The 2012 Worldwide Short Film Festival kicked into gear last night at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, with an entertaining, and wonderful program featuring shorts from around the globe.
The seven shorts featured ran the gambit from whimsical to laugh out loud funny, with a dash of romance and historical combining into an enjoyable potpourri of entertainment.
The first film up was Luminaris, from Argentina, which was a fun and whimsical photo-real, stop-motion animation, about an assembly line worker, who is spiriting away light bulb/glass balls to help furnish his escape plan from his humdrum existence.
Next was an animated short from France, entitled Dripped, featuring an a strange little art thief that eats the art he steals, and adopts its characteristics in this bouncy and colorful film what had a fun jazzy score.
Germany came next with the longest short of the evening, Armadingen, clocking in at 23 minutes, about an old couple, one of whom learns that Armageddon (subtle hint there to the denouement of the film) is nigh as a meteor is tumbling its way towards the earth. Keeping it a secret from his wife, Walter lets go of the past, and works to make his wife’s last few hours of life as pleasant as possible. A sweet, touching and funny film, that had a folky version on “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” to back it up.
Abuelas (Grandmothers), from the UK, actually talks about events that occurred in Buenos Aires through testimonials and animation. I was a little out of my depth on this one, as I had no idea this had actually happened, I was too young at the time, and I think a little intro at the beginning of the film, as well as the tag at the end may have served it better. Despite that one fault, it was still a moving film.
Canada arrives next with the wintery film Trotteur, which pits a simple country boy against machine, as he races a steam engine across a snowy plain. The film is wonderfully shot, and the makeup on the cast was really good, evoking memories of something in my mind that I can’t place at the moment.
Closing out the show last night, were two crowd pleasers, one for the sheer romance and heartbreak, and the other for the laughs provided, of which there were many.
Romance is alive, even on the Day of the Dead, in this short from Mexico called El Pescador (The Fisherman). An elderly fisherman uses a jar filled with old photographs and memories to fish items out of the depths of the ocean and then waits patiently for the woman he loves.
When she arrives they relive the memory of one wonderful night, until the moment is over, and she vanishes.
Giving up the memories to live them over the course of one night is made more poignant and poetic with the revelation at the end of the film and left me wondering what will happen next time. If all those memories he had are now gone, do you keep the ones you have left, or do you relive them and let them go as the pass?
It was a lovely, and incredibly romantic short, my favorite so far.
To end the evening, we turned to a co-produciotn between France and the UK, which was a send-up of sci-fi “B” movies, and laugh out loud funny called The Elaborate End of Robert Ebb. Robert is a night security man at a movie studio, and is hoping to ditch out early to meet his special lady friend for a movie. His co-worker, meanwhile hears, between naps, about a sea monster drawing closer to the English coast.
Discovering a costume in a box, Robert decides to pull a prank on Trevor, but things go sideways in a way that has to be seen to believed, when Robert ends up stuck in the costume, and people think there’s a sea monster trampling their countryside and terrorizing the humble folk.
It was a great start to the film festival and we’re looking forward to seeing more this evening!
See you there!!