Official Selection: Creative Control

BY Robert BellPublished Jun 7, 2012

Creativity ― explored and repressed ― is the pervading subject within this collection of shorts. Whether tackling the actual creative process as narrative or experimenting with the narrative as creative process, this program is aptly named, noting that control, over the self and others, is another dominant theme.

Starting things out is the innately creepy stop-motion short The Maker, which features a rabbit, of sorts, attempting to create a mate while sand runs through an hourglass. Whether a commentary on the nature of God or, more likely, seeing as it is a rabbit, reproduction, this immaculately conceived exercise in set design and art direction captures the sense of relatable futility in life's processes.

Following this is an experimental dance short featuring the RubberbanDANCE troupe, Gravity of Center, which ostensibly features the gang as a group or melding into each other, writhing around in various locales. This more abstract narrative is smartly followed by the linear Heaven, wherein a terminally ill man expresses himself and his feelings about mortality via visual art. Having little aesthetic distinction to reinforce the artistic nature, the significance comes from the tendency for those dying to turn, optimistically (or idealistically), to God.

Cheese adds a bit of comedy to the program, showing the darker side of what can happen when you let a stranger take your photo in front of a landmark, while How to Raise the Moon takes the whole Tim Burton, Tool music video aesthetic to an entirely new level. It features a hair-cutting fox trying to cut away a woman's body from a piano while a rabbit struggles to weigh her down (to the Earth), in a telling testament to the eerie nature of life and death. The biggest lesson here is that moths with doll heads are creepy as hell.

More touching is the ode to dreams past, Lifetripper, where an aspiring comic entertains strangers on public transportation when not going through the grind of his settled life as a mechanic and single father. Surprisingly, it plucks the heartstrings more than French entry Withering Love, which features Emmanuelle Beart relentlessly pursuing a man (Denis Lavant), who attempts suicide before her very eyes.

Even a painful twist ending doesn't make this short more than a passing curiosity.

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