Redland takes place during the Great Depression and focuses on a poor family living in the woods in Northern California. The film proceeds with minimal dialog. The focus here is on visual storytelling and setting a mood which the film excels at. Through the use of filters, Redland has a unique look which enhances the disturbing tale. Redland is challenging to sit through but well-worth the effort.
Easier with Practice, which won the CineVegas Jury Award, is about a writer who is traveling with his brother, ostensibly to promote his book. One night in a hotel room, he receives a random call from someone offering phone sex. At first reluctant, the writer begins a phone relationship that ends when he finally meets the person on the other end of the line.
Although based on a true story, Easier with Practice comes across a bit contrived, and the “surprise” not so surprising or satisfying. The main character become increasingly unlikable especially during the stretch of the film where he has a chance to develop a relationship with an old girlfriend but casts her aside because of his phone interest.
Likable tale of Patriotville, a small town which is in such financial crisis that they initiate plans to build a casino much to the disappointment of a young curator of the local history museum. The film is enjoyable enough but isn’t particularly substantial.