The Art Of Brevity: Our Review of Shorts That Are Not Pants Programme 2

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Shorts Not Pants 2018 by - November 20, 2018
The Art Of Brevity: Our Review of Shorts That Are Not Pants Programme 2

Shorts That Are Not Pants Shorts Programme 2 is about nature and mostly human nature. How human beings behave around nature or the lack thereof. Some of these shorts also reference movies, maybe too heavily. And it’s the way those shorts wink too hard that make them not gel with me.

David O’Reilly’s Kubrick By Candlelight has Brian Cox narrating the lives of the extras and crew members working behind Barry Lyndon. It’s montage heavy, its score highlighting the heist element in getting some of the crew to smuggle candles for Kubrick to use. The romance plot involving an extra (Darragh O’Toole) and an assistant (Amy Hughes) mirrors the one in Kubrick’s classic. Too on the nose.

Knockstrike is a bad and vulgar acid trip, its animation aesthetic is just it trying to rip off Matisse and hoping no one notices. It’s baffling to know that three directors worked on something so short and hollow. Noir tropes also abound in telling the story of a businessman tries to find a tape player. That’s because he finds a mysterious VHS that belongs somewhere else. Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.

Urszula Morga’s Milk is the program’s highlight, about Ewa (Agnieszka Warchluska). She’s trying to ward off the advances of her daughter’s boyfriend, Adrian (Mateusz Wieckalwek). There’s a simplicity here in the camera’s closeness, in how it’s trying to show off the tension characters feel when they receive unwanted attention. Or when they, disregarding any logic, give in to their improper desires.

Then it goes back to Katarzyna Gondek’s Deer Boy, where parents try to make the titular character (Eryk Maj) to disavow his animal side. There’s a lot of violence and hunting involved as he grows up, which just makes his mother mope at home, mourning the lack of choices the boy has in his life. The dewy cinematography is a nice touch. There’s also no dialogue, which feels slightly gimmicky for me.

Lastly there’s Steve Kenny’s Time Traveller, a way too sentimental approach. It tells the story of an Irish kid who loves Back to the Future way too much. All of this is happening while the government is kicking him and his family out of a hill. There’s the archetype of a father losing his patience that I’m kind of tired of seeing. Despite this crop I can sense the shorts in other programs are much better.

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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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