After a few hours milling about a soaking Glasgow, we decided to take in some short films.
International Competition 7: Hooray for Hollywood
Hollywood Movie (Ger) - A handful of films, old and new are cut up and mixed together so as to make new sentences, on the subject of 'you can make any Hollywood movie interesting, if...'. A clever, visual version of cut up newspaper headlines, but the novelty wore off as the ten suggestions came and went with few smirks. 6/10
Jerry and Me (US) - A short-ish documentary narrated by Iranian born filmmaker about her memories of growing up as westernised cinemas sprung up, and during the Islamic uprisings, were burned down just as quickly. Throughout her childhood and as an adult, moving to London and eventually the US, her views on east-west relations were forever coloured by western films, and in particular, those of Jerry Lewis. A fascinating but rather depressing view of the world. 8/10
The First Hope (USA) - Another Kickstarter film. A young child gets some inappropriate ideas about his older sister while watching an old video copy of Star Wars Episode 5. The sepia-toned film made me feel nostalgic, but the poor boy's life looked hopeless until adulthood. 6.5/10
Warning Triangle (Austria) - In a similar vein to Hollywood Movie, Warning Triangle mashes together several old films with a similar theme of car chases, beautiful women, and the fedora-peaked men who sweep them off their feet. Oh, and the scary car from Stephen King's Christine. Together they make a mashed up narrative of sorts, but it's pretty chaotic, and then it ends in a mess without explaining anything much. 5/10
Burning Hearts (Jpn) - Washed up and heartbroken after discovering her best friend was sleeping with her beau, a young girl finds herself in the clutches of some small-time yakuza. Fortunately, a nearby taxi driver has little left to live for. A film of two distinct halves, you couldn't guess the second half from the first. 7/10
International Competition 4: Adrift
Echo (UK) - What begins as a tragic phone call for a young woman in the middle of a city, and the kindness of strangers she receives to get her to the hospital on time, takes a disturbing detour, as she finds it hard to let go of the moment. 7.5/10
The Globe Collector (Australia) - Every now and again, short documentary films come along about otherwise unknown people and their passions. Andrew Pullen collects light bulbs. The incandescent sort which are now out of fashion. All shapes and sizes, and some needing a lot of kit just to switch on. Andrew's got a case of the Aspergers, and though this makes employment difficult, it gives him an encyclopedic knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for the subject. A warm, passionate documentary celebrating 'a different kind of person'. 8/10
Secrecy (Arg) - A house full of children means that the two women in charge can't give everyone all the attention they deserve. So when the innocent questions of a girl go ignored and unanswered, she takes matters into her own hands to get the answers, with fatal results. 7.5/10
Vanishing Point (India) - An overly-long short film about two filmmakers scouring the Indian countryside for a particular bus stop for their work. It drags, and it loses hold of it's threads as a strange wraith-like man hypnotizes one of the pair and derails the plans. 6/10
I Am Tom Moody (UK) - Shown last year at leeds, and well worth seeing again. Tom Moody has a crisis of confidence with his younger self as he stands on stage. 8/10
Fat Kid Rules The World (US) (site)
Larger-than-average is pretty average in the US right now, but the films still portray it as something freakish. Take Troy for example. He's a big guy in a school full of slim, attractive teens. Each day he waddles to and from school, and when he gets home he disappoints his soldier father by sitting playing online games and refusing to go out. When it all gets too much, he realises his dreams of a splattery bus-related exit from the world.
Except, he doesn't as the strange and unwashed Marcus, a school dropout and guitar player with a reputation for going a bit crazy tackles him out of the way. In return, he ropes Troy - unconfident, untalented and uninterested in anything outside his room - into being the drummer for his new band that has nothing to do with him being kicked out of his old one.
Varying the usual route of hopeless wannabe becomes hero with a distinctly dark and indie feel, there is more focus on the apparent hopelessness of someone trapped in a body they hate and fortunately not forgetting to include that - cheesy as it may be - you can still be a success at something. It's enjoyable, with a few sentimental and cringy moments snuk in between the grunge and the rock, just enough to lift it above a thousand other teen flicks. 7.5/10