short film review

Reviews and news about short films, short film festivals, reviews, links and guides to short films online,images from short films,directors,writers,cinemaphotographers. Copyright 2005, 2006 by Allan Maurer. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Reviews of Sundance Shorts: Moma's Boy

"Moma's Boy," directed by John Bryant, showing at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, reminds me of Harold Pinter's "Homecoming." It's not particularly "Pinteresque" in its dialog. But the idea of potent family drama underlying a Thanksgiving family visit is.

A young man (Jason Foxworth) brings his fiance home for a Thanksgiving dinner and the dialog with his brother (Mark Reeb), father, and significant others rides along one of those sibling roller coasters that make your stomach roil. It's embarassing to watch real drama, particularly that which is intimate and disturbing, not so much because it's extreme as because it's soooooo real.

Reeb plays a sadistic game with his sibling, teasing him that he was adopted, despite their father's protests that the statement is untrue. Brothers are not the only ones who wreck such intimate emotional havoc on each other. All sorts of people with intimate knowledge of us can engage in this sort of edgy, dangerous and dramtic fireworks.

Most family dramas don't escalate into the actual violence this one does, but we've all experienced some form of teasing -- perhaps from a school bully or a buddy or a co-worker if not family -- in which the teasing approaches psychological torture.

"Moma's Boy" moves from family dialog to a literally electric finish. The Tazer massacre and bloody noses that bring this particular Freudian case study to a close climax in Reeb's fiendish laughter as he realizes just how successful he has been at getting inside his brother's head.

You might find yourself laughing a bit yourself, at the end, the kind of nervous laughter elicited by a horror movie.

Check out the director's Website: John Bryant


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