Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Phil attends the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival: Day Eight - March 12, 2019

Hello again and welcome to Day Eight of my trip to the 29th Annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival!! Today I saw a couple movies here in beautiful Downtown San Jose! Upon my arrival to the heart of the city, I made my way over to the 3Below Theaters & Lounge to watch my first movie of that day, and that movie was called CIRCLE OF STEEL.
Meet Wendy Fong (Chantelle Han), a young, bright, and eager engineer who has only been with her new company for about year, but then rumors begin to surface regarding potential layoffs. During this time of waiting, she keeps herself busy by hanging out the local watering hole drinking and singing karaoke, working out to Pilates tapes in her hotel room, online dating, and getting smashed on blow with her friend Kristen (Andrea Jorawsky). But eventually, the real world becomes more real than she can imagine, and her future comes to an unknown conclusion.

While the film addresses issues of job loss, drugs and alcohol, and the nightmare of adult routines, the film fell flat for me. It was described as a comedy in the festival program, but I didn't find anything funny about it, nor did I know if it was supposed to be a dark humor or a laugh-out-loud comedy. My impression of the movie was that the filmmakers didn't really know either. It could have had potential to be comedy, but there wasn't anything funny about it. I did enjoy the acting in it, and I thought that the lead actress Chantelle Han was great in it, the movie was a let down for me. 2 out of 5 stars.

This was the last screening for the film at the festival.
I remained at the 3Below Theaters & Lounge for my second feature of the day., but before the main feature there was a short film screened. THE FRINGE CLASS is about a group of runaway and homeless teenagers living on the streets of the Bay Area. We follow Thena, who has been living on the streets since her falling out with her no-so understanding mother. On the streets she meets and befriends Sabrina, who is now being pimped out by Romeo. Soon the situation becomes violent as Thena must now choose to either stay in her current situation or to seek refuge elsewhere.

Based on the novel "The Art of Love" by Betsy Franco, the short film looks and feels very authentic to the plight that young homeless teenagers are forced to live through out on the streets. It was very well acted, great cinematography, and really addresses the issues of the rise teenage homelessness and what we as a community and society can do to help theses runaways get off the streets. A really powerful short film that I would love to see again! 5 out of stars!
BROKEN PLACES is a documentary that explores why some children are permanently damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive. By revisiting some of the abused and neglected children we profiled decades ago, we're able to dramatically illustrate how early trauma shaped their lives as adults. The film interweaves these longitudinal narratives with commentary from a few internationally renowned experts to help viewers better understand the devastating impact of childhood adversity as well as the inspiring characteristics of resilience.

The documentary was very informative and provides evidence on how our environments of our childhood shape us as we grow into adulthood. Award-winning director Roger Weisberg revisits several of his interviewers that he has filmed for the past four decades to see how they are all doing, if they are surviving, and what is their attitude about their lives in the present. 5 out 5 stars!

This was the last screening for the film at the festival as well.

And that ladies and gentlemen was Day Seven of the 29th Annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival!! And there's still plenty more films to watch! Remember the festival ends on Sunday, March 17th so make sure you come out here to Downtown San Jose and see some art! To view the festival's film schedule, purchase tickets and passes, visit their official website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show! 

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