Tuesday, September 16, 2008
(Trailer - www.artreview.com)
Directed by Josephine Mackerras, France
Total Running Time: 7:15
Source: DC Short Film Festival 2008 Showcase 3
DC Short Film Festival 2008 was my first film festival experience. Since I have been in the States for about a month, I am not used to metros or streets. I was worried because I might get lost in the middle of nowhere while going to the film festival. The night before the film festival, I assumed there would be some signs to Landmark E Street Cinema that I can walk along without getting lost. However, when I arrived at Metro Center station, there was no sign at all. Even though I had the map from the DC Short Films Festival’s homepage, I was so confused and wandered about the streets near the station for 20 minutes. I asked four people the way to the theatre, and only the last person knew the exact direction of Landmark E Street Cinema. I was so relieved when I got there. I’ve never been to any film festivals in Korea, but I get to hear news about film festivals from their advertisement. And they have signs in the street or fliers so that people come to see films don’t get lost. People who are familiar with this area would have no trouble finding the cinema, but strangers like me would be grateful if there is direction to the theatre in the metro station or on the street. Once I was there, I enjoyed watching the short films with other people.
Among the thirteen short films I saw in showcase 3, Diva is one of my favorites. The film goes on without lines except the phone call at the beginning. To be honest, I felt comfortable seeing the film because I did not have to struggle to listen to lines. I actually had trouble understanding when I was watching other films there. Although Diva does not have many lines like other films shown in showcase 3, I think it successfully expresses its message well without lines. The film plainly shows the progress silently: Vincent smiles when he is satisfied; he bursts into tears when he feels sad.
Diva starts with a phone call. Two men are fighting over the phone. One of the men is shouting at the other man who just quietly listens to him. And that quiet man, Vincent, tells the person on the phone that he is going to move to Paris. As Vincent arrives in Paris, he gets a room in a hotel and does something extraordinary: he shaves off his hair (even the hair in the chest!), puts on make-up, wears a wig, and dresses like a woman. At last, he puts the picture of him and the man he loves in his purse. After all the preparation, he goes outside. Vincent takes a walk in the park peacefully as if he were a woman. Suddenly, someone steals Vincent’s purse, which has the picture of his beloved in it. Vincent runs after the thief. He takes off his coat and his wig, and everyone in the street looks at him with amazement. He finally gets his bag from the thief in an alley, but Vincent is crying. He wanders the street crying and at last sits in a bench looking at the picture of his lover.
I felt depressed after seeing the film, especially when Vincent cries after he gets his purse back from the thief. He is exhausted emotionally. He is refused by the person he is in love with, and has to leave the town he used to live in to be entirely himself (or herself). And when he finally relaxes walking in the park, someone steals his purse that has his lover’s picture in it. Vincent is so serious to get the purse back. The people who sat by me in showcase 3 laughed at Vincent when he threw his wig, coat, shades, and heels. But I could not laugh. That action shows how desperate he is. He has to throw away the things that help him look like the real himself. Diva ends showing Vincent crying on the bench. I do not know what happens to him after that. I wish him all the happiness that he deserves.