Saturday, January 31, 2009
Surely it's a tough time right now for many when the gloomy economy gets worse and worse. However, no matter how tough it might be, it is probably less significant compared to what those characters in "Morris County" (USA 2008, 91 min.) have to deal with. If the film's unsettling and sometimes heartbroken stories do not overwhelm the audiences, its disturbing images would. It is definitely not for the weak stomach, or any stomach.
Director Matthew Garrett expands his 2006 short film "Ellie" into his feature debut "Morris County" by adding two more stories: "The Family Rubin" and "Elmer & Iris." All three stories are supposed to be happening in Morris County (NJ), which could be any suburbia town in America.
In "Ellie," 17 years old girl Ellie sees no way out when she copes with her devastating secret. Her reckless acts only deepen her troubles instead of find her an escape. In "The Family Rubin," the husband and wife keep a secret from their young son and the outside world. When the secret is about to be exposed, the desperate husband takes an extreme measure. In "Elmer & Iris," a loving old lady Iris works as a secretary and treats her co-workers as her own family. After she is laid off, she returns to the only family left for her — her husband Elmer. Her daily life seems normal as usual by looking from outside of her house, the truth is anything but normal.
All three stories share one common trait — seemingly normal lives in the suburbia America are filled with secrets and horror, and people are feeling hopeless and despair. The film offers not even a slight hint of hope or comfort. It is uncompromising and utterly depressing.
The Eleventh Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival (IndieFest), featuring more than 100 absolutely independent films and videos, runs February 5-20, 2009 at Bay Area theatres including the Roxie Cinemas and the Victoria Theater in San Francisco and the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.
Labels: indieFest 2009