Official Selection: Growth Spurts
The first short, Missed Connections, is all about true life stories of people that actually met each other through the "Missed Connections" section of Craigslist, which I didn't even know existed. While inspirational (sort of), I can't say that watching this made me think of posting an ad to the fiery woman on the subway eating corn on the cob from a Ziploc bag in the hopes of learning a little more about her soul.
Jam Today has nothing to do with actual jam, instead featuring a young boy that likes to lift weights while looking at half-naked women. His confusion is as cute as his eventual introduction to sex is disturbing. Regardless, this is a solid little short, much like Repressed, wherein a man intervenes when he sees a teen boy holding up a barely conscious girl on public transit.
Because no short film program would be complete without a young boy seeing his mother fully nude, Thermal Baths fills the void, showing a teenager's embarrassment of his clumsy drunken mother at a posh spa while she drinks tall boys and stumbles around with her vag hanging out. It's oddly juxtaposed with brief animated short Dawn, which features a truck tipping over. When I say, "it's about a truck tipping over," I'm dead serious – that's it.
And while The Ballad of J&D is just annoying, telling the story of a couple of people that moved to Vancouver and then suffered tragedy while family photos round out the visual front, final short Aglaée is actually extremely engrossing, featuring a naturalistic teen flirtation dynamic between an awkward, defensive young boy and a young girl with cerebral palsy.
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