Last night I went to go see NEWFILMMAKERS SCREENS NEW YORK CITY FILMMAKERS at Film Anthology Archives (32 2nd Ave.). I remained—throughout—basically unmoved. As the films were short (ranging from 8-20 minutes in length), so will be my reviews.
Arnold Brooks KING UNCONSCIOUS (2006, 8 minutes, video): arcane.
Lisa Martin GARE D’AUSTERLITZ (2008, 10 minutes, video) is about a backpacker who becomes pregnant accidentally and loses her baby in the Gare D’Austerlitz. 15 years later she finds herself in the same train station, overwhelmed by memories—she is reminded of how entrapped she felt by the brief pregnancy and how liberated, calmed she felt once she loses the baby. I am pretty sure she is meant to be a feminist figure (the film is produced by Bitchgoddess films) but is this woman a feminist simply because she feels freed by a miscarriage? Is she a bitchgoddess?
Ann Husaini THE END OF MAGIC (2007, 16 minutes, 16mm) is about a mother (there is something disconcerting about the woman’s vivacity, religiosity from the beginning of the film) and her two young daughters who are on their way to an amusement park when their car breaks down. It becomes clear, as the mother is unable to deal with the increasingly stressful situation, that she is mentally ill, schizophrenic. I was feeling saddened by the oldest daughter’s nascent awareness of her mother’s sickness until the daughter says something like this: Daddy says if you took your pills you wouldn’t hear voices.
Nhieu Do CRY RIVER (2007, 20 minutes, video): problematic.