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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Boston Scifi Festival Day 5

Boston Scifi Festival Day 5 - A short day for me so coverage will only include the 5pm showing but  in that segment I got to see three things two shorts, "Distance" and "Unidentified Flying Reality" and a feature "After Exodus". A bit tired from all the viewing it was good to get home at a decent hour and get a good nights sleep.

Distance (2013) - A fine film running about twenty five minutes that I was quite effected by. About a man Javier (Valentino del Toro) who immigrated to the United States and is now living there in the year 2038. He does manual labor at a corporate building but longs to see his daughter Laura (Victoria Ortiz) in person after at least a decade apart. He works hard but has grown out of touch with her and she has strong feelings of abandonment. This touches my feeling about having grown up with an absent Father and I probably had many of the feelings his daughter expressed in the film when I finally starting having contact with him on the phone. At the same time my daughter like his is 21 and can put myself in his place. He is working hard to better himself to be able to finally reconnect with her. In this future through web cams he can search for her on the internet and watch some of her life making the distance seem even bigger. He has been saving for five years to go visit her, and in this world mobility is the currency, so he has literally has been saving miles so he can reach the Canary Islands where she lives. Also the future government has laws against buying and selling miles making it much harder for populations to move from one place to another and illegal to sell miles. He makes her a promise but is when an event happens that puts everything at risk he must make a heart wrenching decision. Written by Aimee Long and  Helen Shang and directed by Long it is a poignant reminder that sometimes we can't make up for past mistakes fully. Like I said I connected to this film on a couple levels so for me its a recommend.

Unidentified Flying Reality (2013) - An amusing twenty minutes about an actor who is on the television reality show "UFO Hunters". Struggling with the idea that the show is boxing in his career Ron (Alain Alvarez) does not want to be in character all the time but feels that is what the fans of the show are looking for. He does not believe in Aliens or flying saucers but because of his show is accosted by true believers when in public. When his dog goes missing from his high rise apartment building suspicion falls on his girlfriend Jenny (the lovely Elizabeth Lazo) but soon while on a shoot the mystery of the dogs disappearance is made clear. It is a cute short with all the trappings of a UFO hunter show including the always hilarious face cam camera mounted on a helmet. Not particularly deep it is a fun amusement that had me giggling at times. Thanks to Writer director Shane Kinsler for this one.

After Exodus (2014) - It is not often that I can watch a film without dialog all the way through but the engaging After Exodus had my attention from beginning to end. In a distant future we watch The Man (Caleb Usry) as he struggles to survive on an almost deserted island. Through flashback we learn not how he got there but who he once lived with and the sad road that leads to his current desperation. He struggles against the black jump suited bald guys who also inhabit (or visit it unclear) the island. They out number him and because of interesting visual marks on the hands of the characters we can see they are of greater intelligence that The Man. It is a very clever but easily understood gimmick that director Mathew F. Perry employs. Also in this story the use of music and noise and the Island itself all add a depth that is intriguing for viewers. Filmed on a small island off the South Carolina coast under less than ideal conditions for the cast and crew the film breaths isolation which is needed for this survival story. Besides this basic story there is a cool science fiction feature, uhm device that also lends to the futuristic style of the story. Left unexplained its use and then discarding is key to showing the growth of the man from reliant scavenger to a confident survivor. I would recommend you see this off beat little gem if you get the chance.

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