SXSW Film Reviews

NARRATIVE SHORTS PROGRAM 1

D: Various. With a fortysomething, buzz-cut Marine playing the improbable role of a 14-year-old lesbian-in-training on the verge of the quintessential high school social event, director Charlie Adler's "No Prom for Cindy" scores aces for its giggle-inducing inspection of pre-pubescent gender misidentification, and its heart-swooning, Hollywood-level score features the silky vocals of Justine Chiara. However, the award for doing more with less goes to the fiendishly clever "Smackers," from writer/ director Tara Miele, who, in just under two minutes of screen time, cleverly redefines the term "bathroom humor" by outwitting a pod of snobby preteens who've a penchant for vandalizing the girls' restroom. And finally, set in the midst of post-communist Eastern Europe, director Teddy Sharkova's "Rocks and Chocolate" caps a sometimes uneven compilation with a mostly satisfying story of a slowly starving father-daughter relationship, due largely to a deeply mature performance by 9-year-old Bulgarian actress Elena Vateva. (3/16, Hideout, 4pm)

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