A Drawing (2018) – Short

A child misses the chance to say goodbye to his dying mother.  Although, he may have a second chance to say goodbye and give her one final gift.

A Drawing was without a doubt the best animated short at the Breckenridge Film Festival.  This touching story is less like an emotional roller coaster and more like an emotional drop tower.  The animation style lacks the flair of color and complexity you would find in a Pixar film, but packs a serious punch.

Sledgehammer (The Abyss of Peleliu) (2018) – Short

I am the harvest of man’s stupidity.

A raw and gripping dive into the horrors and bloodshed that took place during World War II.  Sledgehammer is based on the memoir, With the Old Breed, written by Eugene Sledge.  Baker’s use of archival footage superimposed by animation highlights the carnage and emphasizes the intensity.  Narration from the point of view of Sledge, combined with the intense archival footage, creates a visceral look at the fear and torment soldiers went through during the Pacific Ocean theater.  Imagine, if you can, a condensed version of Apocalypse Now meets a humorless and haunted version of the narrator from A Christmas Story.

Breckenridge Film Festival 2018

Festival Date: September 20 – 23, 2018

The 38th annual Breckenridge Film Festival has come and gone.  As the first film festival I have ever attended, I can say that is it is a whirlwind.  There are so many films, forums, Q&A’s, and other miscellaneous events that it makes it difficult to pick and choose what you want to do with your time.

Thankfully the weather was nice over the weekend and any down time, or time to stretch your legs, was welcomed with crisp mountain air and sunshine.  Breckenridge is an excellent location for a film festival.  The remote nature of Breckenridge combined with the year round tourist attractions creates a good mixture of “quiet mountain town” with full service restaurants and other amenities that stay open late.  This made grabbing a drink or some food after the movies both accessible and not over crowded.

Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The (2007)

Can’t figure it out; do you want to be like me or do you want to be me?

 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is not just a biographical drama, but an emotional examination of the human psyche.  The film follows Jesse James, played by Brad Pitt, on the tail end of his infamous crime campaign.  Accompanied by the Ford brothers, Robert (Affleck) and Charley (Rockwell), Jesse James’s paranoid final days are cataloged in an artfully crafted and insightful narrative.

Quiz Show (1994)

Well, the sponsor makes out, the network makes out, the contestants see money they
probably would never see in a lifetime, and the public is entertained! So who gets hurt?

 

When a champion of the game show Twenty-One , is asked to throw a match for the newcomer, a chain of events is set off that will change television game shows for decades.  Herb Stempel, played by John Turturro, is persuaded to throw the match against Charles Van Doren, played by Ralph Fiennes by the shows producers.  The behind the scenes deception results in a slow deterioration of the trustworthiness of the television industry and the dignity of the players.