This week’s Short & Sweet brought an interesting mix of short films to Brick Lane’s Café 1001.
First up was Andreas Hafele’s intriguing comedy Dog & Bone, about a man who has to track down his dog after it mistakes his mobile phone for a toy whilst playing fetch and runs away with it. Comedy is a tricky thing to do well and sadly the film is let down by the predictable series of events, which unfortunately give the punch lines little to no impact. Overall it just doesn’t work as a piece of live action, but could have made a fantastic cartoon.
Next up was Adam Hashemi’s music video for Oh No Ono’s track Swim; a beautifully eerie piece of black comedy which was followed by the second music video of the evening, Who Made Who’s Keep Me in My Plane, directed by William Stahl. The static camera shots and minimal movement from the cast, makes this piece feel like a collection of photographs in an exhibition that are coming to life right before your eyes.
Daniel Mulloy’s short Dad managed to make its way onto iTunes, only to be promptly banned a week later, and it’s definitely not for those who are squeamish or easily offended. The borderline incestuous family relationship between the characters is reminiscent of those seen in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses, and The Devil’s Rejects. This is a graphic, and challenging, piece of filmmaking that echoes some of the controversial qualities of films such as Cannibal Holocaust and A Clockwork Orange. It definitely provoked a reaction from the audience, leaving people shocked at what they’d seen, yet eager to discuss it once it had finished.
The three animated shorts on show were a nice contrast of styles. La Marce De Sans-Nom is a visually vibrant and outstanding 3D animation, which becomes all the more impressive when you discover it was French filmmakers’ Nicholas Lavendure, Jean Constantial, and Lucas Vigroux’s graduation film. The Black Dog’s Progress, directed by Stephen Irwin, won a British Animation Award for Best Short British Animation. The black and white flipbook-style combined with the piercing backing track, really emphasizes the shocking nature of animal neglect and cruelty. Meanwhile, Academy Award Nominee Badgered, directed by Sharon Coleman, is an absolute joy to watch and evokes memories of classic cartoons. You can’t help but empathise with the sleepy badger, whilst also finding his predicament incredibly amusing, as he’s constantly disturbed from his slumber.
The final film of the evening, Full Employment, by Thomas Oberlies and Matthias Vogel, was a marvelous merging of the mockumentary and zombie genres. The beginning of the film pulls you in, whilst also remaining deliberately ambiguous, and it’s a credit to the actors just how convincing it is as a documentary. Coincidentally, this is also what makes the twist both unexpected and very funny.
Short & Sweet takes place every Monday at Café 1001, 91 Brick Lane. Doors open at 18:30 with screenings commencing at 19:30 and entry is free!
First published on Little White Lies‘ Blog (22 April 2010)