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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LAFF 2013: Shorts Reviews

 I though going to art galleries was the perfect place to be inspired by horror movies. I was wrong as a part of cinema already is a doorway to making a horror films, shorts. The shorts of this years LA Film Fest were as diverse as their directors. The section I saw was a small part of the huge shorts program playing, not including the Young Film Makers section. So many films and not enough time to see them all. Here are some quick reviews on each seen in Shorts Program 4.


-Primate Cinema: Apes as Family

 Directed By: Rachel Mayeri

 Why this was given a grant where the director go to meet with scientist on the behavior of chimps and the use of a local special effects houses resources are used are beyond me. What comes out is an artistic vision realized by a story in the New York Times about a monkey hotel for apes who can't adjust well in zoos. Starting off as a documentary about a young female chimp taken in by family you only see in a picture and living in their home becomes a forth wall breaking film about a chimp always having a wild side. The cutting between the film and real life chimps watching it unsettling, but not as much as the fake monkey boner sex scene.


-Caterwaul

 Directed By: Ian Samuels

 A fisherman loses his wife, but gains a giant lobster that slowly becomes his dead wife. Oh, so creepy. Creepy and beautiful as it's really a story about an old man having to let go of the women he loved by awkwardly remembering it with a memory of his wife hybrid lobster monster . Puppet special effects and a slow transition of the lobster getting bigger and taking on human form will unsettle you, but also make you sad for his loss. Hire the director for Black Mirror.


-The Bungled Child 

 Directed By: Simon Filliot

Stop-motion animation about conjoined twins with a health does of old people puppet sex. The character and world designs were great, but there could have been a story instead of none. Dark and moody and a C-section aren't enough to cut it, no words only works if there's something to be learned.


-Boneshaker

 Directed By: Frances Bodomo

 A young black girl is rebellious in a car trip to an outdoor church. Her Dad with her sister and Grandma in tow stops as he's lost he's way and is fed up with his daughter. Oh no, white people with guns! Oh, wait there totally friendly and helpful and are just out hunting. Nice trick, director you total scared me and the rest of the audience. Soon this young girl wanders threw a beautiful forest, find herself at the outdoor church and seems to have her demons erased until she still acts totally rebellious. Beautifully shot with no real plot.

 

- Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven

 Directed By: ├ůsa Blanck, Johan Palmgren

The  Audience Award for Best Short Film this year seems like a little much. A cute doc that stings the heart. A story of a grandson who loves his Grandfather as he gets closer to death. Their interaction is just true family love mixed with old footage of them together when the grandson was just a baby and the grandfather could move and dance. Not as tragic as you may think, but still heartbreaking toward the end. Wanted to eat that breakfast item they worked together on so much, it looked so tasty.

- Irish Folk Furniture  

Directed By: Tony Donoghue 

Stop motion on the subject of furniture using real furniture and how it's been re-purposed or was part of people's lives in Ireland. Who doesn't like a ottoman or table or what have you making it down the road on it's own?


What Do We Have In Our Pockets?

Directed By: Goran Dukic

Stop motion again, but a cute look in what in your pockets might be useful or let you get the girl. Following a man down the street with a hypothetical narrative of how he might get a girl's attention and fall in love with the odd items in his pocket that become a rainbow or useful to him with stop-motion.


Saint John, the Longest Night


Directed By: Claudia Huaiquimilla

Shot at her home with her neighbors and really using the goat the eat as catering comes a film on a young boy having to deal with his abusive father. The director tricked the audience into believing something darker may have happened then does.