Jackpot

Jackpot Short Film

Why Watch? Jack Hoffman desperately wants to jack his hoffman, but it isn’t all that easy. He’s resigned himself to department store catalog models — guys in tight sweaters, guys in genuine Jockeys — because 1) he’s 14 and 2) it’s 1994 and the internet isn’t in every household yet. Tough break being born in 1980. When he hears about a stash of porn mags on the other side of town, he risks being caught by a trio of bullies to secure the necessary visual aids. Funny thing is, his imagination seems to already be pretty strong. Adam Baran’s Jackpot is simple and sweet. It stops just short of being schmaltzy due to a genuinely likable hero in Ethan Navarro’s Jack, and a comic relief porn-star-of-many-wardrobe-changes played by Adam Fleming. Plus, as bully-dodging stories go, this one feels a bit more honest when it comes to danger, consequences and the anticipated payoff. It’s a warm look at the complicated problem of learning about your own sexuality — which probably felt world-collapsingly insurmountable when we were all that age — that’s pulled off with a large heart and a rebellious attitude.

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Jackpot Film Review

Oscar is having a bad day. When we first meet him, he’s lying underneath a massive woman clutching a shotgun at a strip club full of corpses. The police are obviously curious as to his connection with all this death and destruction. As Oscar sits in the interrogation room of the police station, he relays a bizarre tale of soccer betting winnings, of gangsters, and of murder. Is Oscar a liar, a killer, or just completely out of his mind? More and more, the collected nations of Scandinavia are proving to have an unparalleled mastery of the crime film. Whether it be a brutal descent into the depths of human ugliness like Sweden’s Millennium Trilogy or something intricately tense and darkly comedic like Norway’s Headhunters, it’s gotten to the point that the assemblage of the words Scandinavian and crime film are enough to heighten many a film geek’s excitement and expectation. Sharp as a concealed knife, and dripping with black comedy, Jackpot proudly takes it place beside the best of this budding new wave of rule-breaker cinema from the north of Europe.

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Earlier this week, our own Cole Abaius announced the first wave of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival‘s film lineup. That assault was impressive enough, complete with lots of compelling picks in the World Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Feature Competition
, and Viewpoints sections, but today’s release of the final feature film sections is a whole other volley of firepower. With today’s announcement of their Spotlight, Cinemania, Special Screenings, and the 2012 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, the fest has completed their feature announcements – and made me start to wonder if I should try to hit Gotham for the festival, running April 18 – 29. Picks that stand out to me already include the delightful 2 Days in New York, Chicken With Plums, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, The Giant Mechanical Man, Headshot, Lola Versus, Take This Waltz, Your Sister’s Sister, and Sleepless Night. Check out the full list of films (along with Tribeca-provided synopses) after the break.

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