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Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 – @xvrpop Takes On The ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ Programme

The notion of voyeurism as well as the idea of one who watches over another, either in a parental sense or an authoritarian sense is the thread that binds the 8 films in Someone To Watch Over Me (93 min), an eclectic set of compelling dramas.

 

The U.S. military’s Wikileaks “hacktivist” is covered in fine digital documentary form in Bradley Manning Had Secrets (6 min), a highly absorbing experience that uses the voice of an actor to characterize Manning in his own words, culled from transcripts of a real conversation he had on the eve of him being arrested for leaking classified documents online. The audible conversation plays over a series of digital images that dance around in movement and that shape-shift along the way, giving us the feeling as though we too are a part of this digital realm, sharing Manning’s complicated existence.

From Brazil comes The Factory (15 min), a straightforward human drama about a mother who visits her son in prison and their elaborate scheme to get him an item she has smuggled into the place for him. Aren’t moms the best?

Kelly O’Brien is behind the camera while her daughter Emma is in front of it in the dreaminess of Six (3 min). Shot on Super 8, we watch as Emma dances and twirls around at the beach, and on the soundtrack we learn that she loves mangoes and sushi, but most of all, being six years old. Emma wishes to remain 6 forever. Becoming a teen and then growing up to do a job and drive a car seem like a bad trade-off. This is a magical rumination on life and aging.

Joy (10 min) is a sad film detailing Nicola, an Irish teen in the hospital due to her pregnancy. With her best friend at her side, the two talk as teens do, almost in code. But when Nicola’s mother enters the room, the entire tone of the piece changes and a crucial reveal is made to the audience that forces us to consider what just came before and how we might deal with the same situation. Thought-provoking.

From the Netherlands is Elephant Feet (16 min), a short that does for gas stations what Clerks did for video shops as we follow Thomas during his first night shift, dealing with night owls, transients, passers-by and other assorted creatures of the night. Good writing elevates this beyond easy situation comedy.

From a movie theater in Penang, Malaysia comes the sensuous experimentation that is the meaning of style (5 min) as we follow a group of left-wing skinheads as they watch themselves in a music-like video on-screen that informs us of their style and history. Mesmerizing even if it is at times impenetrable.

My Sweetheart (23 min) is an absorbing drama that centers on the romance between two developmentally-challenged young adults in this intelligent and curious French drama. Their names are Romain and Laurie, and all they want is to be together like any other couple, but their love is forbidden at the institution where they do most of their living. When they’re found in a heavy petting session in a public bathroom by an older lady, the couple’s guardian scolds them for an activity they should be practicing in private. “But the bathroom is the only place at the Centre where we can have sex!”, Laurie retorts. This is a brave and empathic film that forces us to consider the complexities in the lives of our developmentally-challenged family members.

Deafblind (15 min) begins as a character study of a depressive woman who lacks the ability to see or hear, but then plays as a fascinating thriller-of-sorts when it becomes apparent that the young man who squats in her home is definitely not an apparition. The careful interplay between this woman, who puts up a brave face to her guardian but who carefully hides her alcoholism well, and the young man who oversees her, is spellbinding to watch.

– Moviejay

 

Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:

– 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!