Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 – Now Onto The ‘Homeland Security’ Programme
Domestic issues involving family and security against the backdrop of what it means to be home are examined in Homeland Security (88 min) with 9 shorts that are as diverse in style as any program so far.
In lush digital animation is The Seamstress (4 min), a breath-taking period piece that considers a woman who is waiting for her husband to arrive home from war. As she stitches and sews, the piece revels in her dutiful sense for playing the fixer, or the healer, and the short contemplates the burden of such a responsibility. Inventive, atmospheric, and alive.
Passing Through the Night (13 min) is an involving experimentation from Thailand that begs to be lifted into a popular music video at some point with hypnotic sequences of thread being woven on industrial machines that appear to create or infuse memories in this love letter to mothers and the homes they help to illuminate with love. Contemplative and sensual.
From Lithuania is another amazingly hypnotic animated short in We May Meet, We May Not (8 min). Hand-drawn and then edited on computer, we follow this arresting animated fable that sees the dynamics between mother and daughter tested in this most-evocative way as characters and landscapes melt and shape-shift throughout, the black drawing lines restless and squiggly throughout creating an experience you want to immediately play over again in order to try to keep up with its breakneck pacing.
Dol (First Birthday) (11 min) is hopefully a primer for a full feature length effort because there is a remarkable family drama here as old and new traditions confront Nick, a Korean-American man who hides from his family the fact that he has a boyfriend. But he’s no longer a teen or even a young adult. He’s pushing 30 and it’s beginning to eat away at him. The story cuts between Nick and his partner and the first birthday celebration of his nephew. Nick is appreciated and loved in his family, but he is not understood for who he truly is, and it has something to do with Nick as much as it has to do with cultural traditions. This is a brave and assured film from Korean-American director Andrew Ahn, a name worth remembering, methinks.
Unwieldy Beast (6 min) follows a San Francisco music man who had the idea to fuse a bike with a piano so he could hear his favorite sound under the Bay Bridge and practically everywhere else, for that matter. “Riding a bike is….riding a bike; but then playing the piano while riding a bike becomes an unwieldy beast”. Somehow he pulls it off and the short shows him riding around San Fran pulling stares of wonder, recognition and admiration from anyone who sets eyes on this free-spirited guy who makes riding the “unwieldy beast” look easy.
From Japan, Walkin’ On Snow Grass (6 min) is exactly that, a serene dead-of-winter landscape painted in beautiful digitally-animated shades of blue and gray as we follow a dormouse’s midnight excursion into the unknown and a potential friend he finds in the great outdoors. This is one to sit back and drink in.
Last of the Snow (12 min) is a straightforward Dogme 95-inspired drama from Newfoundland that follows the painful secrets of a couple that has caused their relationship to atrophy. A precocious neighborhood boy enters the picture and helps to finally thaw something that has been frozen between the adult couple. This is a work that contains no easy answers, just tantalizing questions about what came before while the present and future seem as uncertain as ever.
One of the most devastating films playing this week is Seven Years of Winter (22 min), a bleak and very haunting drama that follows 7 yr-old Andrej as he pilfers through the remains of the dilapidated buildings and other structures that remain from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in order to retrieve documents such as passports and other forms of ID that can be sold to the black market. Like young Middle Eastern children who are sent out to locate landmines, this film shows an adult exploiting a child’s innocence for the same gain. Simply unforgettable, a notable achievement for director Marcus Schwenzel.
Places Other People Have Lived (6 min) is the third visually-arresting digital animation project in this set, this time in a room-by-room exploration of a house using a multitude of pictures that are then put through the rotoscope treatment on computer, bringing rooms and windows and walls to life as living, breathing memories moving before our eyes. This is another dazzling achievement in editing and sound and computer animation that celebrates home and ponders who might have previously lived in some of the homes we did not live in first.
Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:
- Xavierpop Takes On The ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ Programme
- MovieJay Reviews The “All Tomorrow’s Parties” Programme
- Douglas Godhino Reviews The ‘Superfans’ Programme
- 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!