One just never knows what circumstances may bring

September 14, 2016

Winner of this years, Dances With Films, Honorable Mention Award, “POP-UP”, By Writer/Dir: Stuart, is all about synergy.

It continually reminds us of hope.  Of how it is often dependent on our connections to each other; no matter how briefly or insignificant they may seem.

Michael, (played with perfect Buster Keaton apathy by Eugene Gilfedder), a single father caring for his beautiful young daughter, Emily (Ellacoco Hammer), seems a hopeless case, fairly bumbling trough life’s unforeseen obstacles.  Either suffering from severe claustrophobia or hydrophobia, we stifle groans as he fails in life on every pursuit; one opportunity after another.

However, we also find his beaten down life confronted with incidental moments of beauty and possibilities as well.   Almost imperceptible at first, these events seem to just “pop up” along his path while his many test of circumstances propel him forward to engage his life; no matter how dire are hard hitting these circumstances appear.

Shot on location in Newcastle, Australia and Transylvania, Romania, we witness an all star, award winning cast of several characters and their stories on how little saving Graces appear one after another to aid in their rescue towards life’s fulfillment.

Within obstacles we all experience, the will to continue is, above all, paramount; the alternative is out of the question.

What is refreshing about “POP-UP”, is the heartwarming role reversal of human conditions.  We have often seen women who struggle at single parenting by modest means.  But when watching a man whose traditional position of being the provider, is engaged in the challenge, it is heartwarming, tragically suspenseful, and at times utterly hopeless.  What drives him is championing the hopeful outlook of his daughter.

Likewise a woman, Rada ( played masterfully by Clara Voda), who is saddened by the birthmark on her face, is aggressively in search for a mate.    Almost apologizing for her flawed appearance, we see Rada languishing over her imperfections  while longing for love herself. She is gentle, kind, and understanding while counseling her sister’s fiance on language and courtship.  But when 

Rada finally finds love in Sam, who is also flawed, he abandons her when his affliction is cured.  Rada desperately approaches her quest for love with drunken aggression as she takes the lead in pursuit of courtship.    She too faces adversity at every turn. Until She discovers a solution that pops up in her path.  A beautiful way to reach out to others that might tie all her efforts together.

Each Character in “POP-Up” is somehow connected.  All randomly perfectly bumping into one another like carnival bumper-cars; keeping each moving towards their higher destiny.


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