The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival – Films 11 and 12: “Disregard the Vampire” (2016) and “The Impeccable” (2019)

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival continues with films 11 and 12 in the 14-part series: “Disregard the Vampire” (2016) and “The Impeccable” (2019). Both of these masterful and thought-provoking endeavors were directed by Mike Messier.

As promised, the online festival continues with:

Film 11: “Disregard the Vampire”

Synopsis:

A behind the scenes glimpse into what occurred during the recording of Mike Messier’s feature Distance From Avalon

Reviews for the Documentary:

AWordofDreams Review:

https://awordofdreams.com/2016/06/07/disregard-the-vampire-documentary-preview-review/

One Film Fan Review:

Short Film Documentary Review “Disregard the Vampire”

Mike Messier Web page/ Further Film Award Information:

Best Documentary Award from Shawna Shea Film Festival for Disregard the Vampire!

Additional Information:

Color.

Runtime: 39 min. 58 sec.

Not rated.

*Please note: You can find out about Messier in the “Writer/ Director Mike Messier Bio” section of “The Impeccable”. It is located at the bottom of this page.

*Cast and crew information can be found on the poster for the film above.

Film 12: “The Impeccable”

Synopsis: 

Rhode Island aristocrat Clarrisse, a sexy widow, is excited to introduce her younger stud boyfriend Henry to her visiting niece, Denise. Family secrets rise to the surface, threatening to divide the women permanently.  Fearing for his own future, Henry makes a stirring speech in an attempt to bring them all back together.

Writer/Director Mike Messier Bio: 

Mike Messier is a 34 Award winning Screenwriter, Director, TV host and producer.  As a feature film actor,  Mike has scenes with Meryl Streep & Elisabeth Shue in Hope Springs and Wesley Snipes & Cybill Shepherd (as her son) in Hard Luck, among others. The Messier Mantra TV show features Mike as an interviewer and host  Mike’s previous short film “The Nature of the Flame” premiered at RIIFF in 2015. To see many of these works, please visit  http://www.mikemessier.com

Additional Information:

Color.

Not rated.

Runtime: 22 min. 32 sec.

*The films included herein are used with the kind permission of the director himself.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival- Films 7 and 8: “The Loner” (2019) and “Slow Burn” (2014)

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival continues with films 7 and 8 in the 14-part series: “The Loner” (2019), which was directed by Kris Salvi, and “Slow Burn” (2014). The latter was directed by Stephen Martin. Both projects are connected by being dramatic, credible, character-driven works. Moreover, they are also similarly notable for their intense tone and premises which revolve around crimes of the past.

As promised, the festival continues with:

Film 7: “The Loner”

Summary:

Frank Rizzo is an over the hill hit-man and soldier who is trying to redeem himself. All the while, he is haunted by the murder of a close friend from years ago.

Cast and Crew Information:

Writer/Director: Kris Salvi

Cast: Marc Powers, Dustin Teuber, Kate Eppers, Craig Capone And Samantha Webb

Run Time: 31:52

Director Statement: “This film is done in a docudrama style. Filmed very gritty to represent the lifestyle of this mobster’s life. ‘The Loner’ is a look inside the everyday life of a working class Gangster and the pain that follows him throughout that world.”

The film can be viewed in full at the Facebook page for the short. It can be found here.

Film 8: “Slow Burn”

Tag line/ Summary:

A father struggles with the release of his son’s murderer from prison. Revenge is a given….seeing it through is not.

Cast and crew information can be found on the above poster for the film.

Contact Stephen on Instagram:

Stephenmartin11.11

Additional Information:

Black and white.

Run Time: 19 min. 30 sec.

“Slow Burn” was an official selection of the Woods Hole Film Festival 2015.

It won the Audience Award at the Southeast New England Film, Music and Arts Festival.

*The films included herein are included with the kind permission of the filmmakers.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival – Films 3 and 4: “The Red Carpet” and “I Feel”

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Summer 2020 Short Film Festival continues with films 3 and 4 (of 14) in the festival: “The Red Carpet” (2018), which was directed by Richard Griffin, and “I Feel” (2017). The latter work was directed by Steve Blackwood. The connection between these witty and hilarious gems are their shared genre: Comedy. In a related note, this will be the first of two of these related categorical pairings in this festival.

As promised, the festival continues with:

Film 3: “The Red Carpet”

Cast information:

Directed and Edited by Richard Griffin

Written and Produced by Lenny Schwartz

Starring: Anthony Gaudette, Sarah Reed, Geoff White, Lee Rush, Dan Martin, Laura Minadeo, Graham Stokes, Bill Pett, Jim Kelly, Erin Archer.

Director of Photography: Dan Mauro

Production Designer: Margaret Wolf

Art Director: Angela Shulman

Assistant Director: Nat Sylva.

Plot:

When a young boxer suffers from a near-fatal hit in the ring, his slow struggle back to glory will fill you with hope and a promise of a new tomorrow. “The Red Carpet” is a movie for anyone who wants to know the true meaning of the nature of the human spirit, and what it means to be a hero.

Color.

Runtime: 4 min. 15 sec.

Contains profanity.

Film 4: “I Feel”

Summary:

A mockumentary about a couples therapy session gone wrong.

Cast:

Director: Steve Blackwood.

Writers: Karen Blackwood, Steve Blackwood.

Starring: Elle Matarazzo, Jeremy Labrie, Marty Smith, Marybeth Paul.

Music: Mathew Solomon.

Editor: Chris Esper.

Cinematography: Chris Esper.

Produced by: Steve Blackwood, Chris Esper.

Sonic Cinema review of “I Feel”:

http://sonic-cinema.com/movie/i-feel-short/?fbclid=IwAR0zV1_BbfNCEgHqaFxZVYyejUT3onA_5j34IqUyVZQ5C0ixRFcg2ZfVeZE

Color.

Runtime: 9 min. 53 sec.

*All films included in this festival are shown with the kind permission of the filmmakers.

 

Andrew Buckner Announces AWordofDreams’ Seasonal Short Film Festival

By Andrew Buckner

Submissions are now being accepted for the first ever Andrew Buckner/AWORDOFDREAMS Seasonal Short Film Festival!

Here is some basic information about the festival:

The festival will be held, as the title suggests, once every season (approximately every three months).

Entries will be accepted in any genre and in any style.

The submissions for this season, Summer 2020, will run from today (August 3rd) until 11:59 p.m. on August 17th.

Submissions are free. Please send submissions in the form of a Vimeo or YouTube link. Submissions can be completed any year, not just 2020, and are acceptable in any genre. For purposes of this festival, the project submitted must not run any longer than forty-five minutes. Please verify if this is your debut film and if you are a local (Ohio) filmmaker when submitting. Multiple submissions (more than one film per director) are welcome. Please make sure your film is not bound to festival agreements in any other festival where it cannot be screened at AWORDOFDREAMS.com. Directors please make sure to give AWORDOFDREAMS express permission to showcase your film at the festival.

The films selected and the filmmakers behind them will have AWordofDreams’ permission to use AWordofDreams’ logo on their respective film poster, for each film shown at the festival, as a respective nominee/ winner. They can also do so in any future trailer for the selected film.

Please send submissions to Andrew Buckner’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/andrew.buckner.3, via Messenger. 

I will be accepting 15 short films total per festival.

Thanks for your time and good luck to all submitters!

“Undercover Vice: Strapped for Danger Part 2” – (Movie Review)

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ***** out of *****.

The world is in desperate need of laughter in our increasingly bleak times. Director Richard Griffin and screenwriter Duncan Pflaster provide just that with their latest collaborative effort: the rapid-fire hilarious Undercover Vice: Strapped for Danger Part 2 (2020). Griffin’s latest feature is on par with the massively entertaining original entry in this series, Strapped for Danger (2017), in every way. I cannot recall a single joke in the brisk 88-minute runtime of Undercover Vice that doesn’t land with either a smirk, a chuckle or a slew of knee-slapping guffaws. Even the quieter sight gags, such as one clever moment that utilizes a water cooler at twenty-six minutes into the work, are effective and well-done.

As has become a trademark with Griffin films, the piece has numerous jokes pointed at the private lives of Republicans. While this attribute is successful enough to add a personal political point-of-view to the piece, the endeavor does not linger too long on these bits. It simply adds its own perspective, as is the right of every artist, and moves forward with the tale. In an age where subtly seems to be a forgotten art, such actions are evermore admirable.

What is just as worthy of respect is that there is never a bitter flash in the entirety of the production. There are a few dramatic instances. But they play out in a manner which heightens the wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, joyously campy quality of the affair. A subplot involving a central figure getting his grandfather out of a nursing home is where many of these touches are mechanized. Regardless, the unabashedly quirky tone of the picture is never broken.

The plot involves two police officers, Andy (Sean Brown) and Kevin (Chris Fisher), who pose as porn stars to stop a ring of corruption involving a local politician. Pflaster gives this story life with dialogue that is endlessly smart and witty. Furthermore, there is an enviably quick and efficient pace throughout the entirety of the silver screen opus. This is largely due to Griffin’s masterful editing. There not a single unnecessary or overlong scene in the production. Such measures greatly compliment the jovial atmosphere of the project.

What also helps this matter is that every performance herein is gleefully pitch perfect. Brown and Fisher are brilliant with their endearing lead depictions. Sarah Reed is fantastic as Zooey. The same can be said of the respective turns of Sissy O’ Hara as Sister Dymphna and Samantha Acampora as Rebecca. Johnny Sederquist is always enjoyable as the delightfully named Pinata Debris.

Undercover Vice is bigger and grander than its predecessor. Still, its wonderfully intimate with just the right amount of character focus. Every frame is a visual feast for the eye. This is a courtesy of the marvelous, colorful cinematography from John Mosetich. It is as just as much a sonic smorgasbord with some truly excellent musical selections peppering the undertaking. This is especially noteworthy during the superbly constructed end credits. Yet, Griffin’s exercise is just as brilliant in sections such as the near two-minute opener of the chronicle. This sequence uses only voiceover dialogue to describe what is transpiring and the names of those participating in the article.

These elements come together to craft another inspired and dazzling masterpiece in Griffin’s cinematic canon. Undercover Vice is one of the funniest flicks in years. It is also one of 2020’s top-tier movies. Griffin has crafted another triumph of independent storytelling via the visual medium. Strapped for Danger Part 2 is a must-see.

The 15 Best Albums and EPs of 2020 (So Far)

By Andrew Buckner

15. Molocular Meditation by Jan St. Werner

14. Versus (EP) by Jonezen

13. After Hours by The Weeknd

12. Mystic by Mackenzie Nicole

11. My Brother’s Keeper by Swifty McVay, Kuniva

10. The Allegory by Royce Da 5’9

9. EnterFear by Tech N9ne

8. Guided Meditations (EP) by RZA

7. Pray for Paris by Westside Gunn

6. RTJ4 by Run the Jewels

5. Gorilla Twins by Ill Bill, Nems

4. No Hermono by Sean Strange

3. Loud Is Not Enough by Public Enemy

2. All My Heroes Are Dead by R.A. the Rugged Man

1. Music to Be Murdered By by Eminem

Runner-up:

Your Birthday’s Cancelled by Iron Wigs

“Stuck”(2020) – (Short Film Review)

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****.

Director Steve Blackwood’s fourteen-minute short film, “Stuck” (2020)”, is an all-around clever and well-done comedy. It finds a plethora of successful laughs and a subtle undermining of heart amid its engrossing premise.

Such concerns the goings-on of George (Blackwood) and Helen Simon (Sandy Bainum). They are a couple from New York, employed in advertising, who are thrust into a situation of dire emergency. The duo bought a machine of an erotic nature. It is one meant to enhance their relationship. This is as well as their routine lives. Yet, when the inebriated young delivery guy, Finn (Max Schochet), passes out and becomes unmovably entangled in said device during its installation, the scenario becomes more than a little nerve-racking for the pair. Not only is this because they are unaware of how to get Finn out of the gadget, but also because their overly judgmental friends are on their way for dinner.

The script, from Blackwood and David Susman, does a fine job of telling this tale in an engaging, hysterical, and always credible fashion. It develops the all-too-relatable characters of George and Helen in an equally organic and satisfying manner. This is often through the knee-slapping banter between the team. Blackwood and Susman keep the pace brisk throughout the endeavor. There is not a wasted frame in the storytelling department. Moreover, the humor is successful and witty. The project gets funnier as it goes along. This is with it becoming even more effective in the second half of the production. Blackwood and Susman’s narrative also weave a nice bit of dramatic symbolism with the title word involving George and Helen themselves near the finale.

What also works in the undertaking is the cheery, sophisticated, and stylish opening and closing credit sequences. They beautifully echo the overall tone of the effort. The animation used in these moments is outstanding. Furthermore, the performances are pitch perfect. Blackwood, Bainum and Schochet are excellent in their respective turns. The cinematography is vibrant, and the musical bits are just as good. Blackwood’s behind the camera control of the venture is sharp.

In turn, “Stuck” is masterful on all accounts. It is one of the best and most uproarious brief pieces I have seen all year. I highly recommend it.

Press Release: Andrew Buckner Releases “12 Original Beats” and More

 

Filmmaker, author and musician Andrew Buckner, under the name Buckner, unleashed a sonic smorgasbord over the weekend. On Friday, he unveiled his second full-length album, 12 Original Beats (2020). On the same day he released his third album and the sequel to the aforementioned project, 12 More Original Beats (2020). As the title suggests, these brisk, but ambitious and musically varied, efforts are all grooves of Buckner’s own invention.

On Saturday, he unveiled The Poetry Rap EP (2020). This six-track project features Buckner rapping a half-a-dozen different sonnets from his book of poetry A Call to Life, A Cry of Pain (2013). The rhymes are married to more unique sounds created by Buckner.

On Sunday, he published another similar collection to his 12 Original Beats series. It is called 22 New Buckner Beats (2020). The 14-minute album showcases Buckner’s continued growth via sound. 

Last week, Buckner also showed the world his extra short film, “Quarter: A 0.3 Second Short Film (2020)”. The endeavor is a black and white shot of a twenty-five cent piece. Containing a quick flash of a title and end credits sequence, the exercise is meant to show how quickly money leaves the hands of hard and long-working individuals. It is meant to be one of, if not the, shortest short films ever conceived. 

The YouTube links to all of the above-stated productions can be found above. 

Press Release: Andrew Buckner Releases Second Feature “The Buckner Experience” and Two New Shorts

Filmmaker, musician and author Andrew Buckner has released his second full-length feature, The Buckner Experience (2020), via YouTube. The 80-minute work is a collection of short films and audio. Namely, they contain his What is Music? LP (2020) and his EP 5 1-Minute Freestyles (2020). Also, included in this first volume of visual and sonic productions by Buckner is the acclaimed fourteen-minute short “Andrew Buckner’s Big Screen Memories”. The film was called “intimate” and “quite fascinating” by Michael Haberfelner of (Re)Search My Trash.

Buckner has also recently released two new short films via YouTube. They are “Power Saving Mode: Attack of the Angry Phone” (2020), a sixty-second horror/comedy that concerns a phone that attacks its vain owner as he starts a new blog, and the experimental short “Surroundings: 6 10-Second Silent Stories” (2020). The latter-stated endeavor is about a half-dozen inanimate and natural objects found in Buckner’s backyard. Buckner tells the tale of each item through ten silent shots. The links to these short films can be found below.