A clever little piece – Legal Smuggling (Short Film Review)

On it’s way to the Sundance 2017  Legal Smuggling lays it all on the table, literally. An intriguing quirky piece as we follow Choy through her minutes of recollection, honesty, and nostalgia.

A clever little piece put together by Lewie Kloster depicting the avid pain of addiction. The desire of duty-free cigarettes and the urge of bringing back a bargain through the border, easily and wonderfully expressing the ‘American Dream’ of living like a movie star. Christine Choy performs this witty piece filled with real life antidotes of her life as a New Yorker. A Korean New Yorker. Exceptionally important when seeing how the pressures of the ‘American Dream’ didn’t just affect Asian Americans, like Choy herself, but all types of Americans and travellers alike. The constant need to perform was pivotal in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s with the emergence of multiple genres and alternative groups, Choy’s expression of pressures and addictions can be seen to fit the New Yorker’s persona perfectly. Not to mention the pressures of having ‘stuffed bras’ and ‘high heels’ as Choy mentions.

Floating with imagery and depiction of growing up in New York, the feeling of the outsider ultimately comes into play as well as the saucy need to appeal.  The adrenaline of getting a couple extra cigarettes through the border vs the desperation of the ‘addict’ is what makes this tale a little more riveting.  All in all, this cartoonised ‘newspaperish’ snippet of almost 4 minutes, Choy shows the audience how she will do just about anything to keep hold to her favourite brand ‘Benson and Hedges’ through a perfectly described ‘Legal Smuggling’.

Dir: Lewie Kloster

Scr: Lewie Kloster

Cast: Christine Choy

Anim: Noah Kloster

Music: David Britton/ Eric Heltemes

Country: USA

Year: 2016

Runtime: 4 mins



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