The May Flowers edition of Independent Exposure from Microcinema International is here and the program is still running strong judging from the likes of the selections found here. Attention must first be paid to the short that runs before the entire program, IMMEDIATE attention:
Cellular Crimes ^ ***** ^ Directed by Brett Simon & Lily Prillinger ^ This short needs to be played in every movie theater across our country, big or small, and as my sister repeatedly told me after seeing it, “after the previews and before the movie.” The focus here is on Angie, an art student using a cell phone during a showing of “Annie Hall” at a movie theater. Obsessive-compulsive cell phone users who like to use them during a movie had better pay attention to this one. Just when you least expect it, you could end up like Angie. Oh yeah, and it’s also hilarious.
Now then. Here are the selections for the May Flowers Edition:
Gardener III – Revenge ^ ****1/2 ^ Directed by Jason Woliner ^ One of the film shorts that the Lumiere Brothers made during their time was one where a gardener would be watering his lawn and a boy comes and steps on the hose, causing the water to stop. The gardener peeks into the nozzle and the boy takes his foot off the hose and the gardener gets sprayed. We learn that there was such popularity to it that a sequel was filmed and as it so happens, Jason Woliner “uncovered” the third part of the Gardener trilogy. It may be a bit unorthodox to use rap music at one point in this “silent” short, but why the hell not? Everything found here works perfectly.
Visible World ^ ** ^ Directed by Ruby Gold ^ What in God/Allah/Jesus’ name is this woman talking about here? Supposedly, she talks about how when people die, they leave a big hole in our visible world and then she talks about memories and some other stuff like that. It only starts to make sense within the second minute of the short, but by then, it’s far too late. Bag it and tag it, doc, and don’t forget the time of death.
Henry’s Garden ^ ****1/2 ^ Directed by Kevin Geiger and Moon Seun ^ This nicely animated piece focuses on Henry, a giant trying to enjoy the flowers in his garden when a heck of a lot of tires roll through it and a city suddenly pulls up right in his area of peace. It’s a bit difficult to understand what’s being said here (Yeah, there is a message), but a quote by Victor Hugo at the end, puts it all into perspective.
Tenderness ^ *** ^ Directed by Sara Pellegrini ^ In this one, you can find shots of shoulders, knees, and other parts of the human body, while on-screen text ponders what’s considered tender. Is it a child at a young and vulnerable age? Is it a kiss? Heck, it’s all these things.
Side Show ^ ***1/2 ^ Directed by Edie Faig ^ Carnivals are fun, what with carneys, over-sized elephant ears, and enough sugar to make even the toughest parent cry. In this one, a kid walks around a carnival, spotting another kid walking away with an oversized prize from one of the games. While admiring that, he gets his arm ripped off (literally) by another kid who runs away with it. He begins the search for his arm that takes us to many interesting places at this carnival, including the making of “Muckshakes.” There’s plenty to laugh about here.
Music for Perplexed People ^ *** ^ Directed by Laura Gines ^ Pieces of music from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and others, are set against animation that shows, or seems to show, perplexed people. Most impressive is a person looking at a window and the window suddenly rolls away.
Hunt ^ **1/2 ^ Directed by Marius Dybwad Brandrud ^ It’s shorts like these that make me glad I was sent a synopsis sheet of every single film in the program. This experimental bit is about “the act of defining, classifying, and categorizing involved in the….” blah, blah, blah, “hunt for understanding, knowledge, and henceforth, power.” Really? I could have sworn it was a rejected Nike ad because this guy’s shoes must have really taken quite a beating. This film features frenzied footage of a guy running through the woods and judging from the distance between him and the sheep running in front of him at times, I think the sheep owe him money.
Drawn ^ ** ^ Directed by Ian Kibbey ^ Another example of, “Praise the genius that included the synopsis sheet.” Here, it’s “an animation of a daydream during a car trip.” A bunch of thin, squiggly lines starts it off, lines that are supposed to represent passing buildings. We then delve into what seems to be a happy time for this daydreamer. When all is said and done, it’s just a bunch of squiggly lines to me.
Resurrection ^ *** ^ Directed by Tricia Van Heusen ^ This one is fun to watch. You know when you rub your eyes when they’re closed and you sometimes get that freaky imagery? That’s part of what’s found here. The scratched up, bleached, and painted footage was all done by hand and it’s really interesting. If only waking up was like this.
At Dawning ^ ***1/2 ^ Directed by Martin Jones ^ A woman (Jenny Agutter) tries to leave the scene of a one-night stand, only to be stopped by a suicidal man who has jumped from the roof of the building and unsuccessfully landed in a tree. She regrets the one-night stand, he just threw out his girlfriend, and the twists begin from there. Everything involved here leads to one of the most satisfying endings I have ever seen.
Kunstbar ^ ***** ^ Directed by Steve Whitehouse ^ Art lovers will revel in this one time and time again. It’s their own kind of “Star Wars.” Even for those who aren’t such big fans of art might enjoy this as well. The fun begins when a guy walks into the Kunstbar. You see, the drinks are named after artists and when consumed, the people begin to represent the pain that specific artist experienced. The main character orders a Jackson Pollock and the bartender throws it in his face, covering him with plenty of lines and splotches. Another guy drinks a Van Gogh and his ear falls off. Mind you, those are the easiest ones to get. Steve Whitehouse is one creative dude and he’s someone to watch.

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