WHEN THOUGHTS STICK TO YOUR MIND director Fella Cederbaum reaches again for the ineffable, aiming to put it into words. And she does it! Mahno Dahno emerges as a character of a transcendental nature, of ancestral ambitions and interests, one that explores the universe beyond its material side, in search for the immortality within the human spirit and the instruments that can ennoble it to gaze into eternity.
Music starts with melancholic variations and gradually changes to more optimistic and hopeful tones (towards the ending of the film).
This aligns with the mood of the poem and with the gradual inner ‘growth’ of the main character - a growth reflected by the emotions depicted in the lyrics.
A TEST offers an inspiring insight into the discouraging and maddening feeling we can have as people when surrounded by injustice, violence and helplessness. The deeper connection we can establish with our own selves, the more sense we will be able to make with the world around us, but more importantly with our purpose and place in it. Although there is uncomplicated artistry and cinematic vision displayed in this journey into the poetry of existential philosophy, the lessons and messages are paramount and meaningful. This lyrical experimental offers a much needed platform to support our never ending battle as humans to find sense and endure the test of life.
The music accompanying and harmonising the visual side comes to aid in the forging of the right type of atmosphere for the spoken words, the core element of the film. As the short moves forward, the violins and piano keep using their melancholic tune to establish a sensitive and delicate character that round up the project.
NO GYROSCOPE brings forward an esoteric insight into the powerful connection that we, as humans, can established with our history, culture and ultimately ourselves. MahnoDahno’s odic rendition to explore concepts as legacy and human essence, comes across as sincere and wacky. The authentic simplicity, kookiness and allegorical dimension of character contribute to the creation of an intimate and esoteric atmosphere, which helps shape the strong points of this short. Despite not being the habitual type of short, Fella Cederbaum’s film is certainly something that will be appreciated by those looking for the less conventional: the existential-answers-searching type of public. Music is utilised well most of the time, using a mellow piano tune which brings a melancholic and metaphysical contribution in support of the overall atmosphere and mood of the film.
RACING TO ENLIGHTENMENT
is an invitation to a personal spiritual introspection and to a reassessment of our divine provenance. While visually complex, Fella Cederbaum project impresses through the author’s poetic skills to harness complex existential conundrums and spiritual matters with elaborate yet gentle measure. One of the most memorable stanzas is: “...There’s nothing to impede the shine of truest emanation, /Our spark that is divine and dances with elation. “ This sends to the idea that truth cannot exist outside divinity; and neither can man as a bearer of the ‘divine spark’.
TRUTH The fact that the music had been composed by no other than Fella Cederbaum, shows that the directress is a multitalented artist.
A TEAR offers a distinctive insight into the powerful inner journey that we, as humans, must tread where myth and the profound cerebral is intertwined with everyday experiences and moments. The short is rich in symbols and colour and soaked in poetry. The final message is clear: the outcome is up to each of us, rooted in our own individuality as well as counted as a together mass. We compose a universe, sometimes rather tragic, dominated by the violence of our passions and desires but nevertheless immersed in the desire to grow with the help of the last gifts granted by the divine hope.
Music is utilized well using a single mellow piano and violin piece with soothing tunes which brings a good contribution and comes in support to the atmosphere and mood of the film.
“Poets are born not made! Fella Cederbaum is a unique, brilliant poet who magically paints with words of wisdom, beauty, love and harmony.”
-Yola Nash, WABC Radio Show Host
"Life is rarely as it appears in plain view. Fella's poetry explores life, its essence and its meaning in both consequential and insignificant moments. Her words offer a new lens to what we couldn't see before so that we can feel differently moving forward.”
-Brian Solis, Digital Anthropologist, Futurist, Award winning Author of "Lifescale: How to Live a more creative, productive, happy life.”
“Each of Fella’s creative, fun and love infused poems awakens in you the awareness required to survive disruption and thrive in life.”
-Tony Jeton Selimi, Five Times #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of A Path to Wisdom and the Co-creator of Multi-award Winning Living My Illusion documentary series.
"I find Fella Cederbaum as one of the most unique poets of modern times. In her collection “Of Life and Other Such Matters” she impressively dives into the human experience, offering a thought-provoking read. Her poetry is highly inspiring and reads like an inner thought that could be your own."
-Robin de Levita, Internationally acclaimed, multiple Tony Award winning Broadway Producer, TV and Film Producer
“Of Life and Other Such Matters” goes straight to the essence of the world’s spiritual teachings with profound depth, clarity, directness, and often with great humor. Each poem gifts the reader with eternal truths and teachings wrapped in a uniquely engaging poetic voice. This is food for the spirit that one can feast on indefinitely. I highly recommend it!”
-Robin Casarjian, Author, Founder/Director of the Lionheart Foundation and its National Emotional Literacy Project
“The Poetry of Awakening: These poems range from the mundane (Cadbury's chocolate and fancy hairstyles) to the metaphysical (karma, pure awareness, the Soul) and they are a delight, and a challenge, to read. Simple and direct, they cover an amazingly wide range of human experience. For those who'd prefer to hear them read aloud, may I suggest a visit to MahnoDahno.com”
-Dr. Eric Leskowitz, MD, Harvard Psychiatrist, Author, Film-Maker
CULT CRITIC /FILMS OF THE MONTH
A TEST BY FELLA CEDERBAUM
MARCH 10, 2020
Directed by Fella Cederbaum / Reviewed by Adva Reichman
Imagine being able to enter a painting and stroll through it. Becoming one with the colors and feeling the paint brushes. Sensing the texture on the fabric and follow it as it develops into a three-dimensional creation. Feeling it as if it was truly there, as if you were truly there. Watching the calm sky, feeling the light breeze and sitting on top of trees. What painting would you choose and where would you go?
In her short film, ‘A TEST’, Fella Cederbaum uses various paintings to create a new world and successfully lures us into it. The viewers get to follow into another realm and wander around, seeing desert like colors, and colorful blue and purple people figures. It might sound dreamy, but the paintings actually give out a sense of eeriness, of being lost, of being uncomfortable and yet are highly intriguing. People seem misplaced, as though some are looking for an answer while others already gave up on finding it and lost themselves in despair.
As the film continues we navigate through different yet similar paintings and slowly start to learn about the new world.
But how different is that world from our own? Once you look past the picturesque surroundings, you might find you are not elsewhere at all.
Throughout the film, a human figure narrates the film’s message. The actress, who is the only one not to be painted, is wearing a costume and matches the captivating world the director created. Her wardrobe seemed to me like a mix of a clown and a bird which was the last thing I expected. At first, I wondered about that choice and whether or not it distracts me from what I am seeing, but as the short film progressed I grew to like and appreciate that choice. I realized it wasn’t about the actress, the way she looks or the way she carries herself on screen. It was about her words. And so, I listened even more intently to the rhyming poetic monologue. And as we listen to her verses, she almost becomes one with the painting.
The actress speaks about religion, Faith and endurance. About the meaning of life and looking for a real right answer. Not to be confused with our everyday fears and worries, but the real bigger answer we are lacking and spend our whole life searching for. The director reminds us of the quest we are already on, but sometimes forget. She wishes to open our eyes and show us what life is all about. So many things in life are a test, and endurance is key. But what is the answer?
What is it the meaning of life? Why are we here? What do we need to achieve? And what did we lose along the way? The figure asks the viewers more and more questions about the greater meaning of their existence.
And then she answers them for us. A lot of information is given to the viewers, and I wanted there to be more silence in between the questions, so that I too could think and process the clever and thoughtful words I just heard. I also wish the director wouldn’t have given me all the answers, so that I can ponder the questions and find some of my own answers.
I admire the creator for working hard to make a strong statement and for choosing such a relevant powerful subject. Her execution of the film was original, fresh and exciting to watch. Fella Cederbaum created a wonderful short film that was beautiful to look at and to listen to at the same time. The beautiful music escorted the poem and strengthen the sentiment the director aimed for. A TEST is a crafty piece that will keep you thinking of its core message long after you finish watching it.