Movie Review: MAC & CHEESE


“Mac & Cheese” is grab-you-by-the-throat intense but it’s not without its sense of style. This horror short is teeming with style from its rather peculiar food motif to its tweaking of horror movie tropes. The roles of sadist and victim fall to mother and daughter and roll right through at a fever pitch to the very end in this little gem, all of fifteen minutes long.

The mom, played to the hilt by Amanda Brooke Lerner, is a classsic monster. The daughter, played by Julia Garner, doesn’t get much of a chance to speak but conveys emotion hauntingly. And Stacey, the potential source of help from the outside world, has a lively presence. She gives us a female version of that nuanced performance by Martin Balsam in “Psycho.”

Written and directed by Lutfu Emre Cicek, this short shows us a new talent willing to take risks. Cicek turns macaroni and cheese into a very compelling visual. He finds a number of ways of turning one of the most innocuous things into anything but innocuous. And he has a healthy taste for blood.

“Mac & Cheese” will be showing as part of the NewFilmmakers NY Series on March 6 at Anthology Film Archives on the Lower East Side at 32 Second Avenue & 2nd Street. Tickets for Winter Screening Series 2013 are only $6 and are good for the whole night’s screenings and receptions. They are available at the Anthology Box Office the night of screening. For more information go to the NewFilmmakers NY website here.

A full schedule for the March 6 program follows:

6:00 PM First Short Film Program

Linette Lucas P.U.M.P.S.
Plain old Brenda Blank is a school teacher, volunteer, full time goody two shoes. She lives a simple, boring, and predictable life until she is introduced to P.U.M.P.S. P.U.M.P.S. is the fertilizer this flower needed to bloom, but every rose has it’s thorns. All she needs is a dab of P.U.M.P.S. and everything would be like new.

Nell’s feet hang over her tiny bed, she can’t squeeze through her little front door, her miniature meals leave her hungry and the small gun she keeps shooting herself with leaves only a minor scab.

Lutfu Emre Cicek MAC & CHEESE
A disturbed mother takes extreme measures to punish her young daughter.

Brian Paccione BROTHERS
New York City. 1961. The Italian brothers Frank and Benji struggle to rebuild their relationship in the face of changing times. Frank yearns for the past. Benji turns to the streets.

7:00 PM Second Short Film Program

Michael Lavine WEEKEND AWAY
A distressed young woman leaves the city for the weekend with the hopes of clearing her head, but meets a mysterious hitchhiker who only confuses things more. The farther she goes to escape the more she finds herself trapped.

Hearts Gamble is a relate-able, intimate, thought provoking and humorous film depicting the friendship of four men as they question relationships, fidelity, and love. Cards are dealt, drinks are poured, secrets surface and conflicts arise.

Anthony Bushman FOUND
Alex has always known he was adopted, but now an unexpected discovery stirs his desire to uncover even more. Finally gathering the courage to dig up his birth records, he starts down the uncertain path to find answers.

8:00 PM First Feature Presentation

A paraplegic’s friends pay him an unannounced visit to challenge his secluded life.

9:15 PM Second Feature Presentation

The story of a young woman, sexually abused by both her father and boyfriend, who violently comes to terms with herself, her past, and her future. She destroys and rebuilds herself in the process, emerging a more powerful and ruthless person.

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