This Summer at NJIFF

Summertime means vacation and an escape from exams – but it also means the 2012 New Jersey International Film Festival. It will be showcasing a rich assortment of feature films, both foreign and American, intriguing shorts, mind-bending experimental flicks and captivating documentaries.

The festival, which runs from June 1 to June 17, will premiere a number of feature films like Red Scare. This film embraces the comedic antics of movies like The Naked Gun and infuses them with a Mel Brooks flare. Set during the Cold War, an evil mastermind, appropriately named Vlad Sinisterski, unleashes a legion of evil zombies on the United States. The only hope left for the country is the ridiculous stereotypical action hero, Rex Steel. Other features include The Kill Hole, a tale of redemption. The film tells the story of war veteran Samuel Drake, a soldier on the slow road to normality and forgetting a horrible past. However, all his progress is jeopardized when executives from a private security firm recruit him to assassinate an agent who has gone AWOL.

For lovers of foreign film, the festival will be showcasing the Italian romantic comedy, Anche se è amore non si vede (It may be love but it doesn't show). In the film, protagonists Salvo and Valentino work on a tour bus together. After hiring an English translator named Natascha, Salvo takes a romantic interest in her, while Valentino pursues his own desires for another Italian woman. Another foreign film is the short movie, Hluboký Tón (Deep Note). In it, heroine Julia is quite unhappy with her sex life. However, she is forced to re-evaluate her views on sex and love after a tuba player moves into her apartment and she becomes mesmerized by the music he plays.

This summer’s documentaries are wildly enlightening. In Cultures of Resistance, filmmaker Iara Lee travels around the world. He documents how people of different cultures use various art forms as modes of expression, which simultaneously serve as outlets for speaking out against cruelty, violence and oppression. In Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story, director Jonathan Kalafer tells the inspiring story of Gregg Breinberg and his chorus of fifth graders from Public School 22 in New York City. The documentary shows their amazing journey ending with their performance at the 83rd Academy Awards.

To add to the mix, the festival will be screening the short film, Nobody’s Child. This touching tale follows best friends Annie and Paul. After finding out she has breast cancer, Annie asks that Paul raise her child, however Paul is not ready to give up his single lifestyle. Another short is the experimental movie Ditchwork, the story of a young woman who performs a series of supernatural rituals to relieve her of her grieving for her recently passed grandmother. This leads her to a journey of self-discovery and an undressing of her inner soul.

Films are shown 7 p.m. in the Voorhees Hall Room 105 on the College Avenue HYPERLINK "http://www.inside-beat.com/film/nj-film-festival-1.2548662" campus. Tickets are $8 for Rutgers Film Co-Op/NJMAC friends, $9 for students and seniors, and $10 for general HYPERLINK "http://www.inside-beat.com/film/nj-film-festival-1.2548662" admission. For more information about tickets, times, location and the entire schedule, visit njfilmfest.com


Alex Natanzon

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