|Love Machine Lena's Dreams Scenes Manchild The Big Dis|
Films from Olympia Pictures: Scenes
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Manosque: Rencontres de Cinema "Resistances"
by Brenda Bollag
"...But the real surprise of the festival was without
any doubt the New York independent film Scenes From The New World. The
action of Scenes takes place in a part of New York that is rarely seen
on the screen--Queens--and concerns the lives of a group of racially mixed
young people sharing a house in a white, middle class neighborhood called
"Forest Hills." The characters, whose lives constitute the core
of the film, took form during an actors' improvisation workshop run by
directors Johnston and Eriksen. Funding for the workshop came from NEA
and NYSCA government grants (a rare situation in America) that were attributed
to them on the basis of the quality of their first feature, The Big Dis
(Berlin Film festival, 1989). As the characters evolved in the workshop,
the directors searched for a dramatic event that would provide a point
of anchorage for the relationships among these roommates, and eventually
found a super-authentic one in the newspapers: an "Angry Citizens
Group" in Queens briefly attracted the attention of the press by
undertaking activities which were not only openly racist, but also stupid
and short sighted: an organized protest against non-white apartment renters.
Diario de las Palmas (Spain)
"*****(Five Stars--Highest rating) : True Independent Cinema made with a social conscience and enormous talent. "Scenes..." raises the audiences' spirits!"
WOR-AM (New York)
"This is the real deal, the real New York! Cross gender, cross cultural, cross generational... A very, very funny, poignant coming of age film with a lot of insight INTO FAMiLIES and RELATIONSHIPS."
The Village Voice, April 5-11, 1995
"Scenes From The New World, Gordon Eriksen and
Heather Johnston's smart and exuberant follow-up totheir first feature,
The Big Dis, is on the mark about racial self-stereotyping and cross-culturalanxieties.
Best of all, it dares to be optimistic, which seems to make a lot of people
Myles (Michael Ralph)and Steph (Christine Clementson) argue about the existence of their "relationship."
Thanksgiving dinner in Scenes
|Copyright ©2004 Olympia Pictures Inc|