I didn’t get to see as many films at the Brooklyn Film Festival as I’d hoped to due to other obligations and personal matters, but I did get a chance to catch a few more shorts last weekend, two of which preceded the documentary Mr. Angel.
Beyond the sexiness of the two shorts that accompanied Mr. Angel, there’s not really a unifying theme here, though maybe you could read something about friendships and companionship into the other six shorts.
[For the next two weeks, we will be covering the 2013 Brooklyn Film Festival, which runs from May 31st to June 9th. Check back with us for reviews of features, documentaries, and shorts playing at the fest. For more information and a full schedule, visit brooklynfilmfestival.org.]
Tambourine Buttocks (Bunda Pandeiro)
Director: Carlo Sampietro
The above image has been blurred out because it depicts four bare butts. Tambourine Buttocks is basically Stomp with butts, and it was one of the shorts that preceded Mr. Angel. A fitting choice. In Tambourine Buttocks, hands spank, slap, and rub butts like they’re flesh bongos, which makes you really appreciate the timbre of a beautiful ass. Brief, fun, sexy, and more than a little bizarre, I won’t forget Tambourine Buttocks any time soon.
“Sweet Harmony” by Slow Knights (music video)
Director: Robin Comisar
Slow Knights is the solo project of Scissor Sisters member Derek “Del Marquis” Gruen. This music video also preceded Mr. Angel. The song itself has an 80s thump and groove, like a mix of soolid R & B and maybe some yacht rock that gets laid regularly. The video looks like it could have been made during that time, with its pastel color palette, cryptic geometry, and lo-fi effects.
Here to Fall
Director: Kris Kelly
There was something about Here to Fall that reminded me a little bit of Serial Experiments Lain. There’s a peculiar, dreamy quality about this short which shows a little girls running along the rooftops of a crumbling skyline, eventually pulled into a strange underwater black hole at the heart of the city. It’s a short evocative of a mood more than a straightforward narrative, and I think the animation is quite effective.
Director: Anders Walter
There’s magical thinking at the heart of 9 Meter, which focuses on a teenage track star whose mother is in a coma. He’s convinced that if he can set records doing the long jump, it may be able to wake his mom up. This leads to a desperate leap between buildings that expresses a deeper acknowledgement of impending loss. It’s surprisingly effective and harrowing, and ends in a fine moment of futile abandon.
Sons of Atom
Director: Adam Butcher
There’s a bit of unevenness in Sons of Atom, which divides its focus between a boy’s fears of nuclear annihilation in the 1970s and some post-apocalyptic play with action figures. In the real world, the child fear the bomb, while the action figure story shows a character dealing with isolation and fallout. It never quite fits together, but it’s interesting the way the stories somewhat mirror each other.
Directors: Simon Atkinson & Adam Townley
Though a little slow to start, Indoor has a fascinating conceit at its center about a little girl who’s confined to her trailer home. I wondered what was keeping her indoors and assumed it was agoraphobia, but instead it’s something more charming and more fragile. Indoor is one of those charming stories of young friendship, and I enjoyed its oddball solution to the little girl’s dilemma.
Director: Eamonn O’Neill
Friends can grow apart simply as a matter of growing up. That’s the focus of Left, which details the split between two friends with minimalist animation. There are some wonderful moments in the short, including one central metaphor about this strained relationship leaving a scar. It does take a very dark and unexpected turn at the end, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it since it seems to come out of left field, though it does add extra punch to the glumness of this old friendship.
Director: Tomasz Popakul
Ziegenort is such an odd beast, and for me it’s unforgettable because of it. The animation is rough and stark — black and white, with red and green — and looks like it was watched on an old SD TV. It focuses on a lonely fishboy and how he relates to a fisherman and a young woman. Ziegenort has such a dark, nightmarish quality throughout, like the kinds of cult films I enjoyed growing up.