Published Jun 03, 2010Having gone to film school and watched many a dreadful attempt at "art" from privileged kids that had nothing to say outside of that glib "consumerism is bad" mantra that plagues the undergraduate psyche, my expectations for the shorts in this program weren't high.
Perhaps this is why I was so floored by A Trip, the first film in this program, which is mature, beautifully filmed and professionally executed. It shows a man so exhausted by looking after his autistic son that he considers leaving him on the subway.
My feeling of surprise was quickly humbled, however, by The Life and Times of John H, which has all the trademarks of student filmmaking: clunky narrative, stilted acting, bad lighting and insufficient coverage.
Dirty Clothes is similarly stilted, with some terrible photography of a woman struggling with a banal relationship. There are many shots of her looking exasperated and laying in her bed.
Luckily, things get back on track with Reality Show, a dark, clever little film about a man that can see his near future on his television, which includes his death. While this sort of thing has been tackled before, this little treatise on free will doesn't necessarily go in the direction we expect.
The stakes are raised even higher with The Desire, which tells the frank and empowering story of a newly divorced woman in her late 40s rediscovering the sexuality that was repressed in marriage. Insightful and exceptionally directed, I predict big things for the woman behind it: Marie Benito.
And while The Eye on the Nape boasts the pedigree of Gael Garcia Bernal, its political tale of revenge and sacrifice in the face of a military regime and dormant laws about duels is more interesting than great.