Medium Cool Short: John’s Gone dir. Benny and Joshua Safdie
By Dorian Tocker
John’s Gone, much like the Safdies’ previous two films, The Pleasure of Being Robbed and Daddy Longlegs, presents us with an abrasive character that flounders through daily life, the result of no one’s fault but his own. This is a character that, for us as the viewers, can feel assaultive. The visual presentation is equally assaultive: herky-jerky camera with an intentionally lo-fi film-transfer. Yet, there is a vulnerability to (all of the Safdies’ characters, but particularly) John, who is dealing with (more so suppressing) the loss of a parent. It’s this vulnerability that moves the film(s) beyond pure assault into a formal enactment of an emotional state; sometimes this world can feel like an assault, and you’re vulnerable to it.
More from Benny and Josh HERE
Animated Short: The Wonder Hospital dir. Beomsik Shimbe Shim
By Leah Shore
Wonder Hospital by Beomsik Shimbe Shim has got to be one of the best 3D-animated shorts I have seen in years. The aesthetic of the film couldn’t be further from the traditional 3D animation we’re used to seeing in Pixar films, etc. (which is interesting because the project was made at CalArts, a school known for turning out Pixar animators). It is as much experimental as it is fine art and narrative. If you want to see a film that will change your whole concept of 3D animation (and plastic surgery!), this film is for you!
Documentary Short: Satan Since 2003 dir. Carlos Puga
By Lee Cahill
Now, I know there are mopeds…and I know there are gangs…but who the hell knew there were moped gangs??? Apparently, there are some pretty serious ones in Richmond, VA (the least likely place you would expect it). When I first heard of Carlos Puga’s film, Satan’s Since 2003, I thought it was just going to be about a bunch of angst-y kids who create drama because they’ve got nothing better to do, so I was completely unprepared for how quickly the antics get more and more seriously out of control. Check out this short doc and see “shit get real.”
Watch the age-restricted trailer HERE
Narrative Short: Howling At The Moon dir. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims
By Dorian Tocker
• 4 parts awkward sense of humor of Napoleon Dynamite (but keep the aesthetic closer to Peluca, the short Napoleon Dynamite was based on)
• 2 parts senior citizens (preferably one overly invested grandmother and one completely apathetic grandfather)
• 1 part giant telescope
Combine and stir well. Serve immediately.
Also, is it just me, or does that guy look exactly like a young Bruce Springsteen?