A grab-bag of social commentary, dumb gags, irritating drama, and one powerful real-life tale, this showcase has its share of clunkers. Aquadettes alone might be worth the trip, but it’s hard to justify sitting through the 20-minute-long Naagahaan, Zinat.
Unremembered: A mildly suspenseful mystery about an unrecorded grave at a church cemetery turns out to be a silly joke.
Aquadettes: This very good, touching 10-minute documentary follows Margo, a senior dealing with multiple sclerosis, who searches for reasons to live and finds purpose with her synchronized swimming team.
A Night at the Office: Two whiny colleagues that used to date wander their office late at night, trying to avoid an unexplained monster. Absurdly funny for a moment, the film squanders its sci-fi potential by focusing on the former couple’s arguments.
Naagahaan, Zinat… (Suddenly, Zinat…): A junkie’s fearsome husband is released from jail, forcing her to try and take back the daughter she sold for drug money. Insufferable acting and a lackluster conclusion minimize the disturbing premise’s impact.
Shave Ice is Nice: A young boy pretends to be lost so his older brother has an excuse to talk with sunbathing girls in this Hawaii-set short. That’s it. Though, the boy is rewarded for his efforts with shave ice—-the sweetest part of the film.
Applications: A commentary on the impossibility of supermodel beauty, a woman takes painful steps to bring herself closer to the magazine ideal of beautiful.
The Bench: This playful Swiss silent film—-a throwback to classic silent comedy—-criticizes big banks and discrimination against the homeless.
Four Daughters: Bad acting and a sappy story make sure this lame movie fails to inspire any sincere emotional response. Mercifully, it’s only three minutes long.
Deleting Emily: Dealing with the delicacies of how Facebook affects users’ lives away from the screen, Andrew is conflicted about what it means to delete his girlfriend from his list of friends.
Friday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema (followed by a Q&A)
Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. at U.S. Navy Memorial
Friday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. at Angelika Film Center