Thursday 24 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Features · Manhattan cocktail

Manhattan cocktail

With the local screenings of the Manhattan Short Film Festival, the power is with the people. Choose wisely.

Rod Lott September 28th, 2011

Manhattan Short Film Festival
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

That Internet thing has so hurt movie attendance that Hollywood’s resorted to gimmicks to lure people back to the ’plex. If it’s not unnecessary 3-D conversion every other week, it’s scratchand-sniff cards for “Spy Kids 4.” What if audience interactivity weren’t an afterthought, but a building block?

With Manhattan Short Film Festival, the power to pick the winner rests with the audience. After 598 entrants poured in from 48 countries, the field was narrowed to the 10 that comprise the showings Thursday through Sunday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art — just one of more than 250 cities across our globe’s inhabitable continents hosting the event.

I know what I would pick: “The Legend of Beaver Dam,” a 12-minute Canadian comedy surrounding an urban legend known as Stumpy Sam. But that’s because I found the melding of the rock musical, kiddie adventure and campground slasher to be novel. Perhaps bits on the recent Cairo uprising or a doctor moonlighting as a cabbie are more your Dixie cups of instant tea.

That’s the beauty of the festival: Its two hours are packed with variety ... but so much so that the wild mix has the potential to be a hindrance. While there’s something for everyone, not everything is for someone.

On the plus side, the Swedish “Incident by a Bank” is a recreation of a real robbery, but shot from the street outside, leaving your mind to piece events together based largely on auditory cues. On the minus side, Julia Stiles (TV’s “Dexter”), the only recognizable face in the bunch, stars in the American “Sexting,” a toothless work whose end is so predictable, I was surprised that playwright-turned-director Neil LaBute was behind it.

And somewhere in the middle is Australia’s “Dik,” in which a man’s misinterpretation of his son’s crayon scrawling of “I lik ribin tims dik” balloons into a situation so bad, it proves father doesn’t always know best.

Other films set their short sights on a teenager’s newborn baby to a dog eating dentures, so prepare to have your heart crushed and your stomach turned, respectively. More than anything, prepare to cast an educated, entertained ballot.

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