Who Likes Short Shorts? A Short review of Shorts 3 at the Atlantic Film Festival 2012

17 09 2012

ImageThis review blog used to be a big hobby of mine. But life caught up with me and now I keep it just in case there’s something I feel like I need to share with the world. Something that more people should be aware of. So I’ve decided to dust off the old Rankatron for one night only to review the works of some filmmakers who’d normally go unheralded in the world.

I’m talking about movie shorts. This review is specifically about the eight shorts I saw tonight as part of “Shorts 3” at the Atlantic Film Festival 2012.

I bring to you eight short reviews for eight larger than life shorts that you should go out of your way to track down. They will not be ranked from best to worst. Rather they’re listed in order of appearance. All of these movies have their distinct charm and voice. (PS…click on their names for links to their websites)

  1. My Baklava
     This short features an adorable little girl who objects to her parents order of homework before dessert rule in song. A great and funny short piece to kick off the night.
  2. Life and Freaky Time of Uncle Luke (<—Video Preview Here!)
     After this short was over, I felt like I just experienced as close to LSD as I ever will. From the mind of 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, comes a warped story unlike anything you’d seen short of Mr. Show’s “Altered State of Drugachussetts” sketch. It’s a fun ride where you’re wondering where the whole thing is going until the very end. All music is from the discography of 2 Live Crew. It was actually a little nostalgic hearing them again. I grew up listening to this back in the day.
  3. BELIEVEtheDANCE (Trailer)
     I haven’t laughed so hard at a short since the first time I saw Picnicface’s The Button at last year’s AFF Shorts show. The main character reminds me so much of Zoolander that I was expecting him to do the dance version of Blue Steel. You MUST track this video down. Do it now. And BELIEVEtheDANCE trailer!
  4. Edmund Was a Donkey (<—TRAILER!)
     The National Film Board of Canada still can deliver the goods. This heartfelt and amazing story was the gem of “Shorts 3” for me. This animated short features our main character, Edmund, who discovers one day that he’s happier as a donkey instead of a regular person. And really, why wouldn’t you be? Gratuitous cartoon nudity that only the NFB can tastefully get away with are featured at points. Fair warning if you plan on having kids watch. But great characters.
  5. The Kook  (<—-Trailer)
     Where “Edmund Was a Donkey” was a gem, The Kook is the star of this night. Both are interchangeable as my favourite for different reasons. The Kook reminded me of a great episode of the Twilight Zone or the X-Files. Aliens, a Jonestown cult, and a quirky innocent woman who accidentally uncovers a conspiracy. It asks the question “What happens when a kook becomes a kook in her own cult?” You’ll find out.
  6. Aaron Burr Part 2
     One part historical drama, one part long lost Tarantino movie. Aaron Burr Part 2 takes the historical event of pistol duel between Burr and Alexander Hamilton and gives it a modern twist. It’s a fascinating take of the event. I’m curious to find out how much of it is true and how much was dramatized. (I’m guessing the part with the texting wasn’t accurate.)
  7. Sea Meadow
     I was expecting at least one of these I wouldn’t fully get. I mean I sort of understood that the woman was reliving her live at a seaside home after her death…but there’s a lot of weird shit in this one. Pardon my French. So I’ll say that it was interesting and maybe worth a second watch for me to figure out what I just saw.
  8. Thumb Snatchers From the Moon Cocoon
     This animated short centres around an indestructible cowboy defending the world from an alien invasion of Thumb Snatchers. This cowboy is so tough that he makes John Wayne look like Pee-Wee Herman. All I can say is that if the world was in jeopardy from alien invasion, I’d want Batman, Superman, the good Terminator and this cowboy on my side. Oh yeah…and he does remind you to never mess with Texas.