#WeAreOne 2020 Short Film REVIEWS: Marooned, White Echo, Cinema Cafe with Jackie Chan

#WeAreOne film fesival runs from May 29 – June 7, 2020

Dear internet, a new virtual film festival is upon us.

#WeAreOne Day 1 of 10 day limited available event. Don’t hesitate, watch the films of interest (and maybe explore some you might not think from the description you might like) while you still can: https://www.youtube.com/WeAreOne

Marooned ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

Run time: 7:18
Director: Andrew Erekson
Curated by Annecy
We Are One film #1 watched

A robot is stranded on planet and longs to return to earth. Definite inspiration from WALL-E. The robot meticulously repairs a rocket to return. He discovers a baby robot that needs a power cell. He powers up the robot and now has a friend that longs to return to earth as well. The conflict is when it comes time to power up the rocket and there are no more power cells …

Mostly cute little short with a sad ending that reminded me of Jack Dawson from the Titanic — couldn’t he have fit on the door?

White Echo ⭐️⭐️

Run time: 14:03
Director: Chloë Sevigny
Curated by Cannes Film Festival
We Are One film #2 watched as premiere LIVE

On vacation, a group of women use a Ouija to talk to a spirit.

Surreal but somewhat predictable. You just know what’s going to happen when you break out the Ouija board. Not a fan of the story, but liked the camerawork and acting.

Cinema Cafe with Jackie Chan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Run time: 48:16
Moderated by Kyle Buchanan from The New York Times
Curated by Sundance Film Festival
We Are One film #3 watched premiere LIVE

Jackie Chan is interviewed about his conservation and recycling efforts behind the scenes making film. He’s very passionate about the environment, which I didn’t realize, and talks about he tries to make his films and keep in mind the waste behind the scenes. He is big into recycling.

And then he is asked about his lifetime achievement Oscar. Wow, what a story. 58 years making movies and his passion is undying. This is a pretty special “interview” which really is more about Jackie Chan passionately talking in his best attempt to speak a non-native language, like 99.5% in English. It must be so hard when your native language isn’t English trying to explain how you feel and what has happened. I couldn’t imagine doing that in Chinese, and yet he’s having to do this in English.

A real feel-good watch. Loved it. Not at all what I was expecting. A very non-traditional interview film.

Note: Some films are one showing only!

Important. If you want to see some of the films screened during this even, you may have to tune in when they premiere live.

The times of the premiere are showing for each film and read the information section to see if it’s a “one showing only.” If you miss them, well, you won’t get another chance.

Most of the movies, it appears, are available to watch outside the live one-time setting, so you can enjoy them at your leisure during the 10-day event. Just something to keep in mind.

One thing I noted from SXSW was that it would have been nice if there were more social activity around the screenings. That is built-in with this YouTube event via the live premiere screening with real time chat.

Recently, I watched The Beatles movie live like this with other people around the world (see: Just Watched The Beatles Yellow Submarine with 71,000+ People). I saw one comment saying that even if there wasn’t a coronavirus, the film festivals should have some kind of virtual festival like this every year.

As much as I agree with that sentiment, there are probably some (many?) people who put on these events that think a virtual festival would hurt attendance to the actual festival. Also, if they stream the movies, that cuts into the licensing and “first time shown” rights. I think it would be a legal concern and devalue the perceived — wrong or right — value of the film.

The reality is there are people who would love to attend these film festivals but it’s very difficult. A virtual film festival pass to attend, through gated and controlled online access might be a viable option to make everybody happy.

Enjoy the We Are The One films! Will be back with more reviews throughout the 10 day event.