Very Short Movies reviews
While it's no secret that I'd rather spend 90mn watching one feature film than a series of short films, I must admit that the selection for the Very Short Movies Festival's International Spotlight on France was strong and varied enough to keep me entertained.
The program opened with Jaz in Paris, a 6mn film juxtaposing animation on one single shot of a Parisian street with a Buddha bar type soundtrack in the background. Quite amusing at first, Jaz in Paris however quickly becomes repetitive and redundant, as one-trick pony filmmaker Antoine Carlier doesn't seem to know what to do with the premise. Of course you might argue that Jaz in Paris has somewhat been conceived as a video and should be monotonous by nature, but the problem is not only that neither the music nor the images are good enough to be appealing by themselves, but also that Jaz in Paris looks like most techno/electronic videos we've seen since the end of the late 80's.
Le Mozart des Pickpockets was a different affair, and this 31mn film by Phillipe Pollet-Villard was the highlight of the series. Featuring a duo of loser pickpockets who take a young kid under their wings who was begging in the street, this short successfully manages to blend humor, emotion, cuteness and social consciousness into a very professional work.
Overtime, a 5mn animation featuring a group of rag dolls trying to get on with their lives after they find their creator dead, was a good example of the French's sense of goofy poetry.
Didier Fontan's 8mn Stricternum was my other favorite entry here, offering a post-modern take on snow globes. Eccentric, artistic and with an amusing intellectual twist, this is another good example of how quirky the French can be and it should satisfy fans of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's cinema.
Olivier Ayache-Vidal's My Last Role, a 14mn dark comedy about real-life actor Patrick Chesnais trying to kill himself for some kind of post-mortem publicity stunt proved to be fun, with a welcome dose of self-derision all while being the most professional film here.
To the contrary, Comme un Air revealed itself to be the most painful moment of the series. This 9mn movie about a song that gets transmitted and sung by characters crossing each other in the street was not only torture because it featured all-time cheesy tune "Vous les femmes" by Julio Iglesias but also because it looked like a commercial for some cheap perfume I was also ready to kill myself when the guy behind started to sing that song as soon as the lights went on.
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