Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Posts Tagged ‘film movement

Inja (2002)

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This Australian film is directed by Steven Pavolsky and is also featured on a Film Movement DVD magazine. At its core, it’s a thinly veiled moralizing tale on where the evils of racism will lead; the setting of the movie informs the tone and the content more than any of the characters do. I think people often get distracted by pathos when animals are hurt in films and literature, but shouldn’t it shock and anger us more when people are hurt or killed by other people? Just as the titled dog in Inja is taught to hate based on skin color, so are people living in South Africa – and many other places throughout the world. And in accordance with the point the film makes, it hurts those willing to hate the most. It is destructive for communities, nations, and small family homes. Pavolsky makes a fantastic point, I just wish it wasn’t lost on audiences who are more willing to feel for a defenseless dog than for thousands of (equally defenseless?) fellow human beings.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

March 29, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Estes Avenue (2005)

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This three-minute film directed by Paul Cotter took one 10-hour day to shoot and cost a grand total of $122. This film is an example of what I think short film does best: makes a brief point in a unique way, employs some story-telling ideas that Hollywood feature films wouldn’t touch, and doesn’t linger in melodrama. Five brief stories, told in three minutes, centering around one place and one idea.

That idea is how people use the word and concept of “God” on one street, simultaneously. The film points to the rich aspects of life going on around us all the time that we aren’t even aware of. The slightly sarcastic, detached voiceover (reminiscient of The Perfect Human by Jorgen Leth) sets the scene on Sunday, or “God’s day, if you like.” The characters living on Estes Avenue use the word God to express anger at a surprise hairball underfoot, desperation at a wrecked car that will lead to debt, and even ecstacy during sexual acts. In its great simplicity, Estes Avenue shows us life with an utterly realist point of view.

Garnering a boatload of awards, and a bit of recognition thanks to a featured spot on the Film Movement DVD catalogue, this film seems well worth the $122 it took to make.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

March 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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