Friday, November 12, 2010

Red Shirley

RED SHIRLEY is a nice short documentary made by Lou Reed about his 100 year-old cousin who emigrated to the US from Poland during the Nazi era, and wound up becoming an important part of the labor movement. She's a fascinating character, but Lou gives himself too much screen time, and annoyingly interrupts her repeatedly as she talks. The film is very well shot and definitely worth a viewing if you are interested in this part of American history.

On the same bill was another short, a French fictional film LES COMPLICES, also about an older woman. This is the type of film that gives festivals a bad name. It was a complete mess, badly directed, overacted, pompous and self-conscious. Because the two other films on the bill were documentaries, I think most of the audience thought this film was also a doc, but it wasn't, which really gives it no excuse for the lazy filmmaking of having the main character sit in front of the camera and talk directly to the audience through most of the film.

The third film on the program was a short doc I worked on called DEL:100, about another 100 year-old woman from Colorado who wound up becoming an important journalist. Since I worked on the film I won't review this one.
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