Monday, June 18, 2007

AFI SilverDocs: Shorts 5: Long Distance

The early Sunday afternoon (June 17) program of shorts presented four films dealing with long distance communication.

6 Conceptions of Freedom
(2007, dir. Thomas A. Ostbye, 19 min) gives a lot of shots of people in the streets of Oslo, with a look that resembles "Smilla's Sense of Snow."

Calcutta Calling (2006, dir. Andre Hormann, 16 min, Germany / India) documents the life of an appealing young man (who rather looks to be of British ancestry) working in a call center in Calcutta. The film shows their sales strategies and diction training. It also shows shots of places around the world where he calls, ranging from Alice Springs, Australia to a flat in London to Akron, Ohio. The film shows a chalk board comparing the relative job performance of the callers, similar to what is done in collection agencies.

My 9/11 (2006, dir. Tjebbo Penning, 12 min, Netherlands) shows video of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001 at various points during the tragedy, as the filmmakers gets messages asking if he is all right. Eventually his phone is cutoff when 7 World Trade Center collapses at 5 PM. Then the police lock him out of his apartment for six weeks. He can only go back with an escort.

Talk to Me (2007, dir. Mike Craig, 23 min) follows the messages on an answering machine in Britain from the 1980s to today, with stills and even maps of Britain, as the content becomes more tragic.

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