Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 – @MovieJay Reviews the “War, What Is It Good For?” Programme

Issues of war, both in the conventional sense as well as the introspective notion of interior battles within oneself, take center stage in War, What Is It Good For? (89 min). From world peace to foreign wars for oil, from futuristic nightmares of post-apocalyptic earth to the conflicted nature of a woman who thought her relationship was secure, the 8 shorts here dive headlong into meaty cinematic territory.


Goldilocks Nation (5 min) is a fascinating little polemic that shows psychotherapist June Lawton‘s examination of the modern American psyche, in both cultural and political terms, through the prism of the old Goldilocks tale. Most feature length movies aren’t really much about anything while this 5 minute piece gets to the heart of pleasure versus happiness in this most enlightening film.

The Last Bus (15 min) pits man versus beast in a world where hunting season takes on a new meaning in this schlocky looking affair from Slovakia that is teaming with humans dressed up and running around a forest and piling onto buses as wolves and other such beasts.

One of the best shots you’ll see at the festival is a computer-generated image of military choppers entering the frame one by one until they are circling each other in the air before they pounce on each other in We’ll Become Oil (8 min), a devastatingly good and bleak nightmare of wars over oil. Giant plumes of smoke from oil fields on fire fill the screen against desert backdrops. This is 8 captivating minutes.

Michael Pierro and Sophia Chirovsky have made a film that is about as confident at what it is and what it wants to be as any movie I’ve seen so far this week in Waking (13 min). This Canadian duo will no doubt re-appear soon enough armed with a feature length film as astonishingly powerful and as well made as this one, and possibly about the same character hopefully. We follow a young woman named Chloe who starts to feel that something is off. Like she’s not present. Or in a dream state of some kind. Is this really happening or is it all in her mind? The camera looks upon Chloe with urgent fascination as she negotiates what is going on inside her mind. Very absorbing human drama.

Bellum (20 min) is a terrific Danish effort that follows Dennis, a young rebellious man with more colors to him than we expect, as he parties and hangs out and gets into trouble with his girlfriend in his last 24 hours before he’s to be redeployed to Afghanistan. David B. Sorensen proves himself to be a gifted director of gritty, realistic drama.

Nightingales in December (3 min) is a dazzling piece of animation in this painterly collage of a multitude of nightingale images. Just drink this one in.

It’s the end of the world as we know it in Creature (13 min), a haunting post-apocalyptic account of a city that’s just gotten nuked real good as seen through the eyes of a mangy, resourceful black cat named Yin Yin. Gorgeous, dreamy black and white cinematography and what a plucky, involving cat that is.

Last Christmas (12 min) exists just this side of the Twilight Zone with its story that follows Josh and his Grandma on Christmas Eve. It’s a strange reversal of roles in this foreboding story that sees Josh protecting her from her own self, and from other forces, too. A strange delight.

– MovieJay

Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:

– MovieJay Reviews ‘The Family Compact” Programme
– Next Up A Look At the ‘Iron Ladies’ Programme
– Xavierpop Covers ‘The Love Hurts’ Official Selection
– A Break-Down The ‘Who’s Your Dada?’ Programme
– MovieJay Reviews The Opening Night Gala: Winners From Around the World
– The @xvrpop Ultimate Worldwide Short Film Fest Preview
– The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival’s Screenplay $50,000 Giveaway is Back!