WSFF review: Opening Night (Bloor cinema)

Toronto – After laying down the correct numbers (34 countries, 281 short films), applauding for the organizers and volunteers, a guest appearance by Cordell Barker, and enduring pointless hooting from over-dressed yuppies, the 16th annual WSFF kicked off with 5 Award winning shorts tonight at 830pm. Here are my 3 picks; trailers after the links:

Runaway (Cordell Barker)

I’ve seen so many sharp films/shorts under NFB’s umbrella that that I am probably more patriotic about the NFB than about the flag; I felt like a hooting yuppie when the green NFB symbol came on. Cordell Barker’s films The Cat Came Back and Strange Invaders are both simple, funny and endearing films. Remember that cow on the railway in The Cat? Well, he’s the culprit of it all this time. Shooting through the country-side, a train hits the cow while its conductor conducts some business in the washroom with a female passenger. The result is a hilarious runaway train that sees everyone oblivious to imminent doom, 1st class abusing 3rd class without regards to their place in the grand scheme of things, and just plain absurdity in dire times. Just like Strange Invaders, Runaway has a very simple concept, but it’s at once deep and worthy of more thoughts.

The six dollar fifty man (Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland)

Before you ask, that’s the toy figure the boy protagonist carries everywhere. Andy comes of age in this 10-15 minute gem, winning a girl’s heart, defeating bullies, subverting his teacher, and inadvertently bootlicks the principal. How? By coming away from the boyhood dream of invincibility and facing the reality head-on. The film is very sweet without being sugary. The acting of the children are somewhat believable – even though the little girl is a bit beyond her age in composure and tact. Moral of the story here: do what’s right, and the rest will take care of itself.

Slitage (Seeds of the Fall; Patrik Eklund)

What exactly is SKEWIFF? Urban dictionary says it’s something that’s “messed up”. This term came up because within the first 2 min of Slitage, the leading couple Rolf and Eva’s house becomes skewiff. They now have to fix it. They have more than that to fix, of course. Their relationship is losing that invaluable spark, and this skewiff home does not help one bit. In a bizarre twist it’s the quadriplegic neighbour Glenn who comes to their aid. He and his wife offers Rolf and Eva 250,000 kroner – the catch: Rolf has sex with the wife so the neighbours can build a family. Skewiff, eh? I won’t spoil the ending for this one. It’s quite entertaining.

Good stuff. Keep it coming! :)

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Posted on by Gary in Everything, Worldwide Short Film

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