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Friends Of Micro-Wave Cinema Series Shorts (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

The low-budget film series celebrates its run with a collection of shorts from previously featured directors. Info/tix

Shorts in this program include, clockwise from top left: "Parthenon," "Mommy Moments," "The Castle Keep," and "Mohammad So-And-So."

Shorts in this program include, clockwise from top left: "Parthenon," "Mommy Moments," "The Castle Keep," and "Mohammad So-And-So."

Taken together, the final two Sunday Micro-Wave Cinema screenings in April form a unique retrospective of the entire series since its inception in 2014. Before Micro-Wave calls it a day on April 29 with curator Brandon Colvin's own sophomore film, Sabbatical (2014), this micro-budget collection of five shorts is thematically structured around the recent work of an illustrious and versatile cast of alumni who've written, directed, starred in, otherwise contributed to the series (and, in some cases, all four).

This is certainly the case for the prolific Frank Mosley, who's been seemingly ever-present with his acting (in Some Beasts, A Feast Of Man) and directing (Her Wilderness). His latest short, Parthenon, concerns the profound relationship between an artist (Tallie Medel) and her nude subject/figure (Lily Baldwin). The world premiere of Nora Stone's Mommy Moments was one of the highlights last March at Madison Central Library's panel discussion on the "State of State Cinema." The 11-minute short sincerely renders a sisterly dynamic at a baby shower before transforming into a moving reflection on deeper familial discord. Stone will also be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

The most recent project by Christopher Jason Bell, writer-director of The Winds That Scatter, is Mohammad So-And-So. With its title serving as a mocking nod to an infamous quote by Ridley Scott about Gods Of Egypt (2016), this short is a spiritual companion to Bell's prior feature, detailing feelings of displacement and wanderlust of a man (Mohammad Dagman) who's suddenly kicked out of his house by an unknown guest. Greek Yogurt, co-directed by Tor Åanestad & Nich Boissoneault, is also a companion of sorts to Nandan Rao's previously shown Micro-Wave feature, Hawaiian Punch. Instead of pursuing congruity in terms of narrative or milieu, Åanestad and Boissoneault offer a tonal resemblance, a fictionalized account of director Rao while living in Greece. The program concludes with a cinematic tone poem, The Castle Keep, written-edited-directed by Gina Telaroli (of the meta-film Here's To The Future!). Her 14-minute short elegiacally captures the rapidly changing and gentrifying urban landscape. —Grant Phipps