- Bombay Skies (21 min)
- Club Soda (23 min)
- Backyard Suicide (14 min)
- Day of Fire (94 min)
I was a bit surprised at how polished they were compared to other indie films I think I recall seeing at other Boston or Somerville movie theatres. I found them of Kendall Square indie film quality even at their current state.
Among the four films I watched, the one that impressed me the most was the film “Day on Fire" directed and written by Jay Anania. The poetic and slow-moving feel of the film with its philosophical metaphors, an artistic fixation with thoughtful, beautiful faces that speak volumes when silent, discoveries of lives intertwined and re-examined at the end remind me of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s films. Kieślowski once said that he casted actresses (e.g. Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, and Irene Jacobs) and actors who had thoughtful faces that seemed to say so much even when silent. It was a study of the relationship between several individuals living in NYC — a Palestinian woman Nadzia who is obsessed with learning about all the nitty-gritty, gory details of how a victim experiences a suicide bomb (you find out she lost her parents to a bomb I think), a blond model that befriends the Palestinian, and a lonely middle-aged guy who seems alienated and odd, trying to make an awkward connection with others in the city. There several other secondary characters that you find are all interconnected somehow. At the hospital, Nadzia tape-records a medical physician describing the clinical, dry details of the physical impact and experience of a bombing and while you listen to this endless, grotesque description of bodies torn apart, the camera lingers on beauty during a model’s photo shoot which presents an interesting paradox running in parallel.
The story begins with physicians making an arrangement to transplant the eyes of a donor killed in a recent accident to another victim who has her cornea sliced out by a psychopath. The film seems focused on the intriguing eyes of all the actors even a filthy beggar who interacts with some characters on the streets. Although his face is covered with the dust and grime of the streets, his bright blue eyes are beautiful and pure as they were when he was a child, and perhaps unchanged by time as he peers out at the world. The film probably could have been edited down a bit more but I think it could have been drawn-out and long intentionally since the tape-recording of the bombing was supposed to be described in meticulous detail. The slow deconstruction of a bodies torn by a bomb parallels the slow deconstruction of the relationships of the characters that reveal their universal connection.
- Janet Si-Ming Lee
Principal Designer, Siming Cybercreative