Published Jun 05, 2012The Slap 'N' Tickle shorts may be advertised and sold along the lines of "risqué sexual dramadies," but that's an understatement ― there is penis on penis contact in this program (Anti-Reproductive Mating Ritual). And not just that, the common thread throughout these short films is that men are dumb mammals and women cerebral basket cases. It's not exactly a flattering vibe for a date night.
In terms of details, the program starts out rather slow ― that is, until we get to Mouthful, the fourth film (of 12). The ten-minute comedy about Bliss's ex-boyfriend's penis size is driven by powerful performances by leads Eilis Cahill and Portugal Village's own Conor Casey. Plus, director Robert G. Putka is something of a young John Cassavetes, eliciting humorous yet resonating nuances from his improv-happy actors.
Another standout is the very short animated film One Minute Puberty, in which animator/filmmaker Alexander Gellner chronicles a cartoon character's transition from zits to big bosoms. The film is like R. Crumb on Benzedrine; it's great. Immediately following One Minute Puberty is a thought-provoking screwball of a mockumentary (perhaps a straight doc) called The Relationship Doctrine of Don Blanquito. Documentarian Roger Nygard (fake?) captures on video an ex-pat's philosophy on love and relationships while he spends his nights rapping in Brazil. Fake or not, Don Blanquito knows way too much about Freud to pen such poor rhymes.
And so you see, the Slap 'N' Tickle program at the CFC Festival is not your run-of-the-mill, abstract, get-out-of-the-suburbs, "I'm cultured, goddammit!" kind of excursion. With the wrong boy or girl, topics such as dick sizes, cougar lesbians taking advantage of college chicks and flat-out nudity can quickly backfire.
The uninitiated's only salvation is the superbly shot cupcake of a closer, I'm Your Man. Director Julien Guetta takes a childhood curiosity as simple as a man and woman "getting stuck" while having intercourse and transforms it into a feel-good love story.