Our Review Of ‘BITS Short Film Showcase 2017’

Posted in BITS 2017, Movies by - November 22, 2017
Our Review Of ‘BITS Short Film Showcase 2017’

I expected different voices from this year’s BITS Short Film Showcase. Sure, the shorts here belong to different genres and have their distinct aesthetics.

However, there are tropes that are too familiar. A woman avenges herself against man, monster haunts maker. That’s a narrative that I support but there are others we can tell. A short that exemplifies my resentment that these tropes exist in horror is Greg Kovacks’ Fun. It resembles a TV show that I won’t mention because they don’t anyone suing them. Also, perhaps I’m reading way too much into what happens to one of the characters.

Next is Even the Darkness has Arms, which looks like director Chris Bavota’s just trying things out. This is one of the shorts where the monsters live in someone’s house. It makes me not want to live by myself ever. Tyler A. Williams’ Behind the Curtain also takes us home and the monsters within it. It’s the second of the shorts that I liked, Stephanie Moran perfectly evoking silent, still fear. Julian Zakrewski’s The Hag, however, has the opposite effect. The titular character pesters a young woman, Emily (Jade O’Keeffe) who, well, lives alone. It aims for a dark aesthetic but it comes off more gray.

Michael Goyert’s Letters is about a sore winner, Gertie (Vanessa Walsh) and a schlub, Phil (Nelson Leis). They would never have married each other in the first place. Even in its 8-minute run, the short’s self awareness comes in way too late. Returning to the theme of gender, revenge, and victimization is Ghey Kim’s Don’t Click. Time is a loop. On the other hand, there’s something counter intuitive about the way Kyle Martellacci shoots I Make Corpses. That’s especially true with the titular corpse maker, Ben (Bradley Hamilton). Like he’s trying to make Ben cool before literally tearing him down.

Jason Seelmann’s The One I Adore summarizes The Girl on the Train. It’s also obtusely silent and its neon look seems too unnatural.

Itch is my life story and is one of the better shorts. I’m not just saying that because I know its director Sean Patrick Kelly. There are things that need work but I like its punk ethos.

Daelan Wood’s Timebox is an outlier here, adding new twists to the time travel subgenre. It also perfectly mixes shaky cam with wider shots of the forest and the unsettling things that happen there. In the short, Tate Young plays both hunter and hunted. Gigi Saul Guerrero’s Bestia also takes place in a forest, where man must deal with himself as a monster. I like a good opening shot too.

The one that has the most sincere intentions is Michael Peterson’s Consume. The program’s closer is also is longest, clocking in at 19 minutes. That’s more than twice as long as the other shorts in the showcase. The short has the uncomfortable job of depicting a First Nations man, Jacob (Julian Black Antelope). Jacob’s haunting history is only one of his problems. Despite the fact that Antelope also wrote the short doesn’t jump over the hurdles that it should.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.