Things are moving at light speed here at Slamdance 2017 and with features, shorts and my own Narrative Jury duties it’s quite a haul. (But an amazing one!) First up are my reviews for a gaggle of shorts handed to me over my time here. Whether it was through a personal reach out by the filmmaker or one I saw before a feature, anyone who got their short into my movie loving hands has equal consideration below. So in various categories including animation, documentary, anarchy, experimental and simple block section, check out the massive twenty-two short film reviews below. (In keeping with the shorts theme each review is quick!) Plus hit the bottom for a little behind the scenes insight via my special Jury Section – enjoy!
August – Utterly impressive both in story (are things as they seem?) and style (the skin-to-skin scenes are sensual as hell!), Director Caitlyn Greene’s moody and moving short makes me yearn for a feature film version with her at the helm. (Please?!)
Voyage of the Galactic Space Dangler – Matching humor with some almost Stanley Kubrick quality set design makes for mini-film fun.
I’m In Here – A short that almost seems like a fantastic allegory on death, this pushover guy in a tub tale is both sassy and sullen.
Business – Great style in this odd short that has everything from weird people with the same name to hand and foot maintenance – curious to see what Writer/Director Kati Skelton will do next.
Sweet Pie – Nothing says freedom like being naked as witnessed in this interesting short doc about a gent named Sweet Pie who goes back to his naked performing loving roots – let your freak flag fly sir.
Troll: A Southern Tale – A rare and riveting glimpse into the simple yet sadistic mind of an online troll who takes relish in the fear of others – a damning doc for sure.
No Other Way To Say It – A clever comedy of errors involving a voice-over session with hilarity both sides of the sound booth.
Losing It – Creepy tale of a teen who is coming of age in a very disturbingly original way during prom time – great use of the song High Love by Steve Winwood.
Brad Cuts Loose – Quirky tale of guy who dreams of a little fetish fantasy in his future and makes the mistake of trying to get it – funny misadventures ensue.
Richard Twice – Fantastic doc about Richard Twice album that could have easily been a full-length feature film – great job helmer Matthew Salton.
Auto – An awesome animation short that shows serious visual skill involving everything from cars to hot air balloons – give this guy Conner Griffith an equally styling script.
Sadhu in Bombay – A high and low take on reality television that also has both a clever ending and Cliff Martinez style music.
The Cure – A sinful short that could be seen as either a tale about finding a cure for disease through sex or a biting stance on the one night stand – take your pick.
Searching for Wives – A decent doc that examines arranged marriages and the gents who desperately need them.
The Dundee Project – A doc that examines UFO wackos that’s fittingly a short – these guys are only good in a small doses.
Hell Follows – This homage to Japanese cinema feels more like music video than a short – insert script here.
Plena Stellarum – No actual story to speak of, but a solid piece of animation thats a firm reminder of the old school haunted house Atari game.
Oh What a Wonderful Feeling – After a shocking highway opening that kicks ass, this ho-hum tale of hookers and trucks turns out to be just okay.
A Doll’s Hug – A movie matching of a kid being bullied alongside the dreams he escapes to has good visuals, but is also a tad slow and obvious.
Nonna – A sweet but overall uneventful tale of a girl and grandma sharing an afternoon together – safe sappy cinema.
Commodity City – This short doc look at China’s Yiwa Markets is certainly interesting for the culture, but it’s a little lifeless.
Girl Becomes Snow – A girl walks in a field of snow – performance art yes, a film no.
Jury Section (Jason’s Personal Behind-The-Scenes Journal!): It’s Tuesday and I’ve got three more Narrative Features to watch. I’ve already taken in the other eight with the audience in the theater (I know EXACTLY which film will win the audience award!) and it’s been interesting. I’ve either met or seen a Q&A with the filmmakers of each of the features and meeting and/or seeing them is slightly different than I’m used to. But I’m fully confident that I can put all in-person elements aside and pick the flick I dig the most. As far as the other jury members go I’ve seen Jerzy a few times and we’ve chatted about flicks (I think my current fav is going to be an issue with him – but still three more to go!) but I’ve only seen and met Ania once for two seconds and have no gage on what she’s going to lean towards. In any case I’ve been ever so proud to be a part of this process and can’t wait to get to the jury room!