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A Well-Paced Dinner

Friday 8 April 2011

The Short Docs program this year reminds me of a well-paced five-course meal.

The amuse bouché will get you going, wakening your palate for the films to follow. It’s a dramatic piece, titled After the Snow. It’s about a woman who confronts a man who has apparently wronged her. Consequences ensue. Dramatic and merciless, I wouldn’t recommend it as the first thing to see in the morning, but if you do, you won’t need a caffeine buzz later. Solid 4 out of 5.

The soup course provides more sustenance while not being too filling, allowing space for the courses to come. In this role is God of Love, a comedy about a young man in love with a girl who is in love with his best friend. Into this steps divine intervention in the form of…well, see the film and you’ll see. It’s a “take life as you find it” sort of movie. Not in competition, but would have gotten a good 4.5 out of 5. Highly recommended.

In American service, a salad might be next. Pioneer gives the audience something to chew on, mentally at least. This is a story about a father, his young son, and a bedtime story that has less to do with the words said than the emotions that pass between them. It’s a good tale; 3.5 out of 5.

There’s often a fish course, or some odd bit of fowl, and that would be the very unusual Digital Antiquities. The year is 2036, and what we consider high-tech now is unserviceable junk for the most part. A young woman has set up an antique shop of sorts, catering to mostly older clients who are nostalgic for their youth. That is, until a man her own age comes into the shop with an unusual data recovery request. An interesting fictional look at how what we think is permanent is really temporary, and what appears transitory, endures. Solid 3.5 out of 5, Recommended.

The meat course in this service is the disturbing The Confession. As anyone who is Catholic knows, First Holy Confession is A Big Deal is a young Catholic’s religious life. Two young boys are about to go through this, but one feels he needs to do something that is confessable (he’s a rather good boy). This unravels is somewhat unpredictable ways, and is such ways as to get the Freaky Weird Badness award for a short story from me for this year’s festival (at least until I see something weirder). Also not in competition, but somewhere between a 4.5 and 5 out of 5 if it were.

Dessert is a charming and light piece called A Wink of the Eye. An American in Paris meets a young woman who catches his eye and his heart. But there’s a slip-up in their exchange of contact information, and he must chase around Paris looking for her. Sweet and light, this was a good ending to this set of stories. 3.5 out of 5, Recommended.



Recommended, 4 out of 5.

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