Film Synopses

A friend and filmmaker asked me to write his films’ summaries. Here are a few.

FIVE/zero/FIVE is such an exploratory film that even its title is a literary experiment. Carried by a fire-and-brimstone sermon on how to be a righteous man, the cinematography reveals an unorthodox amalgamation of scenes within a church located at address “505.” From creatively arranged stained glass to an African drum to the channels on a sounds board, the film grips the viewer, keeping him engaged in what object will appear next, with atypical angles and eye-level shots throughout. As an addition to an ever-growing genre of internet films known among Christians as “sermon jams,” FIVE/zero/FIVE tops them all, as it has earned its place within the Pearly Gates of cinema.

A City in Love documents Urban Mission church’s fervent efforts to love Jersey City, New Jersey. Opening with a Sunday service, where the preacher preaches and hearers look on, the film explores the worshippers’ mission to bring a spiritual rebirth of hope to its city through relationship with Jesus. Stylistically, airtight narration is tastefully shared with non-narrated scenes of urban life: ferocious canines, swinging street lights and cracked buildings. Ending with a type of focus-group Bible study in which the facilitator explains the Gospel, the core message of these Christians, A City in Love conveys that, despite their worldwide reputation, Urban Mission Christians are saved sinners and people who are trying to genuinely love all the quantity and diversity of urban life.

-Filmed at a gloomy, betrayed factory, “First Breath After Coma” invades the deep emotions of a gorgeous dame around her lonely awakening, whether a literal or metaphorical one. Introduced with a compelling narration of C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves, wherein Lewis asserts love-equals-risk, the picture follows her battle over loving wildly or crumbling inwardly, all while contrasting the actress’s slender figure against pieces of stunning fine art.

As the whispers of a calming piano begin to escalate when a young man offers a hand of help, one is forced to wonder whether she’ll abandon isolation to risk all for love; the scene then fades out as she slowly, fearfully grips a brick, leaving the viewer to interpret the story. With no backstory, a wounded dame and a forsaken factory, “First Breath After Coma” visually provides viewers the chance to relate with the lady’s jumble of confused, ambivalent emotions she feels after waking from hurtful trauma.
Cinco/CERO/Cinco masterfully blends cinema of the inner city with animation of humanity’s everyday happenings. With poignant melodies akin to a sobering Catholic hymn, director Felix Rodriguez provokes the mysterious catharsis that is universal yet personal in all people. Many experimental projects only brush the surface of art genius that Cinco/CERO/Cinco executes, which makes this avant-garde short film an unparalleled success.

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