Bright Future My Love - Marko Žunić
Dark, heavy, heavy, heavy, hard, dark. Those are all words. Bright Future My Love is a film that weighs so much. It's gorgeous in black-and-white, and the art direction is some of the best you'll find in short films. The story is odd, and I'll admit that I wandered off a couple of times, lost deep into the forest of the imagery. This is a dystopian future, though so many of the markers of modernity are there, staring at us. Make no mistake, this is a science fiction short in the tradition of European Avanta Garde filmmaking, and it is an excellent example of such. The commentary appears to be on the contemporary form of workplace and the flow of effort and dispair. This is also a "Love" story, though those quotes are there for a reason. It's a heavy film, strange and wonderful, a story told without words but through emoting reaction and sound effects; a story I can see playing well with those who understand the depths of films traditons. You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/BrightFutureMyLove
Elements of Rehearsal in the Bleak Midwinter - Davide Abbatescianni
I've done my share of improv. I've been a theatre geek. I've done intensive workshops where we came together and 'explored' the space, found our characters, brought the inside out, and acted from a place of truth. I've also just shown up day-of, grabbed the script, said the lines, and cashed my check. This is an Estonian short about a group of actors preparing, exploring, sensing. As a document of that process, it's somewhat remarkable. It shows both the worst and the best of that process, and how silly it might seem to the outside world. It also explores the deeper possibilities and sensations that can be joined with this process, and that's what gets me. In many ways, this reminded me of one of my all-time favorite shorts, Tell Me Who Ruby Was, and not just because they're both black-and-white, but because both explore a space, and both do it so well.
You can learn more at https://elementsdoc.wordpress.com/
A Cup of Tea - Alessio Ciancianaini
I love shorts that make you think you're watching a rather banal moment in the life of a pair of humans, and then hit you with something more. A Cup of Tea did that beautifully. A father, a son, a distrupted physics career and answers. Those are the keys to this short that I found myself enjoying more as time went by, and then the ending hit, and it made me re-think every else, and in a very good way. Alessio Ciancianaini has crafted a wonderful, and surprisingly intimate, short.