onedotzero: New British Talent '09

onedotzero: New British Talent '09
Whether implying that technological advancement is dehumanizing and regressive, dwelling on the inevitability of mortality or finding the humour in both human stupidity and German occupation, this collection of shorts from the land of satire and unfortunate orthodontia takes a decidedly idiosyncratic approach to narrative storytelling.

While the program certainly has its share of disappointments, with both Celebrity Desktops shorts attempting to find humour in Tom Cruise and Naomi Campbell's supposed computer habits, it also has pleasingly ironic fare and clever animations. Luftwaffles advertises airplane shaped waffles, brought to British soil by German soldiers via a historically inaccurate WWII, and The Black Hole shows us the dangers of real world applications of the titular ACME hole from those old Warner cartoons.

The Surprise Demise of Francis Cooper's Mother makes a return to the fest, having played last year in an Official Selection capacity, reaffirming the living of life with its amusing, touching take on mortal anxieties. The Archivist tackles similar territory, with a man so afraid to let go of the past that he vacuum seals everything from a past relationship to help make it last forever.

If these were the most stirring shorts than the most amusing would easily be The Hobbyist, which documents a man's joy and struggle with a new remote control human, along with Photograph of Jesus, where an employee of Getty Images discusses some of the stranger photo requests they've received. Seemingly, there are folks out there under the impression that photography was available when the Dodo was still alive.

Round, comprised entirely of shadow hand-puppetry, takes a preachy approach to wildlife hunting, but impresses with the imagery preceding the message, while Khoda strings together some dark, haunting imagery to recount flashbacks of torture, juxtaposing them with their effects.

The issues don't stop here though, with I See What You Are Saying discussing life as a deaf person through animation, which is at least more enjoyable than Eel Girl, wherein a scientist goes against protocol to bone the titular monster, which, given her mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, hopefully doesn't involve fellatio.

Aside from some minor soapbox preaching and lame celebrity jokes, there are several strong shorts that reveal some UK talent worth watching. They're even divided up with playful, music-driven snippets, such as Felix's Machines and White Corolla, to keep the pacing of the program brisk and enjoyable.