As you might know from my last post, Saturday night I was so thrilled to be apart of LACMA’s 12th annual Young Director’s Night. Highlighting 7 short films by some of the best up & coming film makers. The evening took place at The Bing Theatre & I would like to give you a little insight to each wonderful film, & make sure to click on the link provided on each film title to learn more:
Boom Box Kids, by Taylor Gledhill, is a hilarious ‘bro-mance’ style comedy that tells the story of wanna-be boy band The Boom Box Kids in the early 1990’s. What happens when a hit maker manager wants to sign just one of the members?! I was so impressed by the actors portraying the performers. They were all hilarious & by the end, added the heart that these kind of comedies often have. The actor playing their band manager was also excellent.
Dry Cleaner, by Masami Kawai, was a fast paced, edge of your seat drama telling the story of a young korean woman, Jae & her Mother trying to keep their dry cleaning business afloat following the death of Jae’s father. Much drama surrounds them, though, as the business is involved with a horrible crime syndicate. The ending climax is one I did not see coming & the direction of photography is stunning, especially in the shots of the nitty-gritty streets of Los Angeles.
Skip Town, by Banner Gwin, is a brilliantly crafted silent film featuring only the piano compositions of musician, Nico Muhly with one actor (Who some may recognize from the classic soap opera, Dark Shadows) attempting to ‘skip town’ fast & amidst much panic & anxiety. As a lover of silent films, this one was especially a highlight for me.
Teens Like Phil, by Dominic Haxton, was a story all too true for many who have been bullied in school, especially for simply being who they are. I admit, I had to close my eyes at a few scenes Haxton so brilliantly directed. Filmed in New York, making for gorgeous backdrops, this short shows what ‘teens like Phil’ go through when bullied by someone they thought was a friend.
Sweet, Sweet Country, by Dehanza Rogers, shows the courageous story of a woman who has escaped a Kenyan refugee camp & is living in a southern state relying in part on her lover to help support her family still back home. When her family literally shows up on her doorstep, plates fly as her Father does not approve at how his daughter is supporting herself in the US.
To Beauty, by Jess Zakira Wise, is a cinematic re-creation of 6 paintings by Otto Dix. Definitely the most cryptic film I thought of the evening, Wise captures so much with, & she said so herself in the post-interview, colors. While gathering what this 7 minute film means to you, the viewer, the array of colors throughout the scenes were stunning. I certainly left wanting to take notice of those around me, as she hopes To Beauty does to her audience.
Paulie, by Andrew Nackman, is an adorable & humorous account of a young asian prodigy who seeks revenge on a bully he suspects has cheated to beat Paulie at an essay contest. The movement & dialogue between these young & shining actors was just great….I really loved the scene where Paulie ends up sharing his opponents ‘Congrats’ cake with him at his home! This short was a splendid end to a night over brimming with creativity.
Next up was a Q&A with the film makers. Getting to learn what brought each of them to where they are today was inspiring; Jess entered To Beauty at the last-minute, Dominic feels there needs to be more movies about gays, Dehanza was thrilled to get an actor from The Wire on her project & there was much applause from the audience, Andrew says he is working on a feature-length that takes Paulie to college at 13!
A festive time was had by all in The Los Angeles Times Court just outside the theatre, with wine, cupcakes & great conversation with everyone I had the privilege of speaking with!:)
(*Disclosure: I was provided press access to this event, courtesy of The Los Angeles Museum of Art. All opinions are my own & I had a wonderful evening. Photograph: Property of LACMA.)