Mortality or legacy is at the core of all seven of these films, which otherwise don’t have much in common aesthetically. The two documentaries are gorgeously made, and a couple of the fiction films have memorable duos whose age differences drive the tension.
EulogiliaDirected by Alex Grossman
A woman who is addicted to secretly writing eulogies for living people finds a support group where she’s the least ridiculous person. The climax is sweet; the punchline afterward is a little too ironic.
Eyes of SocietyDirected by Allison Smith and Joseph Crawford
An example of a nonfiction film with a highly structured setup—Canadian artists kayak to the famous remains of a Haida village in the wilderness—that still delivers some unforced insights about its subjects.
Fanny PackDirected by Uttera Singh
An Indian-American father/daughter duo has an unforgettable moment prompted by the most uncool of travel accessories. They’re at their best when they’re arguing about medical school.
Directed by Peter Nelson
Mildly grotesque stop-motion animation conveys an oddly affecting character study of an elderly woman whose professional failings still haunt her. She’s ugly and broken, but the film’s lasting effect is its uneasy sympathy.
Prince of SmokeDirected by Matthew Gelb
Lightweight but resonant, this documentary offers an inside view of the Robaina farm, a source of some of the finest Cuban cigar tobacco. As a new generation harvests its latest crop, you’ll want to smell and touch the leaves every step of the way.
Silent SentinelDirected by Joe Dzikiewicz
Clumsy sound design distracts from a well-intentioned re-enactment of a pivotal D.C. moment in the suffrage movement—activist Alice Paul’s famous 1917 imprisonment at the District Jail for picketing the White House.
SirenDirected by Nobuyuki Miyake
Rapid-fire flashbacks incrementally reveal the tense history between an Arab immigrant in Japan and the old man in the apartment next door. It’s a jagged puzzle—including broken glass, a knife and the titular siren—that nonetheless reveals two memorable characters.
Showcase 1 screens Sunday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema.