Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Posts Tagged ‘spike lee

All the Invisible Children (2005)

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The goal of this anthology was to tell a story about ignored, forgotten or unseen children in the home country of each director. The filmmakers were given no other guidelines or rules in the hopes that the stories they told would be unique and close to their hearts, and it seemed to work out wonderfully. The press book for the DVD quotes one of the anthology’s producers, Chiara Tilesi:

The title says it all: ‘All the Invisible Children’; our aim is to bring ignored children’s issues into public awareness and consciousness, if nothing else, to make them more visible. Cinema, like music and other art forms, is a perfect medium to raise the bar of awareness, empathy, compassion and understanding. We all felt that this was an opportunity that needed to be seized. I am so glad we did, and I thank all our participants very sincerely.

We viewed two of the shorts from this collection in class, Song Song and Little Cat directed by John Woo and Jesus Children of America by Spike Lee. The films were constructed and shot in very different ways, with exceedingly different goals. Song Song was loaded with pathos, building a heartwrenching story through deeply personal experiences with two vastly different characters. Jesus Children shocked with cavalier brutality and made the audience feel for the main character through their distaste with everyone around her, causing her to act out in violence and hatred. Overall, these films told two important stories, and they serve to show us that the mistreatment of children is both transnational and wrong. The producers’ goal was to raise awareness, and they certainly did.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

April 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Die rote Jacke (2002)

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Without lingering on any particular part of the Sarajevo conflict, Baxmeyer paints a microcosmic portrait of a splintering world, with gritty but almost fairy-tale results. – Tasha Robinson, The AV Club

With an alumni list that includes the likes of Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump), Bob Saget (Full House, America’s Funniest Home Videos), Trey Parker (South Park), and Spike Lee (Malcolm X), the Student Academy Awards are nothing to sneeze at for an aspiring filmmakers. This film, translated to The Red Jacket and directed by University of Hamburg, Germany student Florian Baxmeyer is no exception to the rule. Baxmeyer manages to treat personal trajedy and and the large-scale trajedy of war with the same care and attention to detail. The red jacket of the title connects the characters and it also connects the audience to the characters’ tragic circumstances. Ultimately, this film is about what connects people, what is universal to the human experience. A winner of the student award for foreign film in 2003 and a nominee for Best Live Action Short film for the Academy Awards in 2004, this film made an impact with the film industry and with audiences. (The user reviews on IMDb have nothing but good things to say.) This film was a perfect introduction to the absolute best student films.

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