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This broad swath of international flicks runs from the oddball to the avant-garde and mostly avoids cliché. There’s a surprising dose of sentimentality throughout, but mostly within reason. Masks’ smart animation and The Interview’s ridiculous premise are strong highlights. The showcase screens at 5 p.m. tonight and Monday at E Street Cinema, and Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at the U.S. Navy Memorial.
A Wink of The Eye: When a Parisian poet gives an American tourist her number, she mistakenly leaves her phone as well. Mild humor ensues.
Death of an Usher: Michael Cohen splits his time snoozing in a box office and enduring the perpetual humiliating of acting auditions before facing the titular, postmortem kicker.
Masks: In a cleverly animated battle of big people versus little people, it’s tempting to presume a subtext of metaphorical corporate avarice, but it’s much more fun to simply enjoy a wordless cartoon done well.
Only In Dreams: It’s a short burst of intensely bizarre sounds, odd stop-motion imagery, and zero narrative. Either that sounds awesome or awful, so plan accordingly.
Shinya Kimura: I’ve never cared much for the idea of motorcycles, but in just under three minutes, I found myself craving a custom-made, Japanese bike.
Smoke and Mirrors: Heavy family drama boils just beneath the surface of a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant. The result is well-acted but a bit scattered.
The Interview: In a brilliant work of absurd humor, one of the only remaining humans on earth attempts to survive—-both emotionally and physically—-a post-apocalyptic job interview. It offers welcome levity for anyone hit hard by the recession and provides a few solid laughs for everyone else.
Undercover: A cornball comedy wherein a Muslim cop hunts for a stolen pig while dealing with dietary restrictions. It’s definitely goofy, but good-hearted.