Film #5: Shorts Program III

This evening’s offering was a series of seven shorts, which I’ll talk about in the order  I saw them.

Karaoke!

A young man goes to a bar with a woman and some friends. His phone goes off constantly, but he avoids answering it, although his avoidance bothers the woman he’s with. Finally, he goes to his parents’ home where his father is dying. We end back at the bar the night before, where he sings his heart out with the support of the young woman.

Sweet, but needlessly oblique.

Overall score: 2 out of 4

The Date

An awkward young man is left home alone with a warning from his mother that he must “take care of the date.” He makes tea and prepares for his visitors who turn out to be a woman and her daughter bringing their female cat to be impregnated by his male cat. The girl is traumatized by what can be plainly heard going on, but the boy assures her it’s all fine.

Got big laughs from the audience.

Overall score: 3 out of 4

Record/Play

A man listens to a tape on which his girlfriend speaks to him for the last time, telling him she wished he could be there (in Bosnia). The tape ends with her saying “Oh, my God-” and then a loud noise. The man cries as he looks at the Walkman in his hand. He goes to his basement and modifies the tape player so that it transports him through time and space to where she is at what appears to be a school in Bosnia, looking out the window as she records her message to him. She gets to the “Oh, my God-” and turns to see him, then drops the recorder and he is transported back, the broken tape embedded in his back. He goes back several times, each time trying to avoid the thing that killed her, the thing that sent him back, each time coming back with the tape a little bit more damaged. Finally, he sends her back, and takes her place.

I totally cried.

Overall score: 4 out of 4

#PostModem

In the future, you will be able to upload your personality to your computer. Only it will suck, because either you’ll be an unconvincing avatar or you’ll have part of a circuit board sticking out of your forehead. Unless you take the circuit board out of your forehead, and then you can have a personal jet pack in the ocean. And then you’re in the vortex and someone throws a Tomagochi at you until you swing in the room lit up with clouds.

Yeah, I didn’t get it either. But the jet pack thing was cool.

Overall score: 1 out of 4

The Companion (El Acompañante)

A good-looking young man lives with an older man who makes little dioramas that he tries to sell at local markets, but they’re not selling. The boy takes care of the old man’s needs, and sells his sexual favors to men to make money for them to live on. At one point, he catches a cat so that the older man can have new bristles for his paintbrushes. One evening the young man is looking at his phone and the old man snatches it away from him. The young man demands it back, they struggle, the young man pushes the old man’s wheelchair over, spilling the old man on the floor.

This was a Sundance featured film, but for the life of me, I have no idea why. As my father would say “It was a slice of life, but a very thin slice.”

Overall score: 2 out of 4

The Roper

A young black from the deep south talks about his pursuit of calf-roping glory. He is the only black calf roper in the south, although he claims there are many in Texas. We see him practice his art as he talks about his dreams of going to the national championships in Las Vegas.

I have a huge weakness for rodeo, and watching this kid whose whole life is calf roping was sweet and wonderful.

Overall score: 4 out of 4

Magnesium

A teenage girl wants to terminate her pregnancy, but finds out that she must wait five days. Unfortunately, she is part of a high-level gymnastics team competing in an important event in seven days. The stresses of early pregnancy throw off her performance, but she is determined. She collapses after undergoing an abortion, and although neither her parents nor her coaches want her to, she tries to compete anyway.

The point that people are willing to sacrifice an unacceptable amount to achieve success was clear, but I never really felt any connection with the girl. Part of it was that the camera never seemed to be more than four inches from her face.

Overall score: 2 out of 4

3 responses

  1. Pingback: Post-Sundance Wrap-Up « What Monkeys Think

  2. I love this review! You saw things and said what they were! Descriptions of images are great! I like the part where you said how you feel about things too!

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