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Mitten Movie Project Event: July Review

Tuesday night was the first time I made my way to the Mitten Movie Project event at the Royal Oak Main Art Theatre, and I have to kick myself for not going sooner. Nearing its fifth year, the Mitten Movie Project curates a show of local movies, trailers, shorts, etc. every month at the Main Art Theatre. The show is a well compiled collection that highlights what our local film makers can accomplish with a small amount of budget and a whole lot of ambition. With most “anthology like” collections, my expectations are set at the level to enjoy a few, feel dismissive of a few and the rest of them are wasting my time. However, I was pleasantly surprised that last night’s show was completely enjoyable with every film displaying imagination, humor and above all great camera work.

A few of the highlights of the night included:

The Private Eyes of Lou Manteca”, a black and white 24-minute short which takes the noir private detective movies of the 40’s and mixes in large doses of madcap humor. Jonathan Davison who has the lead role of Lou Manteca pulls off a hilarious performance packed with original humor.

With Wolves” is a music video by Rospeom from Ann Arbor. This chillingly, effective video is compiled from stills, over a thousand of them, most are drawings with people donning wolf masks and the terror created around them. The song playing underneath the images is a psychedelic acoustic song that reminded me of Pink Floyd crossed with the more modern indie acoustic releases from Grizzly Bear.

Thieves” is a 14-minute science fiction epic from J.G. Barnes and plays like one pivotal scene of a longer movie. The look of the video is fantastic as the lighting, fashion and setting reveal how a small budget used well can produce something looks like it has a “Hollywood budget” backing it. The convincing acting by all the players and the heavy philosophical slant can make “Thieves” a bit perplexing the first time through.  However, it’s so engrossing you’ll immediately want to watch it again and shift your focus from the dynamic visuals to the story.

Sure, I’ve just given you all the links to watch and enjoy at home but seeing these films on a large screen with a room full of friends make it well worth the trip. I’ve been told that next month’s Mitten Movie Project promises even more high quality films.

This Post by Mikel O.D. of