The dA kicks off its newly acquired film festival wing, SmogdAnce Film Society, with a crop of impressive and mostly high production value shorts selected from the Arizona State University Film Festival—and their tastes are discerning. Highlights on the roster include the comedy Estelle Getty: Power Realtor, a skewering of stereotypes of both wholly unqualified prospective homeowners and the cheery white lady realtor who’ll sell them any old crap to close the deal (she bubbles over with chipper catch phrases that have no doubt been plucked from the mouths of actual realtors like: “Your signature is your credit!” and “You don’t need a job – you need a home first!”). Courageous marks go to writer/director VK Shah for poking fun at a national tragedy while we’re still drowning in it. David Chai’s animated Life on a Limb, in which a lumberjack and a leafy tree meet for confrontation and reconciliation at a grief counseling center, is smart and sweet and would no doubt start a riot if shown in the Pacific Northwest. Also be on the lookout for the quirky And Everything was Alright, about a much-maligned life-sized teddy bear who seeks adventure outside our Earthly deserts; and the troubling The Pain with Being Thirsty, a montage of footage showing Japanese internment camps being built and then populated, voiced over with words from a letter by Babar Ahmad, a British Muslim who’s been held in captivity without trial in the U.K. since 2004. There is a host of other thought-provoking and entertaining films, as well, so pack up your deck chair and don’t forget your tip change for the Ice Cream Lady who’ll be dropping by at intermission.
The SmogdAnce Film Society Presents Summer Shorts at the dA Center for the Arts, 252 S. Main St., Pomona; www.dacenter.org. Sat, Aug. 22, 7PM. $5 suggested donation.