Short Cuts Canada

What to see at TIFF 2012: Short Cuts Canada

Not everyone has the time and/ore budget to really take in everything at the Toronto International Film Festival, but thankfully the Short Cuts Canada programme has you covered. I've had the pleasure of seeing this entire programme ahead of the festival, and I can honestly say it's never been better.

6 programmes make up Short Cuts Canada this year, each containing 7-8 short films which vary in length. If you can only attend one, for whatever reason, I'd recommend programme 3 which for me has the densest concentration of awesome.

If you do have time however, here are my favourites based on content.

MOST LAUGHS

A Pretty Funny Story - Evan Morgan (Programme 1)
A family catches a neighbour in an act so embarrassing that he hatches an insane scheme to keep them quiet.

Asian Gangs - Calum MacLeod, Lewis Bennett (Programme 2)
Seventeen years after his principal warned "Change your ways, or you'll end up in an Asian gang." Lewis Bennett explores his past with hilarious results, in the best use of the mockumentary format I've seen in a long time.

Crackin' Down Hard - Mike Clattenburg (Programme 3)
In the middle of the desert a young man out for a solitary hike is propositioned in the strangest way.

Broken Heart Syndrome - Dusty Mancinelli (Programme 3)
After being dumped by his girlfriend mid-coitous, Russ gets diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome and goes to wacky desperate lengths to fix himself.

The Worst Day Ever - Sophie Jarvis (Programme 4)
The funniest film I've seen programmed at the festival so far, follows a young boy during the worst day of his life, in a completely absurd world.

MOST INNOVATIVE

Malody - Phillip Barker (Programme 1)
A sick girl sits quietly in a diner, which reflects her changing condition by literally turning upside down in chaos.

Vive la Canadienne - Joe Cobden (Programme 2)
Sometime a walk in the park is no walk in the park, as a young lady dance fights her way through a pack a thugs in this brilliant piece of silent cinema.

Reflexions - Martin Thibaudeau (Programme 3)
A brilliant piece of storytelling where the reflections on set pieces reveal the dark true story at a funeral.

The Pool Date - Patrick Sisam (Programme 6)
Another great piece of silent cinema, this short follows a goofy Canadian battling for a poolside seat where funny sexual innuendo ensues.

MOST VISUAL

Bydlo - Patrick Bouchard (Programme 1)

One of the coolest stop-motion animations of the cycles of life and the human condition that I have ever scene. Based on Mussorgsky's most famous piano composition "Pictures at an Exhibition".

Frost - Jeremy Ball (Programme 4)
A beautifully shot sci-fi thriller follows a young arctic hunter's right of passage as the secrets of her world are revealed.

MOST HONEST CHARACTERS

Struggle - Sophie Dupuis (Programme 2)
Director Sophie Dupuis' very controversial portrayal of young lust, reminiscent of The Dreamers by Italian master Bernardo Bortolucci, is a sexy a tense drama about a family growing apart.

Sullivan's Applicant - Jeanne Leblanc (Programme 4)
Lucy, a lonesome math wiz, sits stuck in traffic when she makes an unexpected connection with another human being. The honest dialog they share really enchanted me.

A complete list of films in the Short Cuts Canada programme can be found on the TIFF website. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16.


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