Archive for September, 2011

Tanghi Argentini

Posted by    |    September 29th, 2011 at 6:00 am

The true essence of the Christmas holiday is beautifully captured in Guy Thys’ short film, Tanghi Argentini. This is a comical short film that leaves you smiling the entire way through. Although subtitled in English(they speak Dutch in the film), the scenes perfectly translate so that you can catch on without the help of words.

You are introduced to an average looking character named André who has met a woman online that he really likes. It’s at the point in their relationship when they’ve decided to meet face-to-face.

The woman, we learn, is an avid tango dancer. So, the man suggests that they meet at an upcoming tango event, the “Milonga”. (more…)

Validation: One Simple Act for Relationship Success

Posted by    |    September 27th, 2011 at 10:11 am

Comedian Chris Rock once said, “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.”  I hate to admit it, but there is a lot of truth in that statement.  Of course, it isn’t just women who need compliments, but everyone.  Young, old, healthy, unhealthy, rich, poor….we all need to feel special, important, and appreciated.  Remember when you first meet someone and think you might be in love?  You shower each other with compliments, praise each other’s strengths and minimize each other’s weaknesses.  I heard someone say once that true friendship doesn’t rub in our faults or mistakes, but rubs them out.  Focusing on the good and praiseworthy isn’t always easy, but it’s a recipe for success in relationships.

The short film Validation by Writer/Director/Composer, Kurt Kuenne is an upbeat portrayal of this principal in action.  One young man with a gift of complimenting others meets his biggest challenge in a girl who won’t smile.  No matter how much he showers her with affection, she won’t budge.  A true testament to never giving up and persistence paying off, this sweet love story gives will make you want to sweeten your words with the people you care about most.  Some of the greatest theologians, authors, philosophers, and heroes have all acknowledged that kind words are worth more than gold, and can calm even the most fierce wrath.  “We are prepared for insults, but compliments leave us baffled,” according to Mason Cooley.  Why not change that and improve your relationships?  Why not make compliments the norm?  Watch Validation, and take in its message.  You’re smart and perceptive, after all.  You’ll do great things with what you learn.


Last Minutes with Oden

Posted by    |    September 25th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.

As I have learned over the years.

Friends come and go.  
You fall in and out of love.  
Your family can be separated by distance.
But your dog will never leave your side.

No matter how many times I have viewed Last Minutes with ODEN , I weep.  I weep with love, sadness, and understanding.  I’m lucky to know the love that Jason Wood speaks of with Oden.  I’m fortunate to still have my first dog Sergeant an American Pit Bull Terrier.  As this video shows my future of one day saying goodbye to him, I can only cry.

I can’t imagine the day when I sit on the floor and he doesn’t run up to sit in my lap.  I don’t want to see his favorite bone and not have him there egging me on to chase him around the house.  I don’t want to go on a walk around my block without him pulling me to go the long way home.  I don’t want to wake up with him not laying upside down on the couch wagging his tale for a belly rub.

Sergeant has been with me for the last eight years.  He’s been my loyal companion even through times when I didn’t believe God should love me.  He never even questioned it.  I believe the Lord knows what he’s doing when an animal and human find each other.  And I can only be thankful that Sergeant was “assigned” to me.

May I always remember Oden when I treasure moments with Sergeant.

Sarah from Kittens and Pitbulls

Rêverie

Posted by    |    September 23rd, 2011 at 6:00 am

In the short film, Rêverie, you are introduced to a precious little girl in the backseat of a car waiting while her mother unloads groceries from their shopping cart. She catches the eye of a boy in the parking lot strolling a cart.

In the middle of snooping in her mother’s purse the young boy taps on her window signally to follow him.

You are then taken to the countryside and watch as they stroll each other along in the cart, climb trees, and snap pictures of one another.

Suddenly, you hear a knocking and the little girl is jolted out of her daydream only to see her mother tapping on the window. With a look of nostalgia settled on the girls face, the car begins to move.

It’s hard to tell whether this girl wishes to be with this little boy or whether her thoughts are of a bigger picture. Maybe she just wishes to escape her own reality, although that’s an awful complex thought for someone her age. (more…)

Apologizing Means You Value Your Relationship More Than Your Ego…

Posted by    |    September 19th, 2011 at 11:15 am

Why is it so hard to say “I’m sorry’?  Two simple words, but they carry more weight than obese model Susanne Eman. I don’t know why we struggle with it so much, but it starts from the time we are small when we take something that doesn’t belong to us or we hit some other kid.  Our parents beseech us to to apologize (or encourage it with a wooden spoon, a switch from the backyard, or a taut leather belt,) but we still want to put up our defenses and ignore our wrong.  Or perhaps we haven’t actually done the deed with which we are accused, but it would squash the matter nonetheless if we would just ante up and say “sorry”.  I can only surmise that the blame for blamelessness falls squarely on ego.  Who wants to look weak, wrong, or repentant?  We want to hold all the power, and saying “sorry” is like saying we are waving a white flag forever.  When it comes to relationships, though, we’re almost always better off being the first to say it than to wait it out like a stubborn sea captain.  After all, how many of our arguments will even be on our minds and radars five years from now?  From personal experience, I’d say slim to none.

If you haven’t seen Table 7 by Texan filmmaker Marko Slavnić (by way of Bosnia, that is,) you need to give this fun and heart-warming short film five minutes of your time.  As we watch a couple on the brink of destruction, Slavnic shows us how a simple apology may be all we need.

Hilary Kennedy is a contributing author for www.youplusdallas.com, focusing primarily on Style, Arts and Entertainment, and Dating and Relationships.  Hilary also stars in many videos for YouPlusMedia and has her own show, The Hilary Kennedy Show.

“On Time” – Can We Change Our Future?

Posted by    |    September 15th, 2011 at 6:00 am

Certainly we’ve all toyed with the idea of seeing the future. Whether or not you’ll pass your test, whether or not your cake will turn out like something Paula Deen would approve of, or on a more urgent note, whether or not the person you love will say, “yes”. The latter was the question of choice in Bianca Bodmer’s short film, On Time. The film plays with importance of time and the complexity in trying to overcome it.

What I liked about this little film, was the whimsy of it. The doorway into the future was a briefcase held by a stodgy little man whom we know virtually nothing about. We don’t know where this man came from, why he is at the train station with our rejected leading man, or where on earth this man acquired this Mary Poppins-esque suitcase which can see 30 seconds into the future (“give or take”). There is a sense of urgency to the film which also plays into the theme of time. It makes you think how wonderful it would be to know what is to come, but also how wrong. It could forever change the course of your life. Even a small act could ripple-effect its way into transforming your future. Is it right to mess with the universe? What do you miss out on when you the concept of taking a chance is forever lost. This thought-provoking film toys with this idea, and shows the impact that even such a small insight into the future can have on someone’s life. If you could buy  briefcase and see 30 seconds into the future, would you?

Back To Solitude: A New Way to Look at Relationships

Posted by    |    September 12th, 2011 at 6:00 am

The new short film “Back to Solitude” is a must-see. Actually, it’s a must-see several times before you fully realize the genius of the film’s concept.  (Unless you fancy yourself a Kubrick and totally get the abstract right off the bat.)  This sweet, clever look at the construction and deconstruction of a relationship seems as if it could have come as some sort of dream in the night to the filmmaker. Once you see how beautifully shot, written, and acted this little “film-that-could” is, you’ll want to share it. (By the way, does anyone else think the lead actress has a slight resemblance to a young Alyssa Milano?)

One of the things that struck me most about this film is the backwards nature of our relationships from time to time in our lives.  How many of us have jumped into a romantic relationship feet first, without truly knowing the other person?  I confess that I may have even said the special “three little words” once to someone I probably didn’t know ten concrete things about.  Something about the whimsy, the ridiculousness, the energy of the unknown can make us fall in love with love, instead of who the person really is.  It’s such a backwards way of falling in love, yet people even marry or have children on these sorts of whims all the time.  Imagine how differently our favorite romantic movies would be in reverse…what if Julia Robert’s character in “Pretty Woman” began as the wife of a successful businessman, only to become a prostitute in the end?  What if Giselle from “Enchanted” started in love in New York with the jaded divorce lawyer and later ended up in Andulasia marrying her prince?  Hearing our beloved love stories in reverse really makes me stop and think of how often I have skipped over the valuable stuff of life to get to “the good part”.  Bottom line?  There is something to be learned from each phase of our relationships, and whether we throw caution to the wind or do things the traditional route, it can end happily either way.

How Can Nothing Be Something?

Posted by    |    September 6th, 2011 at 10:19 am

Zero from Zealous Creative on Vimeo.

Zero is a stop-motion animation short film that will capture your heart. In the same vein as The Nightmare Before Christmas or Edward Scissorhands, this film has a dark but poignant tale to tell, and it does it so well that you feel like you’ve just had some sort of epiphany when you reach its conclusion.  Produced by a talented team of filmmakers at Zealous Creative and written/directed by Christopher Kezelos, this story is one that we see played out in everyday life.  Being accepted is a fundamental need ingrained in all of us, and sometimes all it takes is one person to be brave enough to accept the unknown before the rest of the crowd will follow.

The story begins with Zero, a “nothing” number that will never have the advantages of his numerical counterparts.  They constantly remind him he is different, oftentimes rather cruelly.  Despite being labeled an outcast and treated with disrespect (or ignored completely,) he seeks to find the good in every situation….even helpful.  It is his quiet and unwavering determination to “not become a negative number” that ultimately leads him into his place in the world. (more…)

Every Argument Every Couple Ever Has EVER: You’ve Been There

Posted by    |    September 5th, 2011 at 6:00 am

If you’ve been in a relationship, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just want to fight. Usually for no reason at all other than to hear your own voice sound in an offensive tone and hit the ears of the person next to you, the person who has stood by you, even when you insist on chewing your food with your mouth open (seriously, you should stop doing that).

There are the key phrases: “This is just like you,” and the ever popular “My mother was right about you,” followed by the impenetrable silence that occurs as you both sit, hunched over, scowls creeping across your anger-stricken faces, waiting to see who will give in and apologize first.

Every Argument Every Couple Ever Has EVER. is a short film written and directed by the lighthearted, quirky Casey Donahue, who has clearly had his fair share of relationships. In the film, we see a young couple sitting on a park bench, launching into that fight like a shark snapping at its prey. Who will have the last word? And does it really matter anyway? Hopefully, deep down, despite the constant nagging, or the leaving of gym clothes strewn about the laundry room floor, we can find it in our post-Whoville Grinch-sized hearts to forgive each other our quarks.

For more short films from the “Best Filmmaker” as noted by his very own mother, view Donahue’s website.