The Latest • Comedy, Short Films, 12-Jan-2022
During a routine smog check, an eastern European mechanic discusses racism in a very uncomfortable way with a black man. A dry comedy set in L.A., “Smog,” directed by Derek Milton, tackles an awkward exchange about skin color and the term African American in wry, understated fashion. The chatty mechanic, Sergei, doesn’t waste any time diving right into the subject of race, and Derek has a hard time gauging what the man is trying to say. Sergei, for the most part, seems to be in ally mode, but it’s a weird time to buddy up, and Derek is really just eager to get his smog results and be on his way. With its 16mm visuals and Super 8mm flashback, the film offers textured timelessness, but its portrayal of race relations in America is firmly embedded in the current moment, an observant, darkly funny snapshot. -KA. Writer, director: Derek Milton. Cast: Zoran Radanovich, Derek Milton, Macgregor Burns, Robin Harper, Ian Randolph, Irie Jean Calkins, Tre'len Johnston. Dop: Adriaan Kirchner. Music composer: Sten Valin.
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