Here’s the last program of this year’s Shorts That Are Not Pants, showing us murky situations of both past and present. As usual, this is a mixed bag when it comes to quality.
Annick Blanc’s Colour of Your Lips is about two people (Alexis Lefebvre and Katia Levesque). They’re looking for other survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. The dramatic slow motion and the shifting character motivations feel like strange choices, but this is gorgeous.
Soroor Mehdibeigi, on the other hand, uses real time to depict the events in her dystopic short Groundless. This is about a woman (Saeideh Arab) finding a child’s corpse. I like seeing MENA sci-fi but Mehdibeigi’s approach is too distant.
We thankfully move out of the future and into the techie present in Asim Chaudhry’s Love Pool. Game of Thrones’ Ed Skrein makes a cameo. But it’s really about Mark (Mark Quartley) and his compelling quest to find a woman he shared a cab with.
The quality dips again with Caroline Wallen and Sandra Isaacson’s Maneater. Here, they dare a bunch of ordinary middle aged dudes to eat and play with bananas. This is garish in an unsalvageable way. And we get it, straight men are awkward. Next!
Things get better with Roscoe Neil’s short A Song Can’t Burn, encapsulating the titular ethos of Nigel Osborne. He’s a musician and professor who goes to a Syrian refugee camp and teaches kids music. Osborne is a welcome presence on screen in a documentary with straightforward film making.
Globalization is also a concern in Frederic Doazan’s animation short Hurlevent or Windshriek. Here, he artfully combines characters from different alphabets both in conflict and harmony. Really makes audiences think about what language represents.
Sara Koppel’s animation short Embraces and the Touch of Skin has good intentions and good moments. There’s always something good about watching characters in contact. But then it devolves into the Michael Jackson’s Black or White music video.
Things get better again in, ironically, portraying the worst moments in history. In Agnieszka Chmura’s Border Crossing, is about a family. Occasionally, the mother (Agnieszka Koscielniak) gets her into arguments with other family members. Not the best situation while waiting to cross the Czech-Polish border in 1989. Claustrophobic, eye opening, yet light.
Edward Mines’ Everything You Want To Say is a labor of love. It shows Phil (Gordon Harper), a socially awkward man breaking into his old school with his bad friends. There’s some soft sci-fi here with dysfunctional AI, a thing that Miles capably incorporates with real life.
For more information on the last Shorts That Are Not Pants program go to https://shortsnotpants2019.eventive.org/schedule/shorts-program-6-5d9f4310d0f415002bc2e3cc.
- Genre: Animation, Avant Garde, documentary, Family, Foreign, Romance, Science Fiction, Short
- Release Date: 11/16/2019
- Directed by: Agnieszka Chmura, Annick Blanc, Asim Chaudhry, Caroline Wallén, Edward Mines, Frederic Doazan, Roscoe Neil, Sandra Isacsson, Sara Koppel, Soroor Mehdibeigi
- Starring: Agnieszka Koscielniak, Alexis Lefebvre, Gordon Harper, Iben Hjejle, Mark Quartley, Saeideh Arab
- Produced by: Andreas Nordblom, Daniel Emmerson, Frederic Doazan, Maria Gracia Turgeon, Martin Ball, Piotr Lenar, Sean Cullen, Soroor Mehdibeigi
- Written by: Agnieszka Chmura, Annick Blanc, Asim Chaudhry, Bijan Najdi, Edward Mines, Frederic Doazan, Sara Koppel
- Studio: Hjärta Nikki, Penny Appeal