Flying kites in Rio, breaking hearts in Korea, patching things up in Chinatown, and learning to pray all over the world. An eclectic mix for sure kicks off a (hopefully) periodic series of short reviews for those pressed for time.
As the screens we watch become smaller and the idea of sitting quietly with strangers in a theater for two hours becomes a quaint pastime of stodgy fogeys like yours truly, the short film is worth discovering. No one on my Facebook feed ever shares a full movie. In social media, shorts rule. With that in mind, I’ve decided to go looking for shorts and report back periodically on a few that are worth sharing. This month’s shorts were found on Vimeo, and all save one are available for free as of the time of publication.
Kite Flight (5:21) Director: Guilherme Tensol. Brazil (2014)
Soaring cinematography from Marcello Brito and Tensol’s crisp editing highlight this documentary about the kite flyers from Rio’s Rocinha favela. Vibrant, insightful, beautiful and concise, Tensol uses drones to find the viewpoint that sums up the aspirations of the youth who man the rooftops in a battle for the skies. Vimeo link
Table 7 (4:22) Director: Marko Slavnic. USA (2010)
2014 Project Greenlight finalist Slavnic’s early short about a couple whose deteriorating relationship is saved by a timely bit of good fortune. A short sketch with a punch line that answers a question I’ve had for years. Vimeo link
Five (4:33) Director: Katina Mercadante. USA (2015)
Katina and Daniel Mercandante return with a short documentary that follows children of five religions as the prepare for worship services. Like their previous work on laughter and yawning, the film stresses those behaviors that humans share. Wonderfully executed, although the emphasis of shared experience papers over some real problems as to why humans can’t get along. Vimeo link
Queer Movie 20 (19:11) Director: Baek Ink-yu. Korea (2013)
Production company 99film’s debut short provides a glimpse into the past and present love life of Candy (Jeong Hyo-rak), who finds himself at 20 with three unsatisfactory boyfriends. Is it time to move on, or give in? Technically fine, with a very hazy, bleached look that emphasizes the memories Candy is hoping to leave behind, although the story itself and the relationships covered are probably too complex for the condensed format. Looking forward to the next effort from this team. Vimeo VOD link