The FDU Film Festival took place last Friday under the lights of Fairleigh Dickinson’s Dreyfuss Theater.

One of the films that stood out was originally a student lighting project entitled “L’America.”

The plot is simple: Irish writer James Joyce becomes a prisoner of the Netherworld and must escape the terrible fate that is about to befall him.

James Joyce is portrayed by former FDU junior Hisham Amer, who returned to his native France earlier this year to work on an independent film.

Amer provides us with countless comedic moments that hit the mark every time. Whether it’s his laugh, dance moves, or his almost-serious expressions, the audience cries with laughter.

The film isn’t so much about Joyce as it is about Amer and his unique talent for making people laugh. At one point in the film, the camera zooms in on Amer’s stained teeth.
It is at this point that Amer stops playing Joyce and Joyce starts playing the role of Amer.
After the credits role, a big “In Memory of” is rightfully displayed for Amer.

The person next to me asked me if he was dead. I assured him that Amer was quite alive.
The film itself is shot in a beautiful black and white and sepia color palette. The lighting, which was the film’s original focus, is fantastic.

There are long shadows chasing after Joyce, as he hurriedly flees down the staircases of the Mansion. The plot is simple but very entertaining.

Joyce fights demons and becomes the “Lizard Queen” through the course of the film.
He dons a toga for the final scene, which involves a very entertaining rendition of “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, famous painter of the Renaissance.

Most importantly, the film’s ability to make people laugh is what ties it all together in a big red bow.

I asked a couple of audience members which film they liked the best. Most of them said “L’America.”

Although “L’America” did not win any awards at the festival, it was definitely the people’s champion.

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