There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Tonight’s three-film program, “4/0 Film Shorts,” proves that “local” need not be synonymous with “amateurish.” Its shorts are well-acted, well-directed, and very well-shot. Each would be worth seeing for its cinematography alone. As a bonus, the films also offer involving stories, each in a different genre. Unfortunate Man presents a surreal day in the mind of a man just diagnosed with a possible brain tumor. There are, of course, overtones of David Lynch and Luis Bunuel, but Alex Pacheco’s images are more prosaic, with none of the perverse overtones of his forebears. Thus, they are both far easier to relate to and more affecting. Kevin Barnes’ Furious Seasons is based on a Raymond Carver story, but this little bit of noir might just as well have been penned by James M. Cain. The film features excellent acting, and Joel Langley’s music greatly enhances its creepy mood, but Timothy Gordon’s cinematography makes the fractured narrative extra-special. It is very high praise, indeed, to say that it reminded me of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. Like much sci-fi, Third Meridian (pictured) is a compact morality play: An outer-space scout must decide whether his conscience will allow him to inform his superiors about what he has discovered on a small planet. Hundreds were turned away when this collection played the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in June, so take advantage of this extra chance to check out some fine local filmmaking at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Free. (202) 265-1177. (Mark W. Sullivan)