Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Posts Tagged ‘short film online

Mister Green (2010)

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Another installment of the FUTURESTATES TV anthology, this 15-minute film by Greg Pak (comic writer behind The Hulk) personifies climate change as it gives us a vision of a bleak future if we do nothing to reverse this change. Greg Pak poses a question for the audience: How quickly would we seek change if we had to survive the same way plants do? Pak uses scenes shot directly into bright sunlight and scenes focused specifically on the drinking of water to emphasize for the audience how important these things are – to us and to plants. The director sets the stage in an interview on the Live for Films blog:

He blew it and as far as he’s concerned everybody blew it because folks didn’t get out there and push the government hard enough. Nobody pushed hard enough, so he’s this jaded and almost self-hating guy as the story begins.

In contrast to Mason, the corporate suit character, is Gloria, a woman from his past that represents everything ethereal and natural. (Greg Pak’s official website includes an interview with the actress, Betty Gilpin.) Gloria helps the protagonist to “be the change” he’d like to see in the world – quite literally. The filmmakers ends the film with that infamous Ghandi quote, as well as an image of Gloria and many others soaking up necessary sunlight on the National Mall in front of the nation’s Capital, a symbol of American government. Definitely an interesting look at the future.

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Written by Alisa Hathaway

May 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

10 Minutes (2002)

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Ten Minutes by Ahmed Imamovic is a short film about the 1994 conflict in Sarajevo and just how significant ten minutes in a lifetime can be. Can you guess how long the running time is?

The film opens with a Japanese tourist in Rome, snapping pictures on his way to a 10-minute photo developer as quaint, jovial Italian music drowns out the sounds of fellow tourists and Europeans doing their daily activities. In a stark contrast, the film continues by showing us a Bosnian family in the next scene, in a dispute over their young son going to fetch water. In a scene that begs the question, “Is this the same Europe?” as the Italian scene that came before it, we follow the boy (sans cuts) through the war-torn streets of his neighborhood. He stops to kick a ball back to a neighborhood kid and pals around with soldiers in the trenches on his way to acquire the essential bread and water. The mise-en-scene is striking, with abandoned cars and small fires dotting the landscape, an overall look of dark, grey destruction. The idea of a child going to get water down the street and passing soldiers and snipers along the way is not what the average viewer calls to mind when they think of Europe.

The end of the film sees the boy headed back home as the battle starts up again, running as bullets fly and people scream. A neighbor we saw before, with no significance to his presence then, attempts to hold him back as he tries to get back into his now-destroyed home. He gets back into his home to find his family shot and killed, but that isn’t the scene the filmmakers chose to leave us with. The last scene finds us back in Italy with the tourist as he picks up his photographs and returns to his day’s plans of sightseeing, the ideas of war and death and destruction far from his mind. His ten minutes seem insignificant with what we know of the Bosnian boy’s simultaneous ten minutes. It serves to make the audience wonder, what’s going on in the world in the ten minutes it took watch the film? Or in the (less than) ten minutes it might have took you to read this blog?

Food for thought.

More analysis of 10 Minutes here.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

May 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

March 9th (2010)

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This film is one of the selections for this year’s Libertas Film Festival hosted in Dubrovnik, Croatia. (The films are available streaming online through Mubi.) Directed by Irena Skoric, the synopsis for this 9-minute film is as follows:

One shot. Two bodies. And an interrupted sex. Film in which faces and voices are outside the shot, and protagonist is Her and His naked flesh, on that March 9th, in a casual relationship and a casual deceit. Nervous croquis of body language.

It’s unsettling to watch this film and see voices disconnected from actions, to see sex played out as a progression of meeting body parts separate from the people using those bodies. As the audience is privy to this intimate scene, so are we privy to pictures of a couple scattered around the room and other evidences of an intimate, emotional connection. Therefore when we finally see the faces belonging to the couple in the bedroom, it’s jarring to see that this is a different man than the one smiling in the pictures. We learn the female character is late to meet her boyfriend, unaware and separate from this intimate affair, and she is just as nonchalant about the feelings of her current lover as she is about the partner she’s deceiving. The lack of cuts and distance from the subjects leaves the audience caught in what’s happening despite its distastefulness; we come to know the girl’s tattoos on her naked body as well as her lovers do. We’re left to ask the question of whether sex is about the body or about the soul. As the woman leaves, we’re left with her dejected lover. In a gender inversion of the norm, we see this man feeling used for his body and angry that he’s allowing this female to walk all over him. He vengefully puts out a cigarette in her salad and we leave the scene discontent.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

April 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

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