Thursday, April 21, 2016

Short Story Cinema: DVD Review: Vancouver's 8-Day Filmmaking Extravaganza --Crazy 8's

When I had attended the Badass Film Festival back in Febuary of this year I met Paul Armstrong who was having his festival the very next weekend. Paul had given me a ticket to the event even though I told him I was unsure if I could make it.

 It was a big night for the event , having started back in 1999 it has come a long way in all these years. The program book states that Crazy 8's has facilitated the creation of 91 films over the past 16 years and this years addition of films comes to 97.

I was unable to make the festivals event that evening but met Paul again at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival where he gave me a copy of the DVD that I am going to review here.
 First let me tell you that over 179 teams applied and only 6 were chosen for this event:
                              A FAMILY OF GHOSTS
This tells the story of Abigail falling for her piano teacher and her very overprotective deceased grandparents , what happens here is a warm little story of love and meddling loved ones in other peoples business and the harm that can be done when doing so.
This is a fantastic little film and have watched it a number of times already I really enjoyed the performances of the young actors, the story was good and the short deserves to be on this DVD as one of the winners of  the Crazy 8's selections. Even though this is about ghosts it can be viewed by the entire family, nothing scary here.

 This is my favorite short on the DVD , full of humor and action --in the grocery store to boot. A man is desperately trying to get somethings together like cheese and some other things for the hip friends that he and his wife have invited over for a visit.She has not made any friends in Vancouver since they moved there a few months ago.
Things go wrong and he starts by offending the man giving away cheese samples by spitting it out.
He is quickly running out of time and then once at the till does he realize he has forgotten the crackers to add to the menu. He has to go back out into the world of chaos of shoppers and other employees of the store to find his other items.

Vivian from a very young age has found that she loves crunching numbers and skulls as well. Pushing her classmate in front of the school bus when in Elementary school, then years later still enjoying the math aspect she now kills for Alex. He is the mail person for the building where they both work. She kills random purpose now to get things for Alex, to basically buy his love.
One night she takes Alex out for dinner and then realizes he is not what she wants after he has no interest in her --she moves onto more senseless killing.

                                       ITERATION 1
Iteration 1 is the one film here you need to pay close attention too. This has an interesting story where the young woman above(Katherine Isabelle)wakes on a bed and has 60 seconds to figure out how to escape the room, if not she dies and reawakens to solve it all over again.If she repeats it then a ghost of her former self is also in the room with her at that time.
Room after room she has to solve another puzzle to make it to the end , she does succeed ........or does she really?
Very interesting film , reminded me very much of a Twilight Zone episode was compelled to watch it another time to get a better idea of what it was all about.

                                            MEET CUTE
This is a cute romantic little piece where 2 strangers exchange numbers at the back of a wedding inside  a church. Her feelings get the better of her for a second and pulls him for a kiss , he runs from the church.
He is gay and married he tells her , this leads to many questions she has with her friend and he his shrink. She likes him and wants more, he is not sure what his feelings are and continues to doubt himself and his sexuality.
I really enjoyed this film for the subject matter was handled well and the actors played their parts very well.
Ellie & Steve only want what seems to be so easy for a good number of their friends , getting pregnant does not seem easy for them and many others on the planet as well.
They try scheduling sessions of sex and random places like their car or injecting weird substances  into Ellie's butt, it should all help, right?
The film is funny and heartbreaking as Ellie is really persistent about it all. At a birthday party for one of their friends she is asked to hold a friends baby and the stress of it all makes her snap.
There are happier days ahead for this couple but will not spoil it for you here what happens.

I would like to thank Paul Armstrong for giving me this DVD of the films and am making my calendar empty for next years event.

Thank you for reading this
Anthony Nadeau

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