“Keenly intelligent and powerful”
“A fully realized world”
“Cool tone and satiric edge”
Miami director’s innovative debut
Shorts Program II: Short films by various directors
by Betsy Sherman
“Short films can be fun on their own, but they’re most exciting when they announce the beginning of a beautiful friendship between filmmaker and audience. Miami filmmaker Pablo Proenza’s “ViDi” feels like one of those career launching pieces: It’s a keenly intelligent and powerful half-hour that successfully places us within a fully realized world.
A few steps into the future, college freshman Ethan (Lisandro Perez) communicates via video-phone–product name ViDiFon–with the girlfriend he left back home, Aisha (Leisa Bolles). This seemingly enhanced form of exchange–along with video concerts and virtual-reality games–is shown to be merely an excuse for further isolation of individuals from each other and from the natural world. The film’s cool tone and satiric edge (in regard to insidious media and corporate penetration of our personal space) propel it forward, while we’re left with a sense of melancholy not only for the characters, but for ourselves. After all, no Big Brother is pushing us into this sterile world: We’re marching there all on our own…”