Official Selection 10: One for the Road

Official Selection 10: One for the Road
Featuring a lot of grieving, life-changing moments and a healthy dose of racism, this program isn't the one to check out for an uplifting affirmation of life. But it does boast many well made, intriguing short films that occasionally surprise and give us a little something to think about.

The most blasé title comes first with Too Damn Late, a montage of typefaces and words accompanying the spoken narrative. I'm sure it means something, but I couldn't tell you what. Sad Day, on the other hand, is quite clear in its implications, showing a grieving man and his wife on the way to his mother's funeral. It isn't often that films show the monstrosity and selfishness associated with a person in pain, but this French-Canadian entry dives in with gusto, delivering one of the more disturbing and exceptionally made shorts of the fest.

The Silence Beneath the Bark shows two creatures united and torn apart by acts of nature, animating the fleeting nature of mortality and connection. If this touches heartstrings, Thirst will surely change that with its vivid, sober depiction of a barfly that can seemingly never get enough to drink. This one certainly does an efficient job of pointing out the insanity in cramming multiple people in a small space and serving them alcohol.

Next up we have a political doc about Haitian border crossing to the Dominican called Shades of the Border. It's reasonably well made, and should appeal to anyone that doesn't twitch and scrunch their nose when they hear the synopsis. Since it's somewhat heavy-handed, next title Rob and Valentyna in Scotland comes as a refreshing remedy, showing the awkwardness and comedy of newly united cousins trapped in a romantic environment.

Rounding out the program is the short 2:14 PM, which shows a man sitting on the couch reading a magazine while his voiceover covers everything going through his head. As an educational exercise on how average, boring people think, this one delivers the goods. And now I can honestly say that I have a better understanding of how and why so many people found The Hangover funny.