Tuesday, January 21, 2014

QWFF @ the Queens Museum

In my coverage of the Queens World Film Festival, I've probably mentioned that they also do smaller, year-round events around Queens to screen the cream-of-the-crop films that have played QWFF in the past. This winter, they've been screening at the renovated and revitalized Queens Museum as part of their grand re-opening celebration, and this past Sunday, I headed over there partially to see their show, but also to see the Museum in its newfangled glory.

The Museum (formerly known as the Queens Museum of Art) is located inside Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in the area that was originally home to the 1964 World's Fair, nestled right next to the Unisphere, the universally-recognized symbol of Queens itself. The Museum has artwork from local artists as well as international ones, and indeed, there's a heavy emphasis on internationalism throughout the place, a reflection of Queens' own multicultural makeup. The centerpiece, however - the exhibit that all visitors to New York must see for themselves at some point - is the Panorama of the City of New York, a huge architectural model of the five boroughs of New York, including buildings, airports, parks, landmarks, EVERYTHING - originally built for the World's Fair. It's a one-of-a-kind marvel.

QWFF had two sessions at the Museum on Sunday, one for international movies and one for movies made by local filmmakers. I stayed for only the former, so that I could check out the Museum afterwards. Some of the films I had seen before, like last year's Pollicino (which I liked a lot), and also the freaky At the Formal and the shot-on-an-iPhone The Tits On an Eighteen-Year-Old, but the rest were new to me:

The Queens Museum
- The three animated films, Old Angel, Swing and Drat, were all uniformly wonderful; thematically different, yet each one is visually distinctive and they express themselves eloquently with the barest minimum of words. You can see the first two at the provided links. I can't find Drat online anywhere, but here's a video interview with the director.

- 15 Summers Later and Of Guilt and Grief are dramatic narratives dealing with complicated relationships in which the past imposes itself upon the present. The former does it with a single scene and a stationary camera, the latter does it with multiple non-linear scenes. I liked the former better. Guilt isn't online, but here's a review of it.

- My Green Pencil is a lovely vignette in black and white with dashes of color (think Pleasantville).

- Curvas is a funny horror short about the dangers of picking up hitchhiking ghosts.

This year's QWFF will be March 4-9. Among the films showing there will be the Oscar-nominated doc The Act of Killing. Here's the complete playlist.

QWFF article in Moviemaker
Drivers Wanted

1 comment:

  1. Rich, I've been eager to check out the Queens Museum. I've been meaning to catch up on the joint overall, so thanks for reminding me! :-D


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