Sunday, May 06, 2012

Maryland Film Festival's WTF shorts: Some New Wave, some existentialism



I was able to get in free (but late) to the Maryland Film Festival’s “WTF Shorts” at the WindUp Space on North Street .  The festival link is here

I’ll cover the films I saw.

The festival is presenting “The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke” (also at SXSW and Sundance) as perhaps the most important of the set (13 min).  Directed by Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva, it’s a pseudo French new wave animated short (rather explicit in some aspects) about a progressive American mayor who endures a nearby nuclear meltdown. The film is said to be inspired by the 1962 doomsday short “La Jetee” (reviewed Oct. 28, 2010), but that's no so clear in the viewing.

While Henry Sleeps” (13 min.), by Craig Butta, shows a married mom leaving her baby with a stay-at-home dad while she pursues pleasurable pursuits to earn money for the family, and even goes to Confession.  Hubby comes to accept being a stay-at-home dad.  But the film manages to take some pot-shots at the authoritarianism of the Church, especially in Catholic Baltimore.

Crown”, (8 min.), by AJ Rojas, seems like an introduction to “Enter the Void” (April 22, here).  A hapless middle class man in “good clothes” visits a nice home taken over by a drug gang to get high on bongs himself.  He winds up re-living his own birth. 

Transitions” (4 min.), by Robert Todd, seemed like a collage out of “Star Wars”, but showed a lot of possible extraterrestrial civilizations.  May I refer the visitor to “Alien Planet” (The Discovery Channel, 2005), reviewed on my TV blog May 3.

I Am Your Grandma”, 1 minute, by Jillian Mayer, provides a video log registry of her unborn (and unconceived) grandchildren.  Hope we don’t follow the course of “Children of Men”.

The Observer” (5 min.), by Abbey Luck, tells its story in black and white animated abstractions of some other kind of life. An individual citizen breaks away from an authoritarian King and wants to “blog” a new way of life. But he’d rather kibitz than play the game that he knows he’ll lose.

Meaning of Robots” (4 min.) by Matt Lenski, has Mike Sullivan discussing his photography of a robot sex film. 

The venue is long and narrow, with flat seating, and it was a little hard to see the screen from the back.


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