Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: FANTASTIC SHORTS Live Action Block - Javi's Take

Continuing my shorts review series for the three Fantastic Fest shorts blocks, here are my five favorite movies from the FANTASTIC SHORTS. These were the live action shorts that were a lot less surreal and trippy and more down to earth stories.

A HOUSE, A HOUSE (dir. Daniel Fickle, USA)
This was a Fantastic Fest first where a music video played the shorts program. It's easy to see why. As music videos have left the MTV mainstream, they have become much more experimental and have grown in ambition of storytelling scope. Daniel Fickle's video for the Alailujah Choir was beautiful in its design, concept, and pure emotion as it conveys the story of two young people court each other in a pair of tiny rooms.

BEASTS IN THE REAL WORLD (dir. Sol Friedman, Canada)

A hilarious and surreal look at the history of a fictional fish, a documentation, robots, sushi chefs, fighting food items, and everything in between.

EXQUISITE CORPSE (dir. Lea Mysius, France)

The length of this movie made it a little difficult to watch, but it's terribly adorable to see a young French girl discover and subsequently take care of woman's naked corpse juxtaposing the darkness and innocence of the world as seen through a child's eyes.

THE NATURALIST (dir. Connor Hurley, USA)

Fascinating in its rather sci-fi premise, this short imagines a world where you can take a pill and you can change your sexual orientation. The shorts starts off with two men who are clearly in love as they go through their day. This is interrupted when one of their exes, from the time before one of them came out, to tell him about this pill. There are hints of some serious oppression in this world due to sexual orientation, lending the movie a grim "in the near future" vibe.

THE VEHICLE (dir. O. Corbin Saleken, Canada)

This was probably one of the most beautiful things I saw during festival. A mild mannered man, William, shows up at the doorstep of a cafe owner, Bernice. Going off their conversation, he has tried to ask her out many times before and wants to have one last word with her before leaving her alone. Claiming to be from the future, William makes a very moving speech that is the centerpiece of the film. The speech is beautiful, lovelorn, and at the same time hopeful and it made me become completely enamored with this character piece. Plus, it stars former Optimus Prime voice actor, Gary Chalk.

You can also see my reviews for the DRAWN AND QUARTERED here.

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