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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    SBU-TV Short Film Showcase

    This past Tuesday was SBU-TV’s Short Film Showcase, featuring the work of Cinema and Cultural Studies majors. For almost two hours a large and supportive audience viewed the productions of students’ hard work and passion.

    The Film Showcase was directed by Karina Offurum and judged and publicized by Anna Aguilar, Anthony Famulari, Ryan Hough, Steve Kreitzer, Maricela Lares, Lauren Luft, Forrest Silvers, and Charlene Spence. The committee screened 11 entries featuring a variety of genres, cinematography styles, and stories.

    Justin Meltzer directed the evening’s first and last screened entries, “Cure for the Itch,” and “The Vixen.” The former is named after the Linkin Park song and used parallel inter-cutting to show two scenes happening simultaneously. As a D.J. spun at the University Cafe, a hit man was fighting a crew of well-dressed gangsters in an empty garage. The latter movie was like a film noir — the hero, the femme fatale, the corrupt cop, and the object that connects them.

    The second entry, “Crazy,” was directed by Ernie Layung. By opening the film with a male character secretly meeting his girlfriend, it is assumed he would stay the main character. But the couple’s female spy quickly takes center stage. Some may consider the ending a surprise while others may see it as predictable when the real couple is revealed.

    The next film, “Breakfast with Al Pacino,” did not have a clear story but a narrative that progresses from uncomfortable to strange bewilderment. The director, Chloe Weil, continiuously held the camera on a woman always wearing the same ’50s style dress and making a new breakfast each morning for the actor Al Pacino. His films played on the TV as she cooked and set the table. The only lines of his dialogue heard by the audience cannot be repeated here because of its offensiveness.

    Jack Grimmett’s entry, “Veal,” was a horror flick about a heavyset 20-something man who covers his face in clown makeup before torturing his young female victim in the house basement. The selected music matches the pace of the scenes set against it and includes an assortment of genres like blues and rock. The lighting is dim and the objects have a softened appearance.

    The fifth screening was Arielle Renwart’s “Sunny Jester.” This comedy kept the audience laughing as the main character relayed the day’s events to his friend. His moments of embellishment are set straight but still make for funny moments. His objective was to submit a demo tape to a record company, but all did not go as planned. From getting hit by a car and then into a fight, he could not make the deadline. However, all ends well.

    “The Last Fisherman,” directed by Salvatore Lizzio, was shot here on campus and moved to Stony Brook’s beach for the second part. A homeless man searched for half-uneaten garbage, but after finding a fishing rod and an angelic figure giving him blessed bait, he is able to eat a proper dinner. However, all is not how it seems — a receipt shows how much his gifts cost and must be paid for.

    The seventh entry, “Bruce Unglued,” was an experimental film by Jon K. Hia about the vegan diet with electronic music, starring a young man at a supermarket and then on a swing at a park. The latter scene was fast paced and may have been accomplished by overlap editing.

    Shuchao Luo’s “Child of Backhaus” opened with two teenage boys getting high and discussing beauty. When a girl is introduced into the scene, one of the boys leaves, and the couple goes off to smoke more. It could not have had running time of more than ten minutes but was edited at a slow pace.

    Returning to comedy (and the audience’s favorite) was “Love’s a Drag,” directed by Nikki Zhang. Two girls are dressed as men while a male is dressed as a woman. From its shot per minute ratio and sepia toned film, it appears as if produced in the silent era. As the two “men” fight for the “woman’s” affection and attention, a small male dog courts “her.” The fighting scenes were choreographed in anticpation of how it would be paced.

    The most entertaining film of the night was actually a music video of the band Vaeda, which was directed by Jennifer Kim. It is uncertain if the band was aware of her camera or willingly participated because the performance and lighting were stylized and in sync, resulting in a lively tone. It could have been seen on any music channel’s amateur contest.

    All in all it was an enjoyable show — one that should become an annual or even semi-annual event. Due to the limited resources in the Cinema and Cultural Studies department, it is great for the film arts to have a venue, and students to screen their works for their peers. Congratulations to all those who participated.

    Since I will be graduating this May, this review is my last for the Statesman. I have been a staff writer/ film critic since I transferred here in the fall 2006. Thank you to the past and current editors and readers. I hope you have enjoyed reading these reviews as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Good luck with your finals and have a great summer.

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