Official Selection: Growth Spurts
For the most part, this particular grouping of short films has something to do with alienated teens coming-of-age in one sense of another. Most of them involve drunkenness and/or full-frontal nudity, which is a big plus for those looking to see some enormous European bush.
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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