Short films are to cinema, as Twitter is to…uh, tweeting in the cinema while you’re watching a long film.
Just as you can say a lot in 140 characters by choosing very carefully what to leave unsaid, so can a short film – typically, a film between three and 12 minutes in length – convey a great deal of motion and emotion by leaving certain things unseen.
The world’s greatest festival of short films is Tropfest, held every year in Australia. These are three of my favourite from this year’s crop.
The first, “Shock”, was the overall winner. It is a savage, powerful, and darkly comic look at a man who leads a life of quiet desperation, in-between leading a life of very loud desperation.
The second, “Fish Lips”, is a charming and quirky Aussie-Gallic comedy, which recalls the style of “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”, and is in some ways a sly parody thereof.
The third, “Falling Backwards”, is a slick, intriguing, and strikingly crafted mystery movie, worth watching twice, once with the slider in reverse.
Enjoy these mini-masterpieces, and remember: District 9, too, was once a short film.