Daily reviews and interviews

Join the Dots
"Join the Dots"

Medium Cool: 4 (not so) Shorts

Shorts Programs
D: Various

A refuge for shorts north of the 20-minute mark, Medium Cool starts with the Safdie brothers' "John's Gone," a funny, affecting look at a small-time hustler in Brooklyn. Expressively awash in murky blues, it looks like it was filmed on one of John's dubiously acquired goods; its easy, naturalistic gait and humor make it a winner. "Clear Blue" takes on the uneasy, otherworldly relationship between a young pool lifeguard and an elderly swimmer. The film is director Lindsay MacKay's film thesis for the American Film Institute and a narrative and technical achiever with gorgeous underwater photography. Jessican Lux's "Join the Dots" follows a female outsider at a Scottish boarding school, shrewdly turning the tables on teen romance fantasies. It too is gorgeous, with superlative nighttime cinematography and great performances. "Scenes From the Suburbs," the Austin-shot Spike Jonze/Arcade Fire collaboration, expands on the band's lyrics of "Suburban War" literally. While the futuristic police state terrifies, the fraying relationship between the teen leads is what stays with you most.

Saturday, March 19, 3:30pm, Alamo Ritz 1

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