The Growing Season
Director: Susan Sfarra
A more accurate title for this piece might be “How to Groom Pine Trees: In One Act.” A traditional folk song underscores the action—the “action” of trimming future Christmas trees, at least—as a boy experience the exciting life his grandfather lives as a tree wrangler. I was underwhelmed by the whole affair but there is an audience for this sort of film; and they are somewhere between bonsai fanatics and Christmas plant lovers. This film would have made more sense screening with documentary shorts given its apparently real characters and set.
Aussie accents and Chinese tradition mix in this cross-cultural melee. It’s a pretty funny story that starts with a blind date and ends with some wire-fu. The main character is a self-assured Australian woman who falls for an uncommon “peasant boy” in a Chinese restaurant. Note the karaoke video (replete with Asian writing!) as a unique montage vehicle.