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Mainstream - Film Movement Festival Shorts Collection


Festival Shorts Collection
8 Prize-Winning Short Films
Film Movement 2008

The short film has never been of real personal interest. The excellence of the selections on the Film Movement Festival Shorts Collection DVD gave me a clue as to why. A good short is really great. If it is anything less it is just not that interesting.

The key here, I think is short film. Too often you get the short but not the film or just a pretentious video clip.

This is not at all the case here. Festival Shorts Collection's eight films are exactly that: Well-told stories that hold your interest and feel complete with not a second wasted or missing.

The best short on this DVD is No Bikini by Canadian director Claudia Morgado Escanilla. It is an enjoyable, simple, well-made, interesting, complete story where everything works including the smallest details. I am a little less convinced about the ending which is rather heavy-handed compared to the rest of this movie.

You could get film-school analytical or intellectual and see a movie about gender roles and identification in this story about a seven-year-old girl taking swim classes without the top half of her bathing suit and finding she is stronger and braver than she first thought. Whatever.

My favorite is The Dance Lesson directed by, written by, and starring Philippe Prouf. It is a very simple one camera, one room, one actor short film that links between mime and modern dance. It is hilarious. No message here, aside from anybody can do modern dance.

The Great Zambini is just magic. The story of a former circus performer gaining the respect of his son is brilliantly told, fascinating, extraordinary, stunning, and, again, magic.

Rather enjoyable is Britain's The Sickie. If you have ever felt indispensible at work this short by Rupert Jones will show you why you think that and why you are wrong. Anyone heading for a burn-out should watch this even if it does feel a bit incomplete.

Canadian director Sherry White's film doesn't work. It's a lonely gal meets lonely guy story and though it is somewhat original it does not go anywhere and you feel like you've watched it for no reason.

Aided Migration / Migration Assistee is a great animation short from France. What do you do if you are a migratory bird and cannot fly South for love season? You take the plane, of course. This is original, funny, and just long enough.

There is no earthly reason why A Half Man should be in this Festival Shorts Collection. It is an ugly, grainy, badly animated and lit, and gloomy stop-motion thing.

Man In The Moon, a plasticine animation from Germany is also very good though you can kind of predict the ending.

Just to be difficult: If Film Movement includes a short film on each of its foreign film DVDs, would it not make sense to have included 8 features in Festival Shorts Collection, a series of eight award-winning short films?

I also hope one day to find my all-time favorite short film, Boy-Next-Door by Travis Davis included on one of their DVDs

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