Short reviews of films from this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival
Apart from Happy Voodoo, the movies in Showcase 2 don’t revolve around the supernatural. Though all of them rely on the simple, tested formula of people and plot. The Lonely Pair and The Queen of My Dreams, in particular, embody the power of having two people on screen at the same time.
Big Breakin: An audition divides a dance crew. It’s supposed to be a comedy, of course, but be prepared for jokes that sometimes feel a decade or more old.
Extranos: There is a chase. Then there is a kind of predictable twist at the end.
Forever Beautiful: Yes, it’s two people talking about art, and while their dialogue can feel tired, it all kind of makes sense.
Happy Voodoo: People’s lives are sad and depressing. Solution: voodoo dolls.
My Night with Andrew Cunanan: A man spends the night with someone who later turns out to be a serial killer. No cliffhanger or plot twist needed.
The Lonely Pair: True to its title, The Lonely Pair (shown) hinges on two lone people who meet on News Year’s Eve. They drink, they talk, they begin to grow closer, and the acting is superb.
The Sugar Bowl: If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the sugar industry in the Philippines, this should help answer your most burning questions. Essentially, it’s the story of the authoritarian interests of the Marcos regime versus the bourgeois dreams of the once-proud sugar lords. In the end, the workers and the poor suffer.
The McGrory Clan: An Irish-American family honors tradition with food and family. Two words: Soda bread.
The Queen of My Dreams: An Indian-American lesbian explores love and sexuality in three minutes. And she does it better than directors of two-hour rom-coms.
Thursday, Sept. 6 at 9:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema (followed by Q&A)
Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 9 p.m. at E Street Cinema