ONLY THE BEST SHORT FILMS


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Film Of The Week: A Woman And Her Car


A Woman And Her Car by Loic Darses & Lucie Tremblay (2015) (Canada) (28m)

In competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, this short documentary is a real "found footage" film: Loic Darses found old video tapes his mother, Lucie Tremblay, had recorded in 2003 and pieced them together. Lucie had recorded her long journey through Canada to deliver a letter to the man who abused her as young girl. A poor camerawoman with an average video camera, at times there is little more than sound, but this does not detract from the tension when Lucie finally confonts are aged abuser. Loic then juxtaposes this soul-searching journey with the video footage Lucie took of the family.


For Nonna Anna (2017) (Canada) (15m)

For Nonna Anna won the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of Chris, a transgender teenager who is caring for her elderly, Italian grandmother (nonna). Chris expects her nonna to disapprove of her new gender but will the older woman surprise her? There is little dialogue - and what little there is often in Italian - making it feel like a mood piece and somewhat reminiscent (like many festival films) of Lynne Ramsay's early shorts. It is also filmed in the 4:3 format made popular by Andrea Arnold.

Fauve

Negative Space by Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter (2017) (France) (5m)

Made by the Japanese/American animation duo of Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, but financed by French entities, Negative Space was nominated for the Academy Award in 2018 after winning many awards at short film festivals around the world. A beautifully made stop-motion animation, it tells the story of Sam, who learned how to pack a suitcase from his father, who was often away from home. As Sam now packs his suitcase for an important trip, it keeps him connected to a parent who was often absent.

Small Deaths

WOW by Chic & Artistic (2016) (France) (5m) *

With the winners of the last competition now on their own page, here's a look back a previous competition film. The dialogue-free WOW is a palindromic film; meaning that it is the same backwards as it is forwards. This is an interesting conceit in a short film, for when certain scenes are played backwards, their meanings appears to be reversed too. So in a love story, a beginning becomes an ending, a connection becomes a separation. The film stars two French models: lingerie model Charlene Perillat and Kevin Drelon.

Goodbye

Salam by Claire Fowler (2018) (USA) (14m)

Salam was supported by the Shore Scripts Short Film Fund and was selected for some of the best film festivals in the UK and USA. It takes place over the course of one night and tells the story of the eponymous Salam, a Palastinian working as a Lyft (like Uber) driver in New York. She hears a family member has been injured in a bombing just before she picks up an American woman who appears to be running away from an abusive partner. The two women make a strange connection before Salam finally hears news from home.


Caroline by Logan George & Celine Held (2018) (USA) (11m)

Caroline is very - and I mean very - reminiscent of Andrea Arnold's 2003 Oscar winning short film Wasp. That is not to say that Caroline is not a very accomplished film with wonderful acting - especially from its young lead - in its own right. Caroline is set in North America and tells the story of a single mother with an interview but no-one to look after her three young children, the eldest of which is called Caroline. She has little choice but to leave them in the car while she goes inside for the interview but concerned passers-by soon get involved.


Autumn Leaves by Saman Hosseinpuor (2015) (Iran) (4m) *

Written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Saman Hosseinpuor, Autumn Leaves was voted Best Short Short in the 10th FILMSshort competition. It tells the story of a little girl who wants to stay at home and play with a fallen leaf but must go to school instead. We follow her as she makes her way through the streets until she arrives at school, where leaves are no longer a source of amusement. It is a subtle, dialogue-free film full of beautiful shots and showing a side of Iran not normally seen by Westerners.


Your Eyes, Will I Ever by Félicien Colmet Daâge ('18) (France) (4m)

Your Eyes, Will I Ever has won the Best Animated Short Film award in the FILMSshort competiton. Directed by Paris-based animator Félicien Colmet Daâge for the titular song by four-person French band, Krill. It focuses on a couple who live a cocooned life in the middle of a desert populated by massive butterflies. The woman in the couple is captivated by the huge insects and the man soon finds her in a literal cocoon as she begins her metamorphosis.

Boho

The Moon Fall Unconscious by Nico Scheepers (2017) (SA) (23m)

The winner of the GRAND PRIZE is The Moon Falls Unconscious (Die Maan Val Bewusteloos), a beautifully made fantasy short film from South Africa. Made in Afrikaans (a language derived from Dutch), it tells the story of the young Mia, who lives with her caring but ageing grandparents and wants to learn where she came from. All she knows are the fairytales that her grandparents have told her. But what really happened to the rest of her family?

Jet

Not The End Of The World by Jack Bennett (2017) (UK) (8m)

Not The End Of The World is a comic, coming-of-age animation about a naive teenage boy's first romantic encounter with the opposite sex. Joe has never had a girlfriend, but that is all about to change: he receives a note from Hot Molly and is convinced that it is the start of a beautiful relationship. How long will this love affair last and why has Hot Molly turned her attention on Joe in the first place?

8

Albatross Soup by Winnie Cheung (2018) (USA) (6m)

Albatross Soup was nominated at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It takes its audio from a group of Americans trying to work out the answer to this riddle: "a man walks off a boat. He walks into a restaurant, orders the albatross soup. He takes one bite, pulls out a gun and kills himself." The psychedelic images visualise their thought processes as they attempt to solve it, guided by the man who has set the question. However, it seems to take them an inordinate amount of time to work out that the ingredient in the soup is of some import.

8

Backseat Driver by Rich Peppiatt (2018) (UK) (8m)

Winner of the BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD, Backseat Driver is a very well-made short that takes place over the course of an early morning drive into the City of London. But the chauffeur does not intend to drive the banker to his work place quietly. Instead, the banker becomes the target of the chauffer's fury. It seems the increasingly angry chauffer is keen to vent his rage over how the bankers live in a vacuous, gilded tower. But there seems to be something a little odd about their relationship.

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