The World According To Shorts
September 8 and 9,
Dripping with dissolution, two Norwegian shorts seem to have the edge at this year's BAM program. In Anolit, one young wastrel decides to skip his unknown father's funeral and blow things up in his dead-end town, only to meet his boomeranging destiny with his pants around his ankles. Strength in Numbers, reportedly "inspired by" the nation's Labor Party, tracks a clique of codgers who, on their annual hike, pluck a young woman from the muck only to find themselves all in it together. A final round of the "Internationale" may mark a downbeat twilight for the left, but, well, at least they've got one. Another standout is Austrian oddity I'm a Star, which transposes a cartoon Sinatra from swing god to ill house grunter, all while Ava Gardner-laden bubbles waft by. Edward Crouse
Where's The Party Yaar?
Directed by Benny Mathews
Opens September 5,
UA Union Square
Exhuming talcum powder, tongue scrapers, and Bournvita as metaphors for "otherness," this breezy comedy deconstructs the struggles of assimilation, satirizing the stereotypical "culture clash" Indian-American identity narrative. Bumbling Hari Patel (Sunil Malhotra) disembarks in Houston by way of Gujarat. His petulant cousin Mohan "Mo" Bakshi (Kal Penn), and Mo's "dawgs," are ABCDsAmerican-Born Confused Desis, who revolt against the paradox of being neither Indian nor American by outlawing bhangra and shunning Fresh Off the Boat South Asians. Hari, searching for the bride who is his destiny, denounces such paagalness. Partydiscretely dismantles caricatures of FOBs with deft send-ups of stock Bollywood leitmotifs: reversal of fortune, love written in the stars, and honor bound by blood to reveal, as Hari notes, that "you cannot judge a dal by its color." Nita Rao
This sequel continues the story of a bat-like humanoid forced to hibernate for 23 years, with just 23 days to "feed" in America's heartland. An apparent Atkins devotee, he eschews the carb-heavy corn fields, opting for protein-rich human flesh, primarily a high school basketball team returning home on a lonely highway. The many unanswered questions of JC2the "23" theme, why no one in Poho County, save one, can seem to find a broken-down school busare subsumed by a larger query: We may never know whether writer-director Victor Salva, who served time for child molesting, is wrestling his own demons, but his "creeper" quite creepily prefers spiriting victims past the vanishing point for some private time pre-feast. Greg Milner
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