Erik (with Zak in the back)
In presenting a short film workshop, Georgi and I (Saskia) were hoping to incite a proper discussion about film- centered on specific examples. We wanted to capture the vibe we used to get back in college where a bunch of passionate people discussed the finer points of something they all love. To that end, our short film workshop was just. fucking. perfect.
After charismatic Paolo Davanzo manned the podium to explain the purpose and programs at the Echo Park Film Center, I went up and blabbed on for a minute about my favorite topic (namely, getting us all the hell out of waiting for permission to do things that we care about, but I’ll spare you).
Then, we invited director Michael Medaglia up to the front of the room to present his short thriller, the slightly surreal and lush KITTY KITTY.
After the film, Cinema Speakeasy’s Georgi Goldman, came up and led a robust conversation about the finer points of the film while Michael stood in the hot seat and talked about the interests that led him to make KITTY KITTY, the process of choosing the actors, and his sound design decisions. I found myself thinking of the film as an interesting parable for love, how in loving someone you are sometimes required to take on their particular set of idiosyncrasies (in this case illness), and about the beauty and dangers one faces in that process.
Tawd b. Dorenfeld
Next up was Tawd b. Dorenfeld, presenting the first episode of his CHASSIDIC TALES: THE STORIES OF THE BAAL SHEM TOV, a stop-motion animation, told as it was written, and completely on point with the teachings it aims to elucidate. The discussion around the film centered on the concepts of art vs. culture (namely, how being true to a culture can potentially limit artistic decision-making). I personally concluded that the lack of irony in his work – the authenticity to the Chassidic tale it was spinning- was refreshing and authentic.
Weston & Georgi
Finally, director Weston Middleton and writer/editor Erik Adolphson showed their short CIVIL, a cat and mouse game about a Confederate soldier trying to follow one last set of orders, with a Union troop hot on his tail. The discussion centered around the finer points of the editing process, the timing and the beat of the film. Overall, it was concluded that it was a very ambitious, very BIG film- cinematic in scope and brilliantly executed.
So, all in all, we got exactly what we wanted out of this night, and certainly hope that the feedback was helpful to Michael, Tawd, Weston and Erik.
The Beautiful Lisa Marr
Thanks – again and again – to Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo for allowing us to have our monthly event at their fine establishment. We also want to thank Zak Forsman for being so kind as to film the critique (and for his support and good vibes, all around), and as always all the friends and strangers who come and support independent culture with their entrance fee, their insight, and their Tuesday night. Oh, and Michael, Tawd, Erik, Weston for braving public critique and showing their brand new films. Hasta la proxima!
Filed under: Wrap Report, Cinema Speakeasy, Echo Park Film Center, Erik Adolphson, Georgi Goldman, Michael Medaglia, Saskia Wilson-Brown, short film, Short film workshop, Tawd b. Dorenfeld, Weston Middleton