The American Cinematheque

WOMEN in SHORTS November 3, 1999 @ 7:30 PM






The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian, presents an evening of short films featuring Women - a majority of the population, but a minority both in front of and certainly behind the camera. These award-winning short subjects are cross-cultural tales with themes that range from romantic longing to repression and addiction to freedom.

Wednesday, November 3 / 7:30 p.m.

Lisa Chambers' "The Calling," (11min.) an Australian comedy set in 1975 at girl's parochial school. Prominently featuring Nuns and Ballerinas, it is about a girl who expects - and tries to avoid - a calling from God, because she wants to be a dancer. The film has evolved from Chambers' 13-year long enrollment at a Catholic school, and won the 1999 Palm Springs International Short Film Festival student category. Chambers' own movie debut came a decade ago, when she was chased by a tin of spaghetti in her sister's student film.

Amir Rezazadeh's "My Beautiful Neighbor" (14 min.), a stunningly beautiful cross-cultural look at forbidden love, set in present-day Copenhagen, a modern city where people live side by side but still in completely different worlds. It tells the story of Anis, a young immigrant girl who isolates herself in her room, but is fascinated by the young blonde girl across the yard, who practices the cello every night.

John Mossman's "Jell-Ohh Lady" (22 min.) is a funny, triumphant look at one woman's desire to break free from the constraints of early 60's suburbia. Stifled by the tedium of Jell-O molds and Green Bay Packer Backers parties, she falls asleep at the kitchen table in front of her first failed Jell-O creation and dreams of roaming the Wild West as a desperado. Inspired by the life and death of co-producer and actor Laura Lee's mother, "Jell-Ohh Lady" shows a way to hold onto the dream under less than ideal circumstances, and reconcile the dream within the reality.

In Danny Kaufman's "Eunice's Secret' (17 min.) an unhappy obese woman suffers the stares and catcalls of rude mall patrons and employees and takes refuge in a lingere boutique. She finds her identity and sense of perspective when she meets the anorexic sales-girl, who convinces Eunice to try on something silky and frilly, and unwittingly helps her find some self worth. The film won the Audience Award at the Angelus Film Festival and the UCLA Spotlight Award for Best Comedy.


Jennifer Gentile's "Life History of a Star" (14 min.) is a post-punk road trip towards one girl's desire for fame. It offers us glimpses into the warped realities of Angie and Dave, an enthusiastic couple traveling to Hollywood with dreams of success. Angie takes us on a magical journey, as she recounts the events leading up to the destruction of her relationship with David, and her strange encounter with Claire. Issues of vanity, self-worth and abandonment are re-examined as their trip unfolds. The film screened at Sundance, along with her earlier work, "My Pretty Little Girlfriend."

Irvine Allan's "My Daughter's Face" (13 min.) is a searing portrayal of a daughter's downward spiral into drugs and her mother's helpless attempts to save her. Irvine is noted for his gritty and often authentic casting, producing powerful performances from even the most inexperienced of actors. Set in Edinburgh, this film received the Special Jury Award at the 1999 Palm Springs International short Film Festival.

(Films will not necessarily screen in the order listed.)

A spirited Q & A session will follow with several of the filmmakers, including Irvine Allan, ("My Daughter's Face") Jennifer Gentile, ("Life History of a Star") Kristy Wunsch, ("Jello-Ohh Lady") Lisa Chambers ("The Calling"), Kim Magnusson (producer, "My Beautiful Neighbor"') and Danny Kaufman, ("Eunice's Secret").

Program compiled by Andrew P. Crane.