Shorts That Are Not Pants 2020: Our Review of ‘Block 8: Solitudes’

Posted in Festival Coverage, What's Streaming? by - November 16, 2020
Shorts That Are Not Pants 2020: Our Review of ‘Block 8: Solitudes’

Shorts Not Pants calls its eighth block of films ‘Solitudes’. Viewers expect shorts within that block to have one human character, if at all. But to express that mood, most of these shorts populate its frames. Just because you’re not alone doesn’t mean that you’re lonely, that’s an old yet true lesson. Most of the shorts here depict the present day. But others also show how the characters and subjects within these shorts feel that mood from past situations.

A cinema in Soviet-era small town Bulgaria is the setting in Galina D. Georgieva’s French Cinema. It’s an establishment under the hands of a neuro atypical Alain Delon fan girl, Juliet (Angelina Slavova). Working with her is Nadezhda (Lyubov Lyubcheva), the wife of a Major. The festival sells the short’s fandom aspect, but it’s more than that, showing how two women react to their extraordinary circumstances. It’s also a testament to the resilience of people who love art in an authoritarian society. I also expected this to be depict contemporary times, because I’m sure there are Delon fans today. But the period touches here are minimal yet believable.

Inmates are the subject in Chris Filippone and Jamie Meltzer’s Hunstville Station. And there’s something devastating about this short’s observational methods. It also breaks stereotypes, showing male inmates of all races and ages. There are shots where most of what we see are the backs of inmates’ heads. And those are enough to express their wonder at the outside world. These inmates bask in natural light, savoring what viewers can no longer take for granted in these times.

The characters in Simon Gionet’s Cayenne, on the other hand, feel their share of light and darkness. That has to be obvious in a short taking place at night and in a gas station in a highway in Quebec. A gas station attendant (Marianne Fortier) reluctantly helps a man with car trouble, and she’s a better person than most of us in doing so because ‘can you help me with my car’ sounds like a modus operandi. This shows that solitude isn’t just a state of mind where subjects reach out to each other or to nature. It’s a state where characters feel fear and act accordingly. It’s a great way to end a great block that have different interpretations of what goes on in characters or subjects’ heads.

To watch shorts that will stick in your head go to https://shortsnotpants2020.eventive.org/schedule for tickets and passes.

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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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