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Shadows Fest 2003SHORT FILM REVIEWS 04
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ALSO: COFFEE & CIGARETTES

On this page: THE BOSS | SNOW WHITE: MY CONFIDENTIAL DRAWERS
LFF shorts: CONFUSION | FRUIT LOOP | GEARHEAD
HANDICAP | LARD | SOAR

Back to the SHADOWS FILM FEST page last update 31.Oct.04

TWO SHORTS BY EME GUITRON
Short comedies by the British artist-filmmaker, who held a premiere screening in London in May...
REVIEWS BY RICH CLINE
jameson and jameson THE BOSS
dir
Eme Guitron scr Joey Jameson with Steve Jameson, Joey Jameson, Mike Gunn, Edith Bukovics 04/UK 7m 2.5/5 stars
There's a good joke in this short film about a tough guy (Steve Jameson) passing on his empire to his ambitious son (Joey Jameson), who he has groomed for years to assume control. All while his right-hand man Lou (Gunn) sits at the side grunting agreement like the perfect yes-man. There's some very witty dialog, and director Guitron sustains the premise almost to the end, but he seems far too pleased with the material, letting the actors ham up their delivery in the most obvious ways. It's also an extremely low budget -- so low that it's hard to tell whether Guitron has any real skill as a filmmaker, since it looks like it was shot on home video and edited on a VCR, complete with some extremely dodgy effects shots. But it's enjoyable while it lasts. (4.May.04)
snow white SNOW WHITE: MY CONFIDENTIAL DRAWERS
dir
Eme Guitron scr Eme Guitron, Isabel Guitron, Ernestina Guitron, Lee Davis, Nicolas Levene, Mario Guerra with Jeff Kristian, Gibb Sutherland, Maggie McCourt, Nicolas Levene, Toby Harrison, Robert Shreeves, Lee Corcoran 04/UK 21m 3/5 stars
Starting with an extremely inventive premise, the director and his huge committee of writers revisit the fairy tale in the form of a documentary, with a drag queen Snow White (Kristian) explaining how things really happened. There are some hilariously funny touches here, from the drug-induced mirror-mirror hallucination to the scene where we learn the truth about the poison apple! It's deeply silly and often very stupid, and the film itself is made with an amateurish, clumsy-corny style that's quite endearing, really, even if it doesn't show nearly as much imagination as the premise itself. The acting is also sublimely ropey, with McCourt memorable as the evil stepmum. But the real triumph is Kristian's outrageously camp and tetchy turn as the princess who's just had it with all the media rumours about her life. (4.May.04)
back to the top LFF 04 SHORTS
Selected short films seen at the 48th London Film Festival, Oct-Nov 2004
REVIEWS BY RICH CLINE
rouiller festival CONFUSION
dir-scr
Simon Thomas with Jan Rouiller, Kine De Montal, Gilbert Levy 04/France 12m3.5/5
Witty and surreal, with some breathtakingly inventive visuals, this French short follows a guy (Rouiller) through a series of situations that clearly exist only in his mind, such as the vacant city streets, frozen ocean waves and beach therapy sesisons. It's designed and filmed in an extremely minimalist style--even the music is used sparingly. The blurred line between waking and dreaming is actually explored with humour and style, shifting cleverly with the use of eye-catching digital effects. It doesn't make much actual sense, but it looks really cool! (30.Oct.04)
mineo and ducey HANDICAP
dir-scr
Louis Martin Soucy with Caroline Ducey, Jean-Marc Mineo, Eric Berger 04/France 8m 4.5/5
This one-gag comic short has a viciously nasty sense of humour that continually catches us off guard, even though it's so simple that we feel stupid for laughing! It's a sexy night in for Mike and Natasha (Mineo and Ducey) ... and Natasha's interpreter (Berger). She's deaf, so he's sitting in the corner telling Mike what she's trying to say. The problem is that as things get steamy, Mike discovers that Natasha likes to talk dirty. Which can be a bit unnerving when the words are spoken by a nerd in the corner. "You make me so hot!" to which Mike replies, "Shut your fingers!" Filmed with a gleefully mischevious wit, the film is hilarious and simply inspired. (28.Oct.04)
ceejay and friends FRUIT LOOP
dir-scr
Joe Magee with Ceejay 04/UK 8m 2/5
Part of a series of shorts examining youth issues on the Knowle West estate in Bristol, the focus here is gambling. Specifically a young guy (Ceejay) addicted to slot machines--and his life is just as wasted as a drug user's. Colourful and real, depressing and tragic, the film follows the cycle of gambling and theft through various small incidents that add up to a life in which you can never, ever win. The video has been tampered with in such a glaring way, with lurid colours and lots of jittery editing, that it almost looks animated. But that also gives it more universal appeal, even though it is rather preachy. (28.Oct.04)
kirk GEARHEAD
dir-scr
Joe Magee with Matthew Kirk 03/UK 9m 3/5
Another in the Knowle West series, this striking short deals with drug addiction as a vicious cycle, following a teen (Kirk) through a day of boredom, robbery and then buying and using heavy drugs. Shot on video, the images are heavily manipulated, with enriched colours and an almost stop-frame animation. The sound is also heavily manipulated--the film is essentially silent with only recurring background noises as the boy goes through his daily routine. It's extremely telling, but never offers any hope of breaking the repetitive, self-destructive pattern. (28.Oct.04)
Jake Spenceley LARD
dir-scr
Ornette Spenceley with Jake Spenceley, Demetre Quartly, Rosie Fellner, Jos SPenceley 04/UK 6m 3.5/5
This short is a wee bit precious, but it's also a cute examination of childsplay politics. Jake is a young boy who desperately wants to join in the neighbourhood ball game. But when he gets his hand on the ball, the unthinkable happens and his aspirations are shattered. Then his mother sends him to the shop to buy some butter, and he gets an idea. It's nicely directed, with minimal dialog and some nice extra touches, and the kids are cheeky on-screen, although you couldn't really say they are acting. A bit of charming fluff. (28.Oct.04)
reid and herriman SOAR
dir
Tristan Bancks scr David Herriman with Rupert Reid, David Herriman 03/Australia 20m 4/5
This hilarious Aussie short is perhaps a bit too long at 20 minutes, but it's so well written and performed that you won't mind. Reid plays a handsome young actor on a flight to Melbourne, where he's auditioning for a sitcom. In the seat next to him is Herriman, one of those seriously obnoxious people who always seem to sit next to you on a plane! He's endlessly chatty, offering Reid advice, even though his only acting experience is in amateur theatre ("We prefer to call it unpaid performance"). Most of the jokes are fairly obvious, but they're delivered with biting black wit that's delightfully vicious. Twisted and very clever, with a very silly closing credits sequence too.
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2004 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall


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