Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two hours of shorts

Jimmy, I'll have to check out 'Trinidad' when it screens again. I got back in time to catch one of the festival's packages of short films. There are only four of them at this series, which is convenient, but this program ran almost two hours. Maybe it's because I'm used to shorts programs that run 70-90 minutes, and maybe it's because this was running late at night, but I felt wiped out when it was over, and I heard a couple of other moviegoers express similar sentiments at the end. The best in this one was a brutal, horrifying, wordless four-minute animated piece called "Sebastian's Voodoo", about a guy stabbing voodoo dolls in his basement. The thing is, the dolls are living things, and they die in excruciating pain when they're stabbed. One of the dolls stabs back. Gnarly, imaginative stuff.

The small auditorium at the AMC Palace was about two-thirds full for the shorts program. There was a steady stream of walkouts, which isn't uncommon at these festivals. Often filmmakers, actors, or crew members involved with one of these short films will come to see their own work and then take off after it's shown. It's rude, but it's also counterproductive -- filmmakers can always learn from their colleagues' work (even if it's which mistakes to avoid), and actors and crew members can find opportunities for roles and jobs with other filmmakers whose work interests them.

If you're wondering about what to see tomorrow, I can highly recommend 'They Came to Play', which I saw about a month ago and found worth blogging about. I also caught a press screening of 'Let the Right One In' this past Monday. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say it's very insinuating and creepy, as opposed to the sort of horror flick that makes you jump. This Swedish vampire movie flips the conventional genders; here it's a boy who falls in love with a girl who's a vampire. Nice that they're releasing this around the same time as 'Twilight.' I can't wait to hear your reactions to it. -- Kristian Lin

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