Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit: Our Review of ‘Shorts That Are Not Pants 2019 Program 2’

Shorts That Are Not Pants is back for another year and they have six programs. These short films that aim to satisfy their viewers. These programs don’t have themes but seeing them together gets each individual to connect them thematically. For me, this program is about constrained relationships, and most of these interpret that topic well.

Katrina Saville’s I Beat Up My Rapist is an entry both in the Canadian Film Fest and this festival. Its softness is still its main asset. It makes the violence within it an afterthought. Instead, she highlights the growth and the sisterhood that its protagonist Eve (Abigail Winter) experiences.

Enrico Ferri’s Spaces is more solitary. It’s about Syrus 86 (Alex Plouffe), who takes refuge from his divorce to go to the titular online world. It slightly oversells that world with its sanitary aesthetic. But the plot reminds me of what happens to online worlds like The Sims. It also shows how people mourn those virtual spaces and the people they meet there.

Gerald Ding takes us back to showing strong women in Fayettenam where he follows Gianna Smith. He mixes animation into his documentary to show the Muay Thai fighter’s ups and downs. A lot of the footage shows her preparing herself for her fights. These scenes reminds audiences of how fragile yet strong the human body is.

There’s also Christian Fishman’s Tabitha in Love. It’s a capable enough in evoking the titular character’s (Ysabella Love) female gaze, as she ogles her pool boy. Their love escalates in a way that evokes Phantom Thread’s mutually assured destruction. The sound design also puts its audience in the mood, making this my favorite of the program.

Thanasis Neofotistos’ Patision Avenue is the place that an actress and mother (Marina Symeou) walks through. It’s not necessarily the most peaceful stroll. On the way to an audition, she suspects that her babysitter left her son. Then, violence erupts. This is bravado film making, rightfully getting the attention of international festivals before this one.

Lastly, Frabice Bracq’s Burqa City tells the story of the Kafkaesque reality of a man, Souleymane (Omar Mebrouk). He wakes up to that reality after he discovers that he brought the wrong woman back from the store. Difficult to do in the West. But it’s easy to do in a country where the government requires their women to dress in burqas. I’d be on board for this except that it gets the local stuff wrong. Not the best way to end a program. But the rest of the shorts are good enough to ride the streetcar for.

For more information on the second program of this year’s Shorts That Are Not Pants Festival go to https://shortsnotpants2019.eventive.org/schedule/shorts-program-2-5d9f3790724ba00039a4208a.

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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.
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