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By Josh Rosenblatt, March 14, 2008, Screens

Reel Shorts 1

D: Various

A sense of isolation is pervasive at the Alamo South Lamar this week. Isolation, disillusion, and melancholy. Throw in alcoholism and suicidal tendencies, and you've got an odd recipe for an afternoon at the movies. But though Reel Shorts 1 may be no trip through the tulips, neither is it a collection without complexity. In fact, the whole series has the air of ambiguous, undefeated humanity about it: from the young boy in David Garrett's "Warlord" pushing back against the suburban agents of conformity and prescribed equanimity to the Czech voiceover artist in Edward Feldman's "A Day's Work" whose struggles are granted ironic nobility when set against the false pain being wrangled out of her by an artless American director. And then there's "Solitary," Eva Weber's look at the lives of British crane operators, souls who are perpetually alone but high enough above the world to gaze down and revel in all its ambivalent splendor. A sense of isolation may be pervasive at the Alamo South Lamar this week, but so are disobedience and hope and humor and sex and the indomitable human desire for more life.

"Warlord" tied for the Reel Shorts Jury Award Winner.

Thursday, March 13, noon, Alamo South Lamar

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