Published Jun 03, 2010Back in 1999, the Doris network was founded in Sweden to support and encourage female filmmakers. Their stipulations are that the writer, director main character and other key positions be held by women. It's like Dogme '95, only with less grainy, unfocused, humiliating sexual scenarios and more vaginas.
Each short in this program starts with an overriding tale of a cleaning lady at the Swedish Film Institute doing her best to ensure that pitches by women are green-lit. Structurally, these playful pauses actually help things flow along more so than other collections in the fest.
The first film, Attached to You, features claymation about a woman raising her child from birth to his marriage, and amusingly handles many of the struggles, disappointments and wonders of motherhood, even tossing in a projectile birth for good measure. Its affable nature gives a bit of a halo effect to the weaker Frog, wherein a young girl argues with her teacher to play with swords rather than princess make-up. In theory, this could be a fun little tale of nascent feminist leanings and gender role assignment, but it's a little sloppy and amateurish.
Fish more than makes up for this with some Jacques Tati-style comedy, as a woman climbs up the side of her apartment building to save her new pet goldfish. This short captures the essence of exaggerated silent filmmaking with a fun, modern twist.
And while Rehearsal, a brief short about dancing and budding sexuality, is mostly forgettable, Susanne Goes Single entertains and amuses via its story of a woman that accidentally runs over her husband while on vacation and simply leaves him under the motor home, enjoying the sights on her own.
Of course, no program about women would be complete without some tales of female bonding, which is where Mon 3 and Shoot Me come in. Mon 3 features two teenage girls waiting for a cab after a party, arguing about something that might have happened, while Shoot Me is about a female bank robber that hijacks the car of an elderly woman who was planning to kill herself. Both shorts show accomplished vision and rising talent, even if Shoot Me comes across as somewhat heavy-handed.