TIFF 2020: Our Review of Short Cuts 4

TIFF 2020: Our Review of Short Cuts 4

Sorry this is late. Anyway, TIFF 2020’s fourth short cuts program is about intra-personal and interpersonal relationships. This is the most emotionally charged program which is perfect for audiences watching at home. This is also the most inconsistent program.

Let’s begin. Remi Itani’s Drought makes for the program’s rough start. This is about a female real estate agent. She, among other things, gets high on paint fumes while prepping the Beirut condos she’s trying to sell. Her bad decisions made me go out and make some of my own, which is dangerous during this time. Still, a bit minimalist for my liking.

Next up is Ariane Louis-Seize’s Comme un Comete or Shooting Star, about a girl, Chloe (Marguerite Bouchard). She vacations somewhere in Quebec with her mom Nathalie (Whitney Lafleur) and the latter’s new hot boyfriend Christopher (Patrick Hivon). We all know where this is going but it’s a good showcase for Bouchard as she evinces Chloe’s joy and other emotions.

Ian Bawa’s Strong Son uses an 8 or a 16mm filter to depict a South Asian bodybuilder’s (Mandeep Sodhi) workout session at a Goodlife. I know it’s a filter unless Bawa sneaked in an 8 or a 16 camera in a Goodlife during middle hours. People who know me would already know why I would like this, but Bawa’s father’s narration of the workout session makes this sweeter. His justifications like “A strong back means a stable home” makes for better and a more entertaining reason to do back day. If you thought people skipped leg day….

Elinor Nechemya’s Our Hearts Beat Like War starts out with a realist bent, depicts alot of things. One scene includes an account of a nine year old Eritrean girl’s escape from her home country to Israel. She’s telling this to a counselor (Laliv Sivan), who is also the mother of a nine year old who is basically the audience’s eyes and ears. Having this boy as the short’s point of view is a bad choice of many for ts short running time.

Lev Lewis’ Every Day’s Like This has Kacey Rohl playing Michelle. She’s a family member doing what family members do, go for grocery runs, get food wrong, participate in impromptu family meetings. It’s impressionistic, approach to this family is commendable. Every one in the cast looks like a real, relatable person. The dialogue here is also Pinter-esque and minimalist, especially since this family is enduring one of its worst moments. It depicts a group rallying for a dying woman in a way that I couldn’t, doing so while trying to live their own lives.

Marie-Eve Juste’s As Spring Comes, then, depicts a straight Canadian couple staying together. Or they’re trying to, because the woman in that couple is turning into soil. This is the second surrealist short in this program and it’s zero out of two for surrealism today.

But Renee Zhan’s O Black Hole shows me that maybe I spoke too soon against surrealism. Singularity (Emmy the Great) as a young woman that Zhan makes with white clay. The short then depicts Singularity’s Homeric journey outside of the Black Hole. My dumb non-STEM self actually thinks that this is a scientific theory, and it will convince you too through the power of song. The mix of animation styles also help here.

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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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