TIFF – Short Cuts Canada Programme 4

 

The amazing Shorts programme for TIFF 2013 keeps coming with this installment screening today at 6:30pm and tomorrow at 1:45pm at the Lightbox.

This bunch is fun and eclectic, featuring some great performances, fun stories, and beautiful imagery.

Paradise Falls, directed by Fantavious Fritz is a haunting and beautiful coming of age tale that follows two young boys who break into a long-deserted house that shares a dark history with the world around it. While there, they bring the desolate, but immaculate home back to life, including the presence of a young woman who died. The three form a tight-knit group, as the ghost teaches the boys, educates them, and gives them a different perspective on life. This one has a fairytale quality that I quite enjoyed.

Yellowhead from Kevan Funk is a wonderful character piece following a middle-aged safety inspector, the always awesome Paul McGillion. As he traverses the bleak, cold and industrial landscape he is at constant odds with the day, and his own health, simply struggling to get through until a much rumored trip south comes to fruition. A great showcase piece for McGillion.

A Time Is A Terrible Thing To Waste, is an animated joy from Leslie Supnet, about a squirrel with a broken watch who, safe and warm in his bed, can’t decide if it’s too early, or too late, and is trying to figure out whether he should go back to bed or if he’s already late for work.  This one was cute and funny.

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Relax, I’m From The Future is my favorite of this bunch, and possibly all of the shorts I’ve seen up to this point. Directed by Luke Higginson, the short jaunt follows a man who is about to commit suicide and is interrupted by a man claiming to be from the future who just wants to talk to someone, to vent… I mean who would really want to talk to him, or know him if he claimed he was from the future? What kind of relationships could he actually have? Is he crazy, is he not? So he accosts the man, just for someone to talk to for a few minutes before his death, with hilarious results.

Sam’s Formalwear, from Yael Staav, is a bittersweet look at a Sam (Judah Katz), a man suffering a mid-life crisis that seems to come to fruition on the eve of his daughter’s prom. Sam is the Prom Guy in town, he runs the formal wear shop as if he’s holding on to his glory days, and seems to treat everyone he bumps into as if they were all still in high school. Much to the embarrassment of his family, and the pity of those he bumps into.

Rounding out this collection is Nous Avions, directed by Stephane Moukarzel. This film completely disarmed me, and by its end had a sad smile and a bit of a tear in my eye, as we spend some time with a family, that has emigrated to Montreal. The patriarch has worked for 15 years as a cab driver, trying to make sure that his children have the best Canada has to offer, but as so often happens, they grow up to quick, and while plane-watching one day, waiting for the Concorde to come in, we see the family struggling to hold on.  The film’s end is pitch perfect, letting us know that you may not be able to live at home again, but it can be nice to visit.

As has been the pattern this year, TIFF will make a number of the shorts available online on their YouTube channel here so, you really don’t have to worry if you aren’t in town, or if you are, you have a screening that conflicts… but check this bunch out, there’s some fantastic work here!

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