Published May 31, 2011The initial trilogy outlined in this collection of New Zealand shorts features a young boy carelessly playing with power tools and weapons, repeatedly putting himself and others in harm's way. The first short, Careful with that Crossbow, has him trying to shoot an apple off the head of a little girl, despite not being able to aim. It's amusing and anxiety-inducing, much like Careful with that Axe and Careful with that Power Tool, wherein he has similar experiences with an axe and a nail gun. This trilogy is the most thematically visible, featuring the same setup, actors and style.
The next trilogy is a collection of shorts from Taika Waititi, who explores the trials and tribulations of pre-pubescent love with Two Cars, One Night, which is shot in black & white, along with fleeting moments of human levity during war in Tama Tu. And while these short films show a filmmaker with a specified and accomplished vision, musical short POI E is exceedingly awkward to watch.
The three short films by Sima Urale are somewhat more political in tone, tackling issues of immigration, integration and unorthodox upbringings. Coffee and Allah played at last year's fest as well, showing the bond between a recent African immigrant to New Zealand and her neighbour over an unlikely game of badminton. This short features vibrant colours and matter-of-fact composition, unlike The Children, which is black & white and darker in tone, showing a child raising his many siblings. Urale also has touching love story Still Life included in her trilogy.