Some Enchanted Summer Evening:
New Movie Shorts by Local Filmmakers Have New England Premiere at the Brattle
Cambridge, July 10, 2009— Consider it a glimpse of things to come.
On July 10th, the Brattle will host two short films by first-time directors. The first, Faith Healer, blurs the line between documentary and fiction. When the faith healer at the center of his documentary disappears, director Adam Hirsch reconstructs his subject’s life through interviews with family and friends. Mr. Hirsch unravels the documentary form, searching for a moment of truth in what he regards as a manipulative and illusory medium. The result is an engrossing mystery, a cunning satire, and, most compellingly, a love story.
The second film, Bullseye, is a keenly observed story about growing up in New England. Writer-director Matt Paley has an eye for the nearly imperceptible changes that accompany the big moments: the private smile of a child who’s suddenly the center of attention; the bounce in the step of a teenager in the glow of a first sexual experience. There are a million shades of heartbreak in there, too. Candid performances from local teenagers breathe new life into the well-worn coming-of-age genre; Mr. Paley crafts a deceptively simple story that is satisfying without becoming sentimental.
Both Mr. Hirsch and Mr. Paley are graduates of Bard College’s experimental film program. Beyond their marked influences (Mr. Paley takes some obvious cues from Bard professor and Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt, while Mr. Hirsch’s epistemological experiment touches on the work of avant-garde filmmaker/professor Peggy Ahwesh), both directors are concerned with breaking the film form down into its basic elements—image, sound, and language—and exploring the particular powers of each. That Mr. Hirsch uses this as a philosophical stepping-stone, while Mr. Paley is more interested in reshaping a classic story, makes for an enjoyably eclectic evening.
Faith Healer/Bullseye starts at 6 pm, followed immediately by a Q&A with both filmmakers, moderated by local writer Scott Haas. Tickets are $5. For more info, please contact Scott Haas by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 617-497-2114.