|CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (director/writer: Charles Poekel; cinematographer: Sean Price Williams; editor: Robert Greene; cast: Kentucker Audley (Noel), Craig Butta (Bluetooth Man), Maria Cantillo (Nighttime Customer), Hannah Gross (Lydia), Ben Webster (The Boss Man), Yvonne Gougelet (Obama Tree Lady), Andrea Suarez Paz (Jane); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Charles Poeke; Factory 25; 2014)|
|"It's interesting to note that
sold Christmas trees for
five years to get the money to finance the
by Dennis Schwartz
The debut feature film by
writer-director Charles Poekel, a cinematographer,
is this well-made shoestring budget low-key (shot on
16-millimeter film) character study. It's a
downbeat mood piece but is heartfelt and realistic.
The romantic drama tells a plotless narrative about a
lonely male Christmas tree seller in Brooklyn, who
misses not having a girlfriend share his experiences.
protagonist is named Noel (Kentucker
Audle), if ever there
was a Christmas name, who for the last five years
comes during the holiday season from upstate New York
to peddle for a month Christmas trees on a street
corner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Last year he
came down state with a girlfriend. This year no such
watching the quiet young man react politely to his
customers, who pepper him with questions about fir
trees, we get the impression that the young man is
not fully into the holiday spirit but is a good guy
just looking for some bread.
lives in a trailer. One night when a drunk young
lady named Lydia (Hannah Gross) is
passed out on a nearby bench, he takes the
stranger into his trailer. After sleeping in
warmth through the night, she splits without a word
in the morning. But she later returns to give him a
homemade pie. This is a film where making a small
connection with another is enough of a story, as
there's no big things about to happen in a film that
just seems to be delighted it was made and could be
shared with a few others.
interesting to note that Poekel sold
Christmas trees for five years to get the money to
finance the film.
REVIEWED ON 3/1/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ