Now Showing at: Cincinnati World Cinema: February 1 and 2 at the Carnegie Arts Center
Review by: Larry Thomas
Cincinnati World Cinema is the only local purveyor of short films, and as in past years, it’s time once again for the annual LunaFest collection. This collection of ten titles is made by women and about women, but is for everyone with a serious love of film and quality filmmaking.
As in any compilation, not everyone will like every film, but there’s a variety. They have been selected from 600 entries worldwide. Countries represented are Canada, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Scotland, the UK and the US.
The program begins with The Translator, a Canadian film in which the lead character works in the film business doing English translations for foreign films and adding the subtitles. She finds herself adding subtitles to people she encounters on a train, including her boyfriend. It’s a breezy eight-minute ride with nice performances and a good ending.
A film from the U.S. is also set against the backdrop of public transportation. Touch opens with a shot of a middle-aged woman standing forlornly waiting for a subway train, deep in thought. Along comes a bubbly, personable young woman who engages her in conversation. This becomes an important encounter for both of them. And, by the way, during the conversation, the young woman describes a film that affected her on an emotional level. The title is never revealed, but any film buff worth his or her salt should know immediately. Give yourself extra points if you know the name of the movie.
The last piece is Love on the Line, a short paper animation work in which two young lovers communicate via telegraph using Morse code. The costumes and furnishings tell you this is the 1800s, and the film is done silent movie style with intertitles covering the dialogue and a tinkly music score to move the action along. It’s a charmer.
The three I just mentioned are my favorites from this years’ compilation. The other films cover a wide range of subjects, and are of varying interest, although all are of high quality. There’s also a film about table tennis from director Sara Newins, who spent four years at Miami University in Oxford.
Cincinnati World Cinema presents post-film discussion at both showings with filmmaker Sara Mahle Drabik from Northern Kentucky University, and Martha Viehmann, a film buff with academic credentials who has taught at NKU and Xavier. It’s worth staying for the Q&A session.
Another facet of LunaFest is that the showing and distribution of these films raises needed money for The Breast Cancer Fund and locally for the Eva G. Farris Education Center, so enjoy some terrific films, while also supporting worthy causes.
Showings are at Covington’s Carnegie Arts Center Theatre this Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm, preceded by a social hour and cash bar. Visit cincyworldcinema.org for more information.