Movies Are My Wife

Married to the Movies — Mdino's Blog

indieflix collection 2

It’s time for another perusal of my indieflix collection.  We begin with an unusual documentary on one of the most embarrassing situations anyone can face.  Just about everyone, at one time or another, has encountered that crazy feeling when a lunch or supper just doesn’t lay right-and that certain moment when we realize said meal is going to come back up.  WHAT’S UP (1998, eighteen minutes) directed by Christopher Clements and Maria Bowen,  is an often hilarious, frequently repulsive collection of tales from ordinary people focusing on the golden moment-chunks and all.  Thankfully, there are no reenactments in the piece, just people telling their stories.  The universality of the predicament is brilliantly conveyed to the audience in Spanish by a young Hispanic woman.  There are no subtitles (a smart filmmaking decision) yet we know exactly what she’s talking about. 

The next film on the menu is BOMBS AWAY, MILLIONS A DAY (2005, eight min.) by Patricia Boiko.  In this film, the director of THE CORPORAL’S BOOTS (discussed in an earlier blog entry) examines a nuclear waste dump along the Columbia river.  Hanford, in eastern Washington state, is the largest toxic waste dump in the western hemisphere.  Since the area was chosen to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs, Boiko is given ample opportunity for animation sequences attacking nuclear war.  One of these, depicting a little Japanese girl presenting her Mother with a flower, just as the bomb goes off, is terribly trite.  Oh, well… after making THE CORPORAL’S BOOTS (a masterpiece), Boiko is entitled to stumble.


Next up is WAITING FOR A HEART: A PORTRAIT OF MY BROTHER (2004, twenty-six min.).  Director Edward Waisnis documents his brother Donald’s ordeal as he waits for a heart transplant.  The two bond as never before in this moving film and Waisnis must, in the end, be forgiven for opting for the melodramatic climactic moment when the camera circles Donald again and again.


Finally, there is RALLY AGAINST THE WAR ON IRAQ (2006, nine min.).  Though filmmaker Jeff Hahn cleverly shoots his interview scenes in black and white, creating a grim sense of urgency about the Washington D.C. rally, the events and people featured are often so obnoxious and shrill that the film becomes annoying.  Even at this short running time, the film seems too long. 

These films, as well as my political documentary WINDOW ON A WORLD (2009, fifty min.) can be found at, one of the most well-rounded collections of independent, low-budget films on the web.  Of course, not all indieflix films are masterpieces.  A few of them are, a few are mediocre, but amazingly all of them are interesting, which is more than can be said for many big budget Hollywood productions.


March 13, 2010 - Posted by | Christopher Clements, documentary, Edward Waisnis, film directors, independent film, Jeff Hahn, Maria Bowen, Patricia Boiko | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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