Lunch Films (Mike Plante, 2009): USA

Reviewed by Lava Farmer. Viewed at the Mann’s Chinese Theater as part of the 2009 AFI Film Festival.

LunchfilmsProducer Mike Plante brings us an assortment of misfit shorts in his movie Lunch Films.  He took several “starving” filmmakers out to lunch, and had them pay him back what they owed him with a film.  Being that he gave no clear requirements or parameters, he got quite a random collection.  A few of the films are short stories or situations, while some seem like they have no meaning or plot, others are just weird art and crazy sounds and images.

The film I most enjoyed was called Letters Real/Names Not, directed by Azazel Jacobs.  It followed the day in the life of a middle-aged woman.  It began with a shot of her writing an email to her daughter’s boyfriend, while we here a voice over of what’s being typed.  We continue to her voice-overs of this email conversation, and meanwhile watch shots of the woman going through her day’s activities.  I felt this was a unique and interesting way of story telling.

A few of the films seemed as though they were actual home videos.  One following a mother as she readies her children for bed is endearing in its realness.  Each shot is very close up making it easy to read the woman’s emotions and see her pain.

The more experimental shorts were difficult to understand, but visually intriguing.  Ranging from moving collage images to creepy claymation, these confusing clips only add to the chaos.  Which may just be the point of Lunch Films.  These movies aren’t supposed to fit together to create one cohesive unit.  By giving the audience an eclectic jumble to choose from, they can decide what interests them.  This was a great way to get a lot of struggling filmmakers names out there.  Now that you’ve seen what they can do maybe you’ll go searching for more.

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