Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: SHORT FUSE Block - Javi's Take

This is the final installment of the shorts block reviews. Once again, here are my five favorite movies of SHORT FUSE, which is geared towards the more extreme and violent short films of the festival.

ANGST, PISS + SHIT (dir. Fredrik Hana, Norway)
In every relationship, there comes a time when routine becomes the norm, you stay in more, and you know each other's annoying habits. Look, we all have relationship issues, even two serial killers. The movie deals with such a unique scenario. I ended up liking this short because of the unique way that it portrayed a couple going through the motions with the woman growing increasingly resentful of the man. The man seems to be frustrated with her but chooses to do nothing. The short ends with a violent clash that seems to be an ode to failed relationships where both people just stopped trying.

THE BODY (dir. Paul Davis, UK)
THE BODY probably has one of the most well-known actors of the short, Alfie Allan aka Theon Greyjoy from GAME OF THRONES. Playing a completely different character here, the short deals with a serial killer hauling a dead body during Halloween night. Of course, since it's Halloween night, who would think twice to see a guy hauling around a corpse through London? Allan's super serious demeanor coupled with the very upbeat expressions of the old grade school friends he runs into creates some great comedy in a very violent short film.

JACK ATTACK (dir. Antonio Padovan and Bryan Norton, USA)
This short and sweet film shows you the consequences of carving up a pumpkin during Halloween. If this film is to be believed, pumpkins are ruthless creatures out for revenge.

REMEMBER ME (dir.  Jean- Francois Asselin) 
This is a direct commentary on the social media generation. Ever since Friendster and Myspace, millions of people (teenagers at the beginning) started becoming huge narcissists, taking selfies, and then other self-important trends began to emergence. REMEMBER ME is the not-so-subtle commentary on how ridiculous the worst of those types of people look. We follow a man who is caught cheating on his girlfriend. He explains that the reason he does this is to always have someone be thinking about you, otherwise he'll start to disappear. He started to do more and more outlandish things ranging from posting about his break up, to having multitudes of lovers, to creating a ridiculous YouTube page. I imagine most people might not like this since just about all of us are guilty of doing something like this guy.

WITCH (di. Americo Siller and Tyler Mager, USA)
There is nothing that can create tension and tragedy like playing around with flashbacks and flash fowards. This technique is the reason why I picked WITCH as one of my favorite shorts of the festival. The story intercuts (right phrase) between the present and various points in the past. When a couple is having an awkward breakup in public, they bump into an older lady who invites them in to her house after the couple helps her with her groceries. The biggest tragedy is seeing the couple's break up, and the contrast of their tragic and bloody present situation.

That's it for my series. I do implore that you keep up with these directors and many of the others that submitted their work to Fantastic Fest. These shorts have been some of my favorite cinematic experiences, and they should not be discounted. I'll be doing a similar series during Dallas VideoFest 26.

You can check out the DRAWN AND QUARTERED and FANTASTIC SHORTS block reviews if you follow the links.

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