By Daniel PrattFostering some of the world's brightest new filmmakers, Super 16 is the leading independent film school out of Denmark. The school is run as an association by the students, keeping the process free from restrictions and limitations, ensuring that the focus is on creativity.
The Super 16 Anarkino short film program is definitive proof that their methods work and that the Danish cinema scene is a force to be reckoned with. If the Canadian film industry wasn't so focused on networking, perhaps we could create films as incredible as these five.
Cool Girl kicks off the program, proving that a fairy-tale love story can be slick and interesting when done in a music video-inspired setting. A boy happens upon a strange dance club in a forest, where he encounters a beautiful barmaid under the control of an evil troll. It sounds cheesy, but the soundtrack (featuring music by Danish pop group the Superheroes) matched to the visuals is astounding to watch on screen, melding mediums to create an audio-visual delight.
Furthering the visual orgy is A Shadow of a Doubt, which is the story of a young woman haunted by her self-doubt, quite literally, while pursuing a new relationship. This short film is visually stunning, with plenty of special effects, yet the intimacy isn't lost along the way as you follow this couple's courtship.
Dennis features a colossal bodybuilder focused on his muscular frame, despite being fraught with insecurity and tugging on his mother's apron strings a little too frequently. As he tries to make a connection with a young lady he meets at his gym, he's torn between his maternal relationship and breaking the shackles to give and, most importantly, receive love. Shadows and low tones cleverly encapsulate the mood of this story, providing a deeply personal look into a man that seems to have it going for him on the outside, yet is hallowed on the inside, desperately wanting to make a change.
The concept of cause and effect is analyzed in Thor's Hammer, as three teens steal alcohol from a neighbour and resultantly kill a man. Fraught with guilt, the teen that delivered the killing blow tries to fight the past and the notion that some things can never be undone. This film is an example of how colours and lighting can perfectly capture the spirit of a theme that's been done time and time again, making it feel fresh and new.
Finishing off the program is To All My Friends, a story that follows two punks from the wrong side of the tracks. Loyalty and brotherhood are put to the test when one of the boys is afforded the opportunity to escape to the big city to start a new life. Male bonding is on display in all its lewd, gritty splendour and you witness that even best mates can be categorized as lovers.