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Short and sweet

I've gained a lot of respect for short films as a result of the Short Film Festival and what I just saw was no exception. The films that are great overshadow the others that are a lame duck because the short great films are fantastic.

You can tell that many of these short films are made by people who genuinely care about their film for the sake of film itself. Some still lack that, and those are the ones that seem to let me down.

The last three films in the Canadian 4 collection are wonderfully amazing.

Napoleon's History of the World. Branding Mupatu, and The Sadness of Johnson Joe Jangles all have a certain feel and energy to them that is full of creative energy that most movies lack. The creators of these movies aimed to make a movie with a message (well, the message in Jangles is, um, very postmodern and I won't begin to read into its ultimate greatness) and wanted to send that message in a way that no one else has. In fact, Jangles is by far the best film I've seen yet this festival. It takes place in a world where men give birth to horses. Fantastic writing, editing, and fantastic everything.

Napoleon's is by far the most creative way to look at the Bush administration. The director, Jamie Shannon, uses finger puppets because "for each actor there are actually ten." He chose Napoleon to talk about Bush because "we need to learn to love tyranny." This Jamie fellow is one quick witted chap.

Mupatu looks at how the marketing industry is saving starving children in Africa. We learn in this fictional fundraising film that all we need is synergy, branding, and an appeal to emotion to feed dying children.

Through my Thick Glasses is a remarkably animated and written film about one man's experience growing up in Norway during WWII. The way that the brutal violence of war is portrayed is so ironically nice to watch.

One film that I felt needed more thought was Chamber de Torture by Madi
Piller. An experimental film that was done impulsively in one week and it was created because the filmmaker wanted to tell a story about her father. She did, and the story wasn't fun to watch. Hearing her talk after about the story during the Q&A was more interesting than the film she said.

My Own Revolution is a story about a Canadian election observer and her journey observing the Ukrainian election. The movie was fine. One element of the movie brought it down a peg: religion. For some reason the film spent a few minutes looking at the main character's religious belief, yet these beliefs had nothing else to do with the movie. It seemed her religion was an isolated incident.


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