In For Life - RJ Roman
It's hard to make a movie these days with a drug dealer as the heavy. Well, it's actually easier than ever, which means that we've got a lot to compare. In For Life is a really good script, tightly written with smart dialogue, and a cinematographer who largely understood what they needed to do to make the film work, but it does suffer from some uneven acting in our villain. He's really good at times, and at other moments stiff, and not a character being stiff; this is an actor tying himself in knots. Some of that works, and the rest of the cast is dependable. I particularly enjoyed the sometimes jarring torque in the timeline. That's something I always enjoy!
Thrasherland - Joshua J. Provost
Disappointment; it's the greatest difficulty in life. We all have ways of dealing with it, from drugs to depression to distraction to running away. That last is what young Carpenter chooses in this incredibly well-constructed short. Carpenter is a kid who wants nothing more than to be in California. As a native Californian, I get that, and when the vacation to Cali (don't call it that...) is cancelled, he decides to go it on his own... sort of. Well, exactly that, really. The cinematography is incredible, young Carpenter, played perfectly by Casey Likes, is a smart kid and one I totally relate to. Note - Thrasherland was an actual skate park in the 1980s and 90s, and I believe it's where a fair section of Bones Brigade 2 - Future Primitive was shot. I might be thinking of The Search for Animal Chin. You can find out more about Thrasherland at http://matterofchance.com/thrasherland.html (and I really should write more about Bones Brigade videos...)
We Want Some - Tamir Mostafaf
"You want me to lie here like a starfish while you get to work?" That line alone gets this short much love from a guy who just programmed one of the funniest comedy shorts programs I've ever seen, but overall, We Want Some takes a rather tired concept, the lack of sex in a marriage, and makes a good run of it. It's well-shot, the leads are both really good, not only in the way they interact, but in the fact that they actually appear to be the kind of couple that would suffer from the loss of sex, and the whole spiraling scenario is a lot of fun! You can find out more at their official Twitter - https://twitter.com/We_Want_Some