Mankind Is No Island

November 29, 2008

tropfestOne of the coolest events I’ve attended during my time in NYC was Tropfest, “the world’s largest short film festival,” held every spring in Sydney and fall in New York. One of my roommates scored passes through work, so a few of us went to the NYC event this past September, conveniently held in the marina near Battery Park City, right near our crib.

Upon entry, we all had to pick our tongues off the floor so as to look like we actually belonged amidst the presence of copious amounts of free food (collectively we must’ve scarfed like 20 sliders), booze and scores of purty ladies. Regrettably (or perhaps not so) our attention focused heavily on the aforementioned trifecta of awesome, and not so heavily on the films being shown. At one point I forced myself to break free of conversation with two bourgeois chicks from France (or was it Russia?) to check out a couple shorts, which wound up being overwhemingly mediocre. One of them revolved around a gay tryst on a yacht—seven minutes of my life, gone. Of course, I turned my back just in time to miss the film included below, Jason van Genderen’s “Mankind Is No Island,” which wound up winning the damn festival. My roommate was lucky enough to view it first hand and predicted the victory, straight up.

Shot entirely on a cellphone camera, it’s a very poignant and compelling short and explores the dynamic between society and its homeless through a series of words and images. Check it out, and if you’re lucky to cop corporate passes, maybe we’ll see you next year. That sounds so dick.

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