Lunafest and Quirk of Fate
Now Showing at: The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center
Sunday, December 18th, at 4:00 and 7:30 pm
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 nine 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 850 entries worldwide. Countries represented are the Australia, The Netherlands, Bangladesh, Tanzania, the US, Iran, and Canada.
The program begins with one of the best films in the series, A Reluctant Bride. In this light-hearted look at family expected marriage, a young woman living with her family in an Iranian community in Australia feels the pressure at age 28 to get married. Prospects are slim.
This is followed by the documentary I am a Girl from The Netherlands. We are introduced to a regular pre-teen girl doing regular pre-teen girl things. But life for her is not as it seems. This is a particularly engaging and heartfelt film.
Another charmer is Worst Enemy, written and directed by actress Lake Bell, whom you may remember as Alec Baldwin’s girlfriend in It’s Complicated. In her first filmmaking foray, Bell gives us a tale of a young woman with major self-image issues who resorts to buying a body-slimming suit from late night television. It’s funny, with winning performances.
The three I just mentioned are my favorites from the current LunaFest. The others cover a wide range of subjects, and are of varying interest, although all are of high quality.
However, as they say on late-night television, “but wait… there’s more!” Since the new LunaFest program runs just 81 minutes, Cincinnati World Cinema is taking the opportunity to include a 45-minute film from Germany called Quirk of Fate. This moving tale of love and family and sacrifice set during the Christmas season is beautifully crafted, with a great cast. It also owes more than a passing nod to Frank Capra’s film It's a Wonderful Life, seen in a couple of clips on a television, with Jimmy Stewart dubbed into German, as well as the classic O. Henry tale The Gift of the Magi. This is the perfect time of year to take the opportunity to see the beautifully crafted Quirk of Fate.
Another facet of LunaFest is that the showing and distribution of these films raises needed money for The Breast Cancer Fund nationally, and locally for Covington’s Eva G. Farris Education Center.
Showings are at Covington’s Carnegie Arts Center Theatre next Sunday, December 18th, at 4:00 and 7:30 pm. Each showing is preceded by a social hour in the lobby.