By Robert BellDespite a couple of brief, intriguing experimental shorts and one longer, exceedingly insightful exploration of the "opposites attract" theory, the second Spotlight on Italy program doesn't quite live up to the superior grouping of shorts in the first. Regardless, the few titles that are good are really good, making the overall experience positive.
First up, Videogame: A Loop Experiment uses flipbook animation to meld together kids, sports and animals. It's brief and enthused, if randomly oblique, unlike far more straightforward half-hour narrative We Were Twenty. This short film spans nearly a decade, looking at the relationship between a rule-abiding pragmatist and a fiery, politically motivated idealist. What's impressive is the observation that preliminary excitement over difference can eventually turn into resentment and blame when people start to realize that they amended their life trajectory for the values of someone else.
Sunday 6th April, 11:42 am is a weirdly fascinating continuous single shot of a sparse country hillside where more activity occurs than meets the eye. Similarly fascinating, at least initially, is Low Tide, which uses unconventional camera shots to depict, subjectively, a man's internal struggle with his shady past.
Stella, on the other hand, is an awkwardly constructed short film about fierce, independent women and Giula's Shelf is a borderline incoherent tale of a man unsuccessfully attempting suicide.
Because these titles are so unremarkable, they make the adequate TV look somewhat better than it is, detailing the connection between an in debt conman at a collection agent, much like We Love Our Clients, wherein grocery store employees attempt to set up two lonely singles.