I went to the Cleveland Film Festival on Friday for a showing of six short films. Short reviews of each, and spoilers of course, past the jump.
Birth of Industry — Director: Gabriela Tollman
This film is a heavy-handed allegory about the Industrial Revolution and how it has raped the world and how the world will still be around even after we kill ourselves. It had some good imagery at the beginning, sort of blending evolution with the mythical birth of Aphrodite, but after that it was just too preachy and predictable. Das Rad does a better job of making the same point, and it uses animation and humor along with the moral.
Parents of the Year — Director: James Scurlock
This was a short documentary about some Mexican immigrant parents [mainly a mother] who paid for their children’s college educations by picking glass bottles out of the trash. It was a pretty standard documentary. Nothing really stands out about it that deserves mentioning [good or bad].
L’HOMME SANS TÊTE — Director: Juan Solanas
This was my favorite short film at the showing. It was gorgeously shot, quirky, lighthearted and poignant. So, quite French. The effects were good as well, and the mise-en-scene and production values were all top notch.
Convenience — Director: Ryan Kirkwood
This was an animated student short about substance abuse. Not the typical kind though, but in a way… A kid is being raised by television, and when he gets distracted away from The Glass Teat he is hyperactive, until his parent’s dope him up and stick him in front of the T00b again, so they can get on with their life. It was good for a student, shows some promise. I liked the content over the form.
The Carpenter and His Clumsy Wife — Director: Peter Foott
This is a black horror-comedy about a carpenter who makes new parts for his wife since she is always chopping them off. Then he gets the bright idea that he can make her better if just gets it over with and makes her all wood. Pretty good. I’m convinced it is based on an Irish folktale but I can’t find any information online.
Untitled: 003 – Embryo — Director: Mike Goedecke
This was a little sci-fi movie about the danger of living too much internally. An agoraphobe gets a dreamcatcher gizmo sent to him and he raises a dream critter by stealing the dreams of people that stop by his place. The concept was neat, and the effects were pretty good, but the ending left a bit to be desired. There is also a cat dream sequence that totally creeped me out. Picture an animated cat with a couple hundred teats, nursing kittens and telling them to take over the world; yeah.
Altogether the program was worth the price of a ticket, even if none of the shorts blew my mind. I wish they still showed short films and animated shorts before features at the movies.