Published Jun 17, 2009Food is central to life in any number of ways appealing to a filmmaker. Even film characters have to eat to live and the short format is perfect for these moments where characters ingest the meals that help shape their personalities and decisions.
"On Time Off" introduces the program as a brief, paint-like animated work focused on an ice cream stand in the hot sun. Quickly, the innocuous mood turns sinister with "Becoming," an intense interpretive dance representing the fight between man and insect for cornfields, with a chilling conclusion.
The dinner party scenario turns into a nightmare of awkwardness, with usurpation of power once again introduced as the common thread. "Abbie Cancelled" is a fitfully funny look at two couples bound at a dinner party by their friend Abbie, who conveniently cancels. Through a series of hilariously awkward exchanges both couples quickly start to unravel to one another their secrets of addiction, deception, opportunism and all the other fun quirkiness associated with the average yuppie dinner party.
"Nutkin's Last Stand" is a 17-minute documentary on the gradual eradication of the Red Squirrel in England. American Grey Squirrels become a terrifying presence amongst the Reds, England's only native squirrel. "The Morning Party" examines the power struggle between rival Toronto tough guys and shows how food can soothe even the most frayed of nerves. Lost on the way to rough up a hood as revenge for a beating on their friend, a late-night burrito stop helps the trio gain perspective on their friendship but it isn't enough to stave off the inevitable violence tangled up with friendship loyalty and gangland pride.
"Chili and Cheese" best summarizes the convergence of themes food can take in cinema. Two late-night convenience store clerks are frequently baffled by the disgusting eating habits of an obese man remorselessly stuffing his face with cheap processed food. The elder clerk, Desmond, ends up teaching the chubby nerd a valuable nutrition lesson: what you get in life starts with what you put in yourself.