Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
Sadly, no reference is made to U2, Batman Forever, Gloria Estefan, Muriel Smith or Karen Chandler in this program; however, there is some dressing like one’s sister and living like a tart, in addition to a mysterious suitcase. This collection is dedicated to issues involving and surrounding love, whether it’s sex, supermarket dancing, passive-aggressive behaviour, curses, porn star moustaches or comparing Ava Gardner to a bull.

Hold Me opens with Closer, a seven-minute, Spanish Bravo music video-style, black and white, sweaty dance between two nude women. It’s arty, well edited and has boobies on display for simpler folks. This leads into The Coat, a French stop-motion short about a woman who receives the lost suitcase of her deceased father ten years after the fact. As an interesting exploration of heartbreak and emotional triggers, it partially succeeds.

No short film program would be complete without a mentally unstable middle-aged man in tighty whities who struggles with his inner Hilary Duff. Thankfully, this program delivers just this with Teenage Girl, a 17-minute Canadian short about a man dealing with issues of identity and depression. It’s unique, intriguing and certainly worth a view.

Equally intriguing, but for different reasons, is Cursing Hanley, a lighter look at male marital anxieties, curses and fortune-tellers. It helps refresh a palate that is sure to be mildly sullied with Chainsaw, a bizarre, almost Dadaist examination of chainsaws, bullfighting, cause and effect, circles of life and Frank Sinatra. The animation is somewhat unsettling, as is the subject matter, which features one of the most unpleasant suicides possible.

From Norway comes both Null Null, a brief look at relationship struggles without perspective, and Mr. Mustache, a short documentary exploring male motivations behind growing moustaches. Both act as entertaining snippets, despite the delusion that a moustache makes a man look approachable and intelligent. Terms such as "paedophile” and "public restroom lurker” are perhaps more accurate.

And of course, who could forget Sigh, a sassy supermarket dance party with poppy music and enthusiastic leads. If only the produce section brought that much excitement and whimsy to visiting the local No Frills.

This program is somewhat weaker than other festival offerings, having no standout shorts to rely on or make it particularly memorable.