around him, Joseph’s inner spirit and heart is ironclad. Adapting to his new surroundings and being the only child of color in his class, has made him a target for class bullies. Standing proud of where he came from (with flashbacks at his old school with his father), Joseph’s defiant nature while standing up to these bullies, causes the tide to turn in his favor. Wonderfully told without being verbose, “Newboy”, is a coming of age film, not to be forgotten. **** 1/2

Yellow Sticky Notes (6 min): Animation
Life as expressed in yellow sticky notes.
Cleverly crafted, “Yellow Sticky Notes”, takes us on the journey of the filmmaker and his life reflected in these can’t be without memory savers. Set to music, we follow his film career path, and interpersonal relationships along the way. Using only a single black pen and these 2300 + post-it pads, the depth of storytelling is evident. It’s sheer rawness creates its appeal. Resourcefulness is the mother of new phenomenal films. *****

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Tobe R. Roberts

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