Friday, December 5, 2008

Southern Mini-Fest (Rhoades)

A Mini Film Fest Straight from Ft. Lauderdale

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Okay, so it’s not quite the same as the Sundance Film Festival. No movie stars and directors and distributors, like those I encounter at Sundance.

And, as a matter of fact, it’s a secondhand film festival, borrowed from Ft. Lauderdale.

Even so, FLIFF’s Southernmost Mini Fest – seven films showing on December 10th at the Tropic Cinema – is certainly a movie marathon worthy of any aficionado’s attention.

These intriguing entries in the 2008 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) range from comedies to action dramas. Sponsored by Visit Florida & The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science, this Tropic Cinema event is supported by Island City House.

Starting at 9 a.m., you get a new screening every two hours all day long.

“Taos” is the story of a hopeful young attorney and his controlling blue-blooded fiancé, stranded in a mystical town in northern New Mexico where dreams may just come true.

“Off Jackson Avenue” is a section of New York City where a Japanese hit man, Mexican prostitute, and car thief collide in a “smack-bang tale of ambition, survival and fate.”

“A Deal Is a Deal” gives us a wannabe novelist who is stuck in the city driving trains because he can’t afford to retire to the country … until he learns that if you have three fatal accidents on your train you get automatic retirement with 10 years salary. Hmm.

“The Auteur” is a satiric comedy about a famous porn director who is trying to raise money for his long-awaited masterpiece, “Gang Bangs of New York.”

“The 27 Club” is about a dead guy who hopes to join that rarified group of rock ’n rollers who died at age 27 – Janis, Jimi, and Kurt, et al.

“Lifelines” is a close-up portrait of a dysfunctional family. Dad’s a tyrant, Mom’s at wits end, the eldest son is repressed, the daughter has a serpent’s tongue, and the 12-year-old can twist everyone else’s words like a pretzel. Makes your own family look pretty good.

“I Do & I Don’t” is an examination of pre-marital counseling gone awry, with Bob and Cheryl’s traditional Catholic wedding jeopardized by too much “sharing.”

An interesting collection, these are films you’ll want to discuss over a cup of Zabar’s coffee in Tropic’s lobby between the showings. A big benefit over a trip to Sundance, you don’t have to run all over town to catch all the screenings – and the weather’s warmer than Park City, Utah.
[from Solares Hill]

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