By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, Chicago Crusader
Dances with Films 19 was a recent film festival that included a slate of independent films that are worth watching out for in the near future, either on video, on demand or at independent movie theaters.
“Beautiful Dreamer” is a sci-fi, drama in a short version that shows a dying mother travelling at near-light speed to stretch time and watch her daughter grow up. The film stars Jo Armeniox, Natalie Smith, Theis Weckesser, Caroline Bednar and Lynn Cohen. Facing a terminal disease, a mother uses space travel and relativity to stretch her last two years over the lifetime of her baby daughter, visiting for only one night every seven years. Mother and daughter must negotiate to build a relationship despite the longing and estrangement that mark the moments they are able to share.
“Pop” is a drama, comedy and romance in a short format that follows the misadventures of Bruno the clown who has lost his mojo and lust for entertaining. This film stars Simon Conlon and Briar Seyb-Hayden and follows Bruno as he performs a dismal show at a child’s birthday party. Feeling burdened by his failing career, he begins to lose sight of the fun that is meant to encapsulate his work. However, when a visit to the hospital emergency room taints his already mundane life, a serendipitous new light is shone on his profession, revealing the positivity that performance can give to the world.
“Breaking Legs – A High School Dance Movie” is a drama that is sort of a “Footloose” meets Mean Girls, as high school freshman Bloom moves to a town where there’s no place to dance – except the school dance team! Bloom moves to this town, after the death of her mother, and now under the guardianship of her uncle, she is forced to adjust to the limitations a small town has to offer a blossoming dancer. She’s faced with no outlet for dance study, other than the high school dance team – led by someone who will soon become her arch nemesis at R. Murray High. Our girl will have to overcome a lot to get to dance – but she’ll do it even if she has to break a leg. However, when the boyfriend of the team’s lead girl falls for her, she’ll have to fight to win her place among these venomous girls.
The film stars Chris Kattan, Lee Meriwether, Liv Southard, Sarah Rochelle, William Leon, Aaron Landon, Alexa Sutherland, Mark Marchillo, Richard Riehle, Maria Pallas and Lizz Carter.
“Heroes Don’t Come Home” is a war drama set in the deep woods of Maine, and reveals a broken promise made after the September 11th attacks that forces two friends to confront the teenagers they were and the men they’ve become. This film stars Andrew Casanova, Tyler McElroy and Robert Schorr.
“I Live for You” is a drama, combined with a dark comedy and mystery that stars Hannah Telle, Rob Hook and Eric Davis. The synopsis is as follows: Leaving his father’s funeral, Sean discovers a note about an older half-brother named Henry that he never knew. When Sean arrives at Henry’s house, he meets Kate, the mysterious man’s stepdaughter. She is beautiful, disarming and instantly captivating. Kate informs Sean that Henry is a dangerous criminal who sells drugs on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. She agrees to help Sean find his brother, but not without fair warning. As Sean spends time with Kate, he begins to fall for her, but nothing is really as it seems. As Sean gets closer to uncovering the truth, he wonders whom it is that he should really suspect.
“Pop-Up” is a drama, dark comedy and romance film that features 3 Strangers – 2 Continents – 1 Moment and stars Clara Voda, Eugene Gilfedder, Greg Powell, Ellacoco Hammer, Brenton Prince, Evan Olman, Maria Ploae and Laura Vasiliu. The movie tells three interweaving stories about strangers affected by one random event. An unemployed father finds a camera containing a single photo of a woman’s face. Smitten, he tracks her down. A Romanian immigrant attempts to overcome heartbreak by giving away home-made pop-up cards to everyone she knows. And a sleep-deprived theatre director seeks deadly revenge on a scathing critic.