Thursday, April 14, 2011

DIFF Review Midnight Shorts - He Said

Directed by: Jonathan Caouette
The director is definitely a David Lynch fan. I missed the first 3 minutes of this short and, I felt completely lost until I asked Jonesy and Crystal if I missed a crucial plot point.  Turns out I didn't, but this did not keep me from enjoying this macabre and unsettling short.  The editing is masterful as is the imagination and the style that went into creating this short. Highly recommended, and I'll be watching out for the director's next work.

Directed by: Matt Bird
This charming short is the definition of a horror comedy.  I won't spoil it, but suffice to say that I found the clever use of a very familiar situation, such as a young couple meeting and wanting to hook up, as a way to unexpectedly turn to a completely different movie in the second half.  The two leads are charming, but more so the girl here. She's really spunky and gives off such a nice presence on screen, and you can't help but like her character as she deals with getting a cold sore after a hook up.

Directed by: Zellner Bros

Can't say much, expect this was the funniest thing I've seen in a while.  Find a way to get a hold of this now!

Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy
This is the most polished of the shorts.  It stars the oh-so-cute Jewel Staite, of FIREFLY and SERENITY fame, as a woman dealing with her mother's recent death.  Her and her brother talk about their dark past and how strange it is to be back in their old house.  They both chose different ways of dealing with their childhood, and in the end, we see how hard it is to confront one's demons.  This movie would've benefited from more time in getting to know the characters and a bit more visual flare. Interestingly, this movie is being shopped around as a feature film, which interests me as the subject matter has really great potential that feels unrealized here.

Directed by: Valere Amirault, Sarah Lauger, Jean Delauny, Benjamin Mattern
This short was the reason I wanted to check out the Midnight Shorts program, and yet this was the most disappointing.  The premise was that an 8 bit video game character was going to fight a more advanced 64 bit video game character.  The result was so underwhelming from what I originally imagined.  The designs were a bit off for my taste. The style is barely reminiscent of video games save for some parts, and frankly, I couldn't tell what was going on for the most part.  A good concept that was mired by a bad execution.

Directed by: Jerome Sable
Probably one of my favorite shorts of the whole festival. This is a story of a nerdy kid with his group of campers telling stories of the ghost of the Beaver Dam.  The kid is constantly getting picked on until he becomes the hero of the day, or does he?  This is the best horror/musical hybrid, and director Jerome Sable needs to do something similar to this.  The production values, the music, and the humor are all top-notch here.  It actually ended up winning the Best Short Film award at this year's Dallas International Film Festival.

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