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SHORT CINEMA JOURNAL
ISSUE 2

The SHORT CINEMA JOURNAL ($30) remains one of the most intriguing concepts in DVD programming, offering various short films as though they were magazine articles accessible through the DVD’s table of contents. Issue 2, entitled DREAMS, contains many surreal visions and is worthy successor to Issue 1. In the animation section one will find CAFÉ BAR where two people take refuge within their fantasies. BRIDE OF RESISTOR, the stop motion sequel to RESISTOR, lampoons courtship in a frenetic fashion. The narrative section contains a look back at sexual awakening in sixties Britain with A GIRL’S OWN STORY from director Jane Campion. DEPTH SOLITUDE is a bizarre little piece about an underwater caretaker whose infatuation with a swimmer has dire consequences. Max Von Sydow narrates the odd and disturbing DEPTH SOLITUDE. A GUY WALKS INTO A BAR is my personal favorite from Issue 2. Fred Savage stars as a naïve aspiring actor who gets to live out his ultimate "Spaghetti Western" fantasy when circumstances force him to play hero against some desperate characters. A GUY WALKS INTO A BAR features an engaging audio commentary with director Carmen Elly and other members of the production team. An alternate video track is supposedly available, but I was unable to access it. The interview section offers George Hickenlooper who talks about treading in the footsteps of one of America’s greatest filmmakers. The documentary section is the most disturbing portion of Issue 2. VINCENT: THE JUNKIE CHRONICLES shows the real horrors of drug addiction from the viewpoint of a junkie. In monologue we find THE BIG BRASS RING, which is a film in progress. THE BIG BRASS RING is adapted from the work of Orson Welles and proves to be a powerful piece of cinema, even in the hands of another filmmaker. Kudos have to go to Malcolm McDowell who shows what a great actor can do with a great role. In the brief scene presented here, McDowell brilliantly portrays an elusive political figure, making one long for a completed version of THE BIG BRASS RING. The experimental section includes LA JETÉE; a French science fiction offering which served as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s 12 MONKEYS. LA JETÉE effectively uses still imagery instead of motion to effectively convey a bleak post apocalyptic future where time travel is used as a means to mankind’s salvation. EYE LIKE A STRANGE BALLOON is the most dreamlike offering on issue 2 and defies description. Issue 2 also features THE MAKING OF PORTRAIT OF A LADY. This film about the film shows the creative process laid bare. Director Jane Campion puts her cast through their paces, requesting one difficult take after another and pushing stars Nicole Kiddman, John Malkovic and Barbara Hershey to the breaking point in her quest for perfection. This look inside makes for fascinating viewing.

Like its predecessor, Issue 2 of SHORT CINEMA JOURNAL is culled from numerous sources of varying quality. This makes a discussion of technical quality difficult. Suffice it to say everything looks and sounds as good as it possibly can on this DVD. Those who enjoyed Issue 1 of SHORT CINEMA JOURNAL will not be disappointed with the second offering.

 
SHORT CINEMA JOURNAL- ISSUE 1:2 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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