Shorts That Are Not Pants 2020: Our Review of ‘Block 6: Extinctions’

Posted in Festival Coverage by - November 19, 2020
Shorts That Are Not Pants 2020: Our Review of ‘Block 6: Extinctions’

The films in Short Not Pants’ sixth block is as political as they are personal. Most of these shorts tackle climate change head on, showing its effects on future generations. The characters in these shorts always have to watch their backs for threats that are coming their way. The filmmakers here pay attention to how their characters express dread. But the most grim aspect of that worldview is that sometimes those threats come from within.

The first short, Upamanyu Bhattacharyya’s Wade, makes its viewers confront the idea of Kolkata sinking below sea level, which forces every species to adapt. This includes humans who have to wade through flooded streets or the tigers who find refuge in cities. The short, then, depicts a street level confrontation between a girl and a pregnant tiger. It shows that life goes on despite the destruction around us, but it’s better if we minimize that destruction.

Worldwide destruction is also a theme in Arjan Brentjes’ Sad Beauty. This shows a woman (Anne May de Lijser) going on with her day despite hearing a broadcaster (Bart van der Schaaf) discuss it daily. This short escalates its destruction bit by bit, starting out with bright colors but eventually those colors fade. The animation choosing a more impressionistic approach as it continues. The short’s choice of making this woman its protagonist is fascinating. Her choice to draw past species shows how each person mourns and protests differently.

Lastly, there’s Julien Crampon’s You’re Going Extinct, showing a short bike ride between two friends. They talk about what superpowers they want until the conversation goes silent. The use of language here is strong, answering the question, saying what they would choose instead of what they can. The metaphor here is mournful as it shows young people who know the limits that past generations set on them. A powerful way to end this solid block.

For tickets and passes go to https://shortsnotpants2020.eventive.org/schedule.

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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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