fall, my wife and I look forward to going to the Manhattan Short Film Festival
at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). The relatively short (~15
minute) film format, while still highly entertaining, suits my short attention
span. The weekend showings were organized by island movie maven TJ Faddis. For
those of you who couldn’t attend, here are my impressions:
- Two soccer-loving young brothers find a lost donkey in the desert wearing headphones on its ear while carrying surprising cargo. I liked that the younger sibling’s innocence wins out over his brother’s greed and stupidity.
- A construction site disaster spirals into an intense exposé on the world of human labor trafficking. This one shook me up!
- An Iranian wife has the last laugh at the increasing animosity between her overbearing husband and chauvinistic driving instructor. This story line is especially poignant at a time when we so desperately need women to have an equal footing on the world stage.
- In a somewhat whimsical look at the demeaning treatment experienced by those who bring us our meals, a waitress imagines a particularly brutal serving of revenge.
- Tennis becomes a battleground for two intensely competitive older women. It was really amazing how the filmmaker was able to expose so much of each woman’s inner life through the narrow lens of a tennis match.
- A story about a woman repeatedly rejected from admission to a famed dance school illustrates the importance of never giving up on our dreams. The reveal of her disability at the end was particularly poignant.
- A daughter cleverly uses a robot to help her grieving father move on with his life. Note to my daughters: Please buy a compassionate robot for the one of us who is left behind. P.S. 30 years from now.
- A financially destitute woman’s last ride in her beloved car portrays some truths about our society’s love affair with automobiles and the depth of her personal loss. I can associate many of my own memories with the cars I owned and the music that played on their radios. Note: This film was voted the festival favorite by viewers worldwide.
- An innocent young woman wakes up in a hotel room with an elderly man. I enjoyed the delightful twists and turns.
- The last film is a tortuous look into the relationship between a lonely government worker and a reluctant soldier in a much too plausible post-apocalyptic future. This one creeped me out!
Mark your calendar for next year’s MANHATTAN SHORT Sept. 25-27.
ABOUT MIKE LISAGOR – Mike Lisagor plays harmonica and sings in Good Karma Blues. He has written hundreds of magazine articles and blogs on a variety of business and Buddhist related topics. He is the author of “Romancing the Buddha,” which he adapted into a successful one-man show that he performed at Bainbridge Performing Arts and in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. His nature photographs have appeared in the Boston Globe, Bainbridge Island Magazine, Living Buddhism as well as in several local galleries. His latest graphic art project, “Reimagined Nature”, is in the lobby of New Motion Physical Therapy.