Movie Diary 5/17/2021

I’m on a jury for the Brooklyn Film Festival for the second year. So I’ll post the movies I’m watching, without editorial comment – wouldn’t want to tip my hand, after all.

American Desert (Adrian Bartol, 2020). USA. A soldier returns from Afghanistan, to a milieu that would be extremely challenging even if he weren’t suffering PTSD horrors. The Mojave Desert figures in the final sections of the film.

Bone Cage (Taylor Olson, 2019). Canada. Another film about lives stuck in a backwater, this time north of the border, as a lumberjack (played by the director) considers marriage and escape, but keeps getting pulled back in to the community’s violence.

Corral (Marcelo Brennand, 2020). Brazil. Local politics, seen through the eyes of a ground-level organizer who makes a bet that his candidate, an old friend, won’t be tarnished by the highly corrupt process. The scarcity of water is a running theme, as it soon will be everywhere.

Tango Shalom (Gabriel Bologna, 2020). USA. Comedy: A Hasidic rabbi needs cash, and decides to exploit his natural dancing ability by entering a tango contest. The cast is bolstered by some old pros, including Lainie Kazan, and also Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, the director’s parents.

Two Is a Magic Number (Holger Borggrefe, Stefan Hering, 2020). Germany. In the aftermath of a disabling accident, a scientist is confronted by an ex-girlfriend and an ex-friend, as we flash back to the sources of the unhappiness – with almost the entire film set at a lakeside cabin.