Film Press

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Short Takes:

for the Berlin Film Festival Journal

“Relationships –lifelong (mother and daughter), just starting (two people at a party) and falling apart {a couple after a less than eventful year in ”Paradise”) were given anything but short shrift in three American shorts shown in the Panorama program. Bettina Marks’ first film, Still Life, is a daughter’s portrait of her mother, an “unrealized” artist who has had a nervous breakdown. 

Family album visuals are accompanied by a non-stop letter-to-a-friend commentary in which concern, anger, love and despair are all tellingly expressed. Dialogue, Marks’ second cinematographic venture, records the awkwardness of attraction intercut with excerpts from a call-in “I’m having a problem” program, current events clips and all-purpose pop psychology quotes.” The basic premise is that communication is a major problem, as seen on a one to one level, and even as seen in this organization” she commented. Marks only accidentally discovered on the plane from New York to Berlin that her films were scheduled to be screened that night.

– Melissa Drier