Having recently championed filmmaker Suzi Yoonessi for her recently released feature, “Dear Lemon Lima,” I looked forward to her contribution to the “Futurestates” web series (which I also showcased in my recent Cinematical SXSW shorts roundup). Titled, “Spring of Sorrow,” it features another minor appearance by Beth Grant, a favorite underrated character actress of mine, and like “Lima” incorporates a lot of doodle type drawings. I’ll admit that the narrative, about a little girl searching for water in a parched near-future, doesn’t grab me as much as Yoonessi’s feature did, and I’m not completely down for the global warming angle (I see it more related specifically to the global drinking water crisis than a general environmental concern), but once again I applaud the director’s ability to create young-adult-geared stories that aren’t adapted from other material and are age-appropriate without being age-limiting or exclusively appealing.
“Spring of Sorrow,” which was co-written by Jonako Donley, offers a simple kind of futurist fairy tale that makes me want to lump Yoonessi in with some other new filmmakers I’d like to see hired for some of these new fairy tale adaptations trending in Hollywood lately. Two others I discovered via “medium” shorts at SXSW are Jessica Lux and Lindsay Mackay, who showed magical realist works “Join the Dots” and “Clear Blue,” respectively. I see them doing much better jobs with the material than Catherine Hardwicke and Daniel Barnz have. And speaking of bad female-driven fantasy films, if you’re dissatisfied with the faux girl power of “Sucker Punch,” do check out “Lima,” which may not have action and special effects but it does have characters your daughter can actually relate to and be inspired by.
Watch “Spring of Sorrow” after the jump. And keep checking the Futurestates site for new episodes. JP Chan’s “Digital Antiquities” is next, debuting online March 31.