Short reviews by Riya Saha
Each month Cult Critic brings you the most unique award-winning independent movies. In the October winner’s circle, we have 6 movies that are bound by unusual concepts, brilliant direction, and praiseworthy storyline. Let us go through the movies and know what they are about:
Currency of Love
Genre: Short Fiction & Documentary
Directed by Clare Chun this Short Fiction & Documentary “Currency of Love” is called a crypto love story. It is a short film about love with crypto. First of it’s kind in the indie Seattle film scene. Those who are not aware of what Cryptocurrency is here’s a brief explanation. Cryptocurrency is an internet-based medium of exchange which uses cryptographical functions to conduct financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system is very popular in western countries.
The story revolves around a woman called Alissa. While mourning the loss of her husband, Alissa discovers new truths as she searches for the keys to unlock his cryptocurrency. The currency of Love is Clare Chun’s third film. Her sophomore effort AFK is submitted in film festivals all over North America and boasts the largest crew of prolific women in the Seattle film community as well as a very diverse cast. Undoubtedly Chun has worked on a unique idea worthy enough to grab awards.
ONCE UPON A TIME ON ALL HALLOWS’ EVE
Genre: Feature, Short
Directed by Jaroslaw Gogolin with Mira Koteva. It’s All Hallows Eve – the day of the year when the dead can come back to our world. With the desire to meet her partner a Girl waits for him. All Hallows’ Eve is the traditional name for Halloween. In the Christian calendar, it marks the evening before All Hallows’ Day or All Saints’ Day. I am impressed with the scenic beauty shown in the film. With each scene, the director has proved his experience and vision. Impressed by the clear picture quality the film has successfully portrayed love and the pain of losing a loved one. People who are in love seldom fails to accept failure in relationship. They keep wishing to see their beloved in front of their eyes, and in this film, the same happens. Hope keeps love alive. Each scene has its detailing, merged with proper voice over and music. I believe the director’s vision of creating such a lovely and emotional movie was successful.
Genre: Short Film, Suspense & thriller
Featuring Iqbal Khan a famous Indian television personality “Dhut” talks about KARMA & serves a social message. Directed by an ex Electrical officer of Merchant Navy “DHUT” is his debut directorial venture. This film has an amazing message, where Karma strikes back & takes its toll. It is said that you should never be too proud of yourself which may turn into a self-obsession. Achievements and progress are praiseworthy but remember God does not like overconfidence and Jealousy. It grows into resentment and bitterness. And those destructive emotions could lead to a vicious downward spiral.
There is a beautiful proverb: What you sow, you reap. And this is what happens to the protagonist Ravi. Watch this movie about a self-centered man in the early 30’s, hailing from Bhopal who is now well settled in Delhi. He goes back to Bhopal after 7 long years and meets his college friends over drinks in a Dhaba. What happens in the meantime that changes Ravi’s life forever. Let the mystery unroll as you watch the movie. Remember the director loves thrillers.
Her Mother’s Daughter
Genre: Student Films
Directed by Alejandra Cadena-Perez “Her Mother’s Daughter” is an emotional portrait of a volatile and challenging mother-daughter relationship. It is amazing to watch a movie that explains the whole relationship through dance and motion. Though the Mother and daughter live together, yet they lead separate lives. Their world is isolated and each one has its reasons for resentment.
Were their lives the same in the past? No, it was not. It was similar to the lovely bond that a mother and daughter have. However, the echoes of past pain and loss haunt the pair and expose their vulnerability, leading to cycles of conflict, fear and even violence. Ironically, they each crave the same thing from the other – understanding and acceptance. Finally, it was possible, only through forgiveness, and communication.
Where to go? Where to come from?
Genre: Silent, Experimental Film
When you have a director who is one of Hong Kong’s most innovative pioneers in the field of new media art in Asia, surely you must expect a great piece of art. Where to go? Where to come from? (V.4.0) is about the artist, HUNG Keung who is witnessing and involving a change of Hong Kong, as well as this two significant student’s movement happened in 2014 and 2019. HUNG has been encountering 3 different layers of identity confusing situation since he moved to Hong Kong from China when he was 3. One culture shock was in 1986, one culture shock was in 2007, and the 3rd one is after 1997 – 2014 – and now – 2019. The artist then attempted to transform his body in-between these complicated and seems to be a never-ending identity confusing situation.
A Silent, Experimental Film, HUNG Keung the director of this short 5min film and created 3 layers. The change in identity is well understandable. Since the Yellow Umbrella Movement started in Hong Kong in 2014, the relationship between some Hong Kong citizens (particularly the teenage and University students) and Hong Kong SAR Gov (The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) have no longer the same as before. If The Umbrella Movement was regarded as a political movement that emerged during the Hong Kong democracy protests, then what happened in 2019, is even more long term protest movement, which has continued with no sign of losing steam for several consecutive weeks on and off in Hon Kong different areas, even up to now.
SMASH (Chidi Balla)
Genre: Family/Children Films
Directed by Radheshyam Pipalwa or popularly known as RS, SMASH is based on 1990. Just like its name the story is about saving a school from shutting down. On the backdrop of Fatehpur, Rajasthan the Principal of Shekhawati High School is the only person who can save the school by improving its academic results. In the time of crisis, the principal gets another plan of saving the school by winning the State Level Badminton Tournament. The principal calls Bhagat who enjoys playing ‘Chidi Balla’ (colloquial term for a casual game of shuttlecock usually played with make-shift equipment and court) with his gang. He has no idea about Badminton, and suddenly a lot of responsibility comes under his head, which is of saving his school.
According to the director, this film pays our tribute to the rich ART, MUSIC & SPORTS traditions of Rajasthan through a humble tale of the indomitable human spirit. Must watch film for all those who want to experience the culture of Rajasthan.