Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 – Douglas Godhino Reviews The ‘Superfans’ Programme
The collection of 6 shorts in Superfans explores fandom and the blurry line between fantasy and reality. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art, and what role does our imagination play?
No Relation (7 min)
Philip K. Dick is best-known for his science fiction novels Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (adapted for the big screen in 1982′s Blade Runner) and A Scanner Darkly, among many others. In his mind-bending stories, the essence of existence and illusion often come into question; this short biographical documentary follows suit by using footage of the author, of people that he knew, and of people that knew about him to illuminate these themes. What’s great about this short is that the elusive quality of the subject is enhanced by the elusive film-making style. The theme from The Third Man for the soundtrack is just one of the brilliant choices by its Canadian director, Kieran Dick.
Gun for George (17 min)
Terry Finch is an author of pulp novels in a time when pulp novels have fallen out of popularity. No one seems to find the stories about retribution in the face of street crime compelling or realistic. But Finch is a lot like the character in his books and he’ll do anything to promote them – mainly by harassing librarians and book publishers. This very funny short bounces between the sad life of this struggling pulp author and a pulp action star known as “The Reprisalizer” – the understated humor coming from the fact that these two contrasting personalities are actually the same person: heroic at times, but usually delusional and kind of pathetic.
Semi-Auto Colours (6 min)
This short is a collage of hip-hop music, homemade recordings, and short clips cut in quick succession with overlapping elements. The film doesn’t seem to have a coherent narrative but is very experimental with many risky choices by its director, Isiah Medina, in a film about a gang of disenfranchised youth in Winnipeg’s West End.
An interesting adaptation of the 1962 short film La Jetée with a cartoon-ish style, this movie definitely doesn’t take itself seriously. If you’ve ever seen 12 Monkeys, it’s based on the same story but with a few stylistic choices to completely change the tone of this movie. The art direction uses murals with illustrated visuals for sets and shows some inventiveness. This first-person narrated story deals with time travel and fate but does so with such lo-fi special effects and hilarious acting that you can’t help but smirk. It’s a little strange but definitely fun.
Dad, Lenin and Freddy (20 min)
This is the story of a young girl who is particularly impressionable. It’s shot in the style of a documentary and narrated by the main character, however, touches of realism help the audience understand the little girl’s point of view. After her father has left for Russia and she has watched Nightmare on Elm Street a few too many times, the girl’s imagination starts to affect her reality. Impressionable and imaginative, she becomes paranoid and starts spying on her dad – building a narrative in her head. The demons of Lenin and Freddy Krueger have such an impact on the girl’s mind, along with what she suspects her dad is up to, that they all culminate to a climax that only a child’s mind can create. Wholly imaginative and stylish – this short is a great representation of how a child’s imagination works and makes us question our realities, too.
Videoboy (33 min)
This short plays with the idea of how children create narratives about the unknown and the power of suggestion. In this case, two young boys befriend the new kid that happens to have an extensive film collection – particularly horror films. The two friends make up irrational stories about the child that they’ve befriended – fearing and thinking the worst of him. Over time, as the children spend more time with their new friend, they both adopt different attitudes about him. This is a great little parable about imagination and human nature and is told in a very compelling way – the muted color palette and sparse lighting only work to make the film more effective. In the end, the boys choose whether to accept their new friend or to avoid him and although the new friend might be a little strange and may seem scary, it’s clear which child is more righteous in his choice.
- Douglas Godhino
Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:
- Xavierpop Takes on The “Creative Control” Programme
- MovieJay Reviews the “War, What Is It Good For?” Programme
- 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!