Dinner and a Movie (USA, 0:14:27)

Directed by: James Dokko

Written by: James Dokko

Cast: Sally Connors, Erich Rauch, Jordan Turchin

A vagabond sits down to the meal of his dreams, only to face his worst nightmare when his fantasy collides with reality.

Review:

Dinner and a Movie

By Alexia Amoriello.

James Dokko’s Dinner and a Movie has all the charm and pizzazz of a classic silent film, without actually being silent or black-and-white. In fact, the filmmaker’s use of sound and music is impeccably efficient and keeps the film engaging. James Dokko has proven himself to be a master of his craft, considering his film relies almost solely on action, images, and sound rather than dialogue. There is only one actual line of dialogue in the entire film, and it is wonderfully effective and almost guaranteed to put a smile on every viewer’s face.
Dinner and a Movie expertly captures the power of fantasy and imagination. The film follows a homeless man’s illusion as he is starving in front of an upscale restaurant. Yet the film is radically more exciting and entertaining than it sounds, especially when a stranger crashes the man’s fantasy and an epic battle hilariously ensues. Dokko’s film is also a loving tribute to cinema as the fantasy elements embody aspects of the artistic medium. Lovers of old silent films will be absolutely elated by this short film, since it is reminiscent of classic comedies. Nonetheless, Dinner and a Movie will still please viewers who are not particularly fond of silent films, as this film feels refreshingly modern. The film purely encompasses the endearing qualities of silent comedies without ever feeling outdated.
Additionally, the film is both beautifully and skillfully shot and edited and the use of lighting is spectacular. The only possible flaw that could be detected in this film is the fact that the acting is a bit extravagant. However, this is undeniably not a shortcoming because the film is largely a fantasy and thus the extravagant acting is intentional and necessary. In fact, the overstated acting plays a large role in the film’s humorous and amusing nature.
Dokko’s film contains a simple yet extraordinarily touching story. Dinner and a Movie is the type of film to watch when one is having a bad day because not only is the film captivating and comical, but it is delightfully uplifting as well. It would be virtually implausible for anyone to walk away angry after viewing such a lovable film.
Dinner and a Movie is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown during the festival on October 12-18, 2015.


Dinner and a Movie

By: Maria Akay

James Dokko’s lighthearted Dinner and a Movie leaves the viewer on a high note; even in the bleakest of situations there is always an upside. However, with NYC as a backdrop, this film addresses an unsightly truth of this city: homelessness. The viewer might leave this film smiling, but why? The main character, aptly named “NoName” (further giving anonymity to the protagonist), makes a companion by the end of the film yet still finds himself in the same struggle he was in at the beginning – trying to survive.

The unsung character in Dinner is Dokko’s choice of music. In the first few minutes orchestral music alone creates tension between NoName and the Bully, as well as NoName's hunt for dinner, no dialogue is used whatsoever. On the other end of the spectrum, upbeat orchestral music sets the tone of the hilarity that ensures a gourmet food fight between NoName and his soon-to-be new companion, Lady.

While it's disheartening to see at the end of it all, NoName finds himself just imagining delicious meals and looks to his side to see Lady in the same position. The last and only line of the film "Where should we have dessert" is powerfully used in creating optimism for the two characters, that although they are suffering they may find a solution to get through it, together. Dinner and a Movie is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be shown during the festival on October 12-18, 2015.