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Today I saw 3 films, back to back to back.  Don Verdean, Advantageous, and Cloro. I wish there were some sort of machine that could help circulate my blood back to my legs when I sit for hours on end.  Thats really the only thing I don’t like about movies…

Today I went out on a limb and tried to waitlist the long awaited Don Verdean which was created by Jared Hess.  For those of you who don’t know, Hess created the popular Napolean Dynamite back in 2004 as it made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.  To my luck I got 103/300.  Not bad odds.  I jumped out of bed,  put some warm clothes on and hustled to the bus stop.  Luckily, when I arrived, I met a woman who offered me her ticket. I was in.  I chose to skip a movie that I already had a ticket to in search of comedic relief from thinking too critically of films, which in some way or another should be consumed for its entertaining value.

Don Verdean was exactly what I was looking for: sarcastic, goofy, (non) religious, and fresh.  Unlike some of the heavier films I’ve seen at the festival this year, DV was a fresh form of comedy that poked fun at religious archeologists that sometimes try to find meaning (and artifacts) in places that sometimes don’t exist. Whether it be searching for Goliath’s ancient skull, Lot’s Wife, or the Holy Grail, Jared Hess did a good job of walking the fine line between the existence of these religious artifacts and the satire in humanity’s pursuit for such things.

Advantageous was an honest film about the future and the increasing competitiveness in the western world to stay afloat financially.  The film explores single-mother hardships and her struggle to provide an ‘advantageous’ education opportunity for her daughter Jules.  I enjoyed the film’s message about identity, parenthood, and society’s value of superficial things.

Cloro, which literally ‘chlorine’ in Italian is the story of a teenage girl named Jenny who is given more responsibilities than she deserves when her mother (unexpectedly) dies and her father falls into a mental illness.  Jenny is forced to take care of her father and younger brother in Northern Italy while still pursuing her dreams as a synchronized swimmer for the Italian National team.

So far:

In Football We Trust: The ‘identity film’ that explores the Polynesian football culture in Utah.

Cronies: A must see that challenges the way we think of traditional film and interracial friendships. Michael J. Larnell’s debut, NYU senior thesis film!

Tig: A story about resilience, attitude, and perspective in times of struggle.


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