Sunday, September 21, 2014

Flickers and Feathers

Did you know there are owls in Jersey City? Even in the daytime? I didn't, but now I do, thanks to an excellent short film I saw today, Winter Bird Watching in Jersey City -- part of the Golden Door International Film Festival. This is a film that should be shown to millions on PBS. There's something about seeing these wild birds in a wintry urban setting -- perching, flapping, and flying around the untamed edges of the city with the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center in the background -- that makes you think about the city, or cities, in a very different way. Director and cinematographer John Dunstan narrates in a soothing New Zealand accent, explaining what kinds of birds these are: hawks, ravens, geese, and of course the eerily sagacious owls. The images, editing, and music all work together beautifully enough to make one wish this film could be experienced in IMAX format. But the historic, large-screen venue where it was screened -- the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre -- definitely did it justice.

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