Published Jun 01, 2010Whether it's insecure, naked women or even more insecure bodybuilders, this collection of shorts tackles the theme of obsession, for the most part, taking a break for a rescue tale and the coming-of-age of a metal-loving Danish girl. Because a couple of titles are great, it's easy to overlook the others being mostly forgettable.
Starting the program is a brief, intriguing animated short titled Swiftly, which transitions quickly into Mirror, a lyrical, black & white film that shows grotesque bodybuilders posing and prancing for a crowd that views them as sideshow freaks. It takes a look at this external manifestation of internal inferiority with a clear eye, channelling the heartbreaking tale of Fernand in the superlative Leolo.
Megaheavy tells the story of the somewhat androgynous, tomboyish Jolly, an introverted, death metal-loving teen girl with a secret crush on a classmate. In addition to perfecting that smoky '80s aesthetic recently seen in House of the Devil, this short also shows mother-daughter female competition with surprising acuity.
And if 5 Hole: Tales of Hockey Erotica merely fills time, The Poodle Trainer compels with its unflinching look at a woman that channels all of her worldly disappointments and hurt into training poodles for an impressive sideshow. Not only is it a playful, visual documentary short with an interesting subject, but it effectively communicates that feeling of preferring work to people.
Also boasting some incisive perception is Nude, which features a nude woman talking about her lifelong issues with body and identity, which gives us something to think about, while The Apostles drones on with bland male jokes at the table of the Last Supper.
On the touching animation front, Poppy tells the tale of a soldier rescuing an orphan during WWI, which leads into live action short Believe, about a man refusing to let go of his lost love. For a manic, compassionate look at loss, you won't find many shorts better than this.