One part of the AFFF I never miss are the European Fantastic Shorts. The format of a short movie is perfect to show an idea that wouldn’t really come out in a feature film and isn’t big enough to be a the center of a longer piece. Some are jokes, some are clever ideas, some just paint a quick picture or express a novel style. And then it’s on to the next one.
This year, I’ve seen both sections of shorts and the quality was exceptionally high. In previous years, there would always be a few that were a bit weaker (say, TV fare) or of lesser production quality. But this year, every single one was new, novel and produced for the movie theater.
In EFS #1, my favourites included Die Seilbahn (2008, Swiss, no dialogue), The Magic Show (2009, Dutch, English dialogue), Arbeit fuer Alle (2008, German) and Porque hay cosas que nunca se olvidan (2008 ,Spanish). In EFS #2, Coupe Court (2008, French), Cold and Dry (2008, Norwegian) and Operator (2007, British) stood out.
In Die Seilbahn and The Magic Show, it’s mostly style and originality that caught my attention. Die Seilbahn tells a tale of a man on his way to a mountain top, with a troublesome cold. The Magic Show shows you what is really going on on stage and nothing is what it seems, while everything looks like a painting from the 60’s, set in a variety theatre from the same period.
Arbeit fuer Alle and Cold and Dry both offer a humorous criticism on our current day society. In Arbeit fuer Alle, the effort to keep our elderly at work is spoofed and the movie shows that the world of movie horror has the same problems ours does. Cold and Dry also goes into the effects of doing something worth doing too well and riducules the effort to freeze people with problems that might be solvable in the future.
Coupe Court mixes Lynchian style with a strange 50’s setting and cannibalism. The makings of a classic all rolled into one, I’m sure you’ll agree. Operator is just a joke, but told well and as short as it needs to be. A man make a phone call and “He” answers.
Worth seeing, these, if you can find them of course…