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MadCat Women's International Film Festival
The 6th Annual Film Festival
by Anhoni Patel on Oct 15, 2004
It's difficult to find a film festival that features an equal amount of women directors to those of men. Even more rare is a festival in which every director is female. Since 1996 the MadCat Women's International Film Festival has been allowing these filmmakers to break through the glass ceiling and shatter a long held status quo. This year's offerings vary from the insane to the poignant with tongue-in-cheek animation to lilting memoirs. Indeed, it is the animated shorts that steal the show. Below are some highlights:
This Crazy Thing Called Love :
This program, which kicks off the festival, has three shorts that make it shine: Sofa by Hyekung Jung is a cute and well-designed animated piece about the private things people do when lounging around on their sofas; Jen Sach's The Velvet Tigress is a skillful and beautifully animated take on the infamous 1931 Winnie Ruth Judd Trunk Murders with flip narration and lush black and white graphics; and the US premiere of the campy and irreverent Making out in Japan directed by Janey Merewether which intersplices TV footage from historical Shogun-esque movies, game shows, and anime, and dubs them over with lessons in the international language of love.
Big Cities Short Stories :
There are four must-see shorts in this program: Caroline Leaf's sweet and funny Academy Award nominated The Street , a swooping animated short about a little boy waiting for his grandmother to die so that he can snag her room, the powerful Black Soul by Martine Chartrand whose soundtrack full of gospels and soulful hymns can make you weep; Joann Berman's The United Dondis , a colorful and hilariously raunchy look at a Puerto Rican community in New York City through the eyes of a bachelor; and Thanh from Thanh Diep, an experimental piece narrated through the director's own voice device, dubbed the liberator, which gives sufferers of cerebral palsy and other conditions the ability to communicate.
Altered Realities :
This program is the most experimental and features an array of bizarre shorts such as: the haunting Bautismo by Casey Koehler which has the feel of a long lost 8mm reel; Vessel Wrestling by Lisa Yu, a wacky and weird claymation short with lots of gross shots one of which includes a giant hairball attack; and Sharp Proofing by Pearce Williams, a funny yet disturbing look at modern psychosis.
Getting There :
Has live music accompaniment to the short Reach of an Arm by Nancy Andrews. This extra-special program has a few shorts to catch like: Madam Winger Makes a Film by Helen Hill, an animated how-to with tips for any burgeoning filmmaker; Shawn Atkins' The Traveling Eye of the Blue Cat, a macabre animated piece about killer cats using photo collage that jumps right off the screen and The Girl with the Pearl Suspended from Natalija Vekic, part fairy tale, part circus side show - and all out extravaganza with lush lighting and beautiful costumes.
MadCat international Women's Film Festival
Ratings Vary By Film
by Anhoni Patel on Oct 15, 2004