Movie: Daylight Savings
Night Three of the DC APA Film Festival had some pretty great selections of offer as well. The theme for these films seemed to be a lot lighter and breezier—perfect for a Saturday afternoon screening.
The feature film in this early showcase was another bittersweet offering from Dave Boyle, starring the always-delightful Goh Nakamura. This film is actually a sequel to Surrogate Valentine, which you may remember seeing at last year’s festival. The story picks up about one year later, and Goh is dealing with many of the same problems as always. He’s enjoying the money and success that came with licensing one of his songs to be part of a national TV commercial, but then he has to suffer the embarrassment that comes with actually seeing that cheesy ad on TV. And, Goh is having a little bit of difficulty with the ladies again. The poor guy can’t seem to catch a break. When the story starts, he’s just been through a nasty breakup. But, before jumping back into the dating pool he needs to figure out what he really wants from future romantic relationships. Fortunately for him, the adorable, indie-music darling, Yea-Ming just may be willing to help him figure it out.
These films are fictional, but the emotions that Boyle and Nakamura are able to capture on screen feel very real and natural. This is another road trip movie. After seeing that he’s feeling kind of down and out, Goh’s goofy cousin Mike drags him out on guy’s trip to try to perk him back up a little bit. I think that this format is the perfect vehicle for teasing out a lot of subtle emotional nuances. People naturally get around to talking about the deeper issues after spending hours sitting next to each other in the car. And, when they’re not talking, the long periods of silence lend themselves well to a little introspection. The guys travel through the beautiful, arid countryside of Central California around San Juan Bautista, and they finish their trip in the classic, old-timey section of Las Vegas. It’s really a gorgeous trip. The beautiful black and white filming, and Goh Nakamura’s dreamy music score really enhance the feeling. It’s the kind of sweet, thoughtful story that will leave you feeling wistful and contemplative for days. But, while they do have a touch of melancholy, I don’t think about these films as pessimistic. They’re just stories about a more sensitive kind of guy. I really enjoyed this sequel, and I’ll be excited to see the promised third installment when it comes out.
Movie: The Champions
The short film that accompanied the feature was a silly, little comedy from director Gilani Sumida-Moiseff about a neurotic family in the Philippines. These guys are nosy and bored, and they have a little too much free time on their hands to let their imaginations run wild. Not a productive combination. These definitely aren’t the kinds of people you’d want to live next to. And, they sure give their new neighbor a run for his money.