Young and old, media and consumer arrived at the Norwood Concert hall for the opening of the 2012 SHORTS Film Festival on Saturday. The hall was marvellously decorated, combining contemporary designs with the classic European style theatre.
Initially there were a few speeches discussing the festivals humble beginnings, followed by an official opening by founding patron David Lightfoot.
David introduced the first movie, ‘Goodbye Mr Snuggles’ a classic short film by Jonathon Hopkins, released in 2006. It opened with a beautiful wide shot of the British countryside, where two elderly gentlemen were heading to a day painting in the fields. Their day of relaxation and tranquillity turns sour when a gun toting clown appears. The use of contrast and a twist of the unexpected make this a truly classic short film.
Following this came ‘The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ one of the South Australian entrants. This was the only animation of the night and the quality was apparent. Proud as I was to see a South Australian director and film, I was left with an empty feeling after this film. I felt that it fell short; it somehow wasn’t in its element. Perhaps I didn’t fully understand it. Was there a metaphor here too deep for my shallow understanding?
Compounding this feeling of inadequacy, ‘Love at First Sight’ followed and blew me away. Combining school boy dreamy eyed love with an ‘it’s never too late mentality’, ‘Love at First Sight’ was light hearted, funny but left you with a bitter taste in your mouth. I don’t want to give too much away, but be wary of happy ever after endings.
‘Choking Hazard’ took place in a restaurant where a piece of bone had interrupted an otherwise lovely dinner. It was the definition of a short film, the shortest of the night (just over two minutes) it had defined characters, plot and storyline. Quick, witty and informative, ‘Choking Hazard’ was at this point my favourite.
New South Wales film ‘Peekaboo’ steered from the beaten comedic path. Relying on instinctive human compassion, we follow a mother who loses her daughter in a multi-story car park. The fear is real, the suspense is fantastic. A thriller of this quality is rare even in Hollywood blockbusters.
Next we had (in my eyes) the winner of the evening. ‘Shanghai Love Market’ is tale of a park in Shanghai where parents of unwed children can go and attempt to find their offspring the perfect match. Loveable and hateable characters play off against a stunning backdrop of the Shanghai skyline. An amazing international entrant and definitely this punter’s tip for festival winner.
I had high hopes for ‘Runway’, creation of Victorian Tony Ferrieri. At twenty minutes it was by far the longest, this allowed time for character and plot development, which was done to a t. The tale of a boy who was scared of curves and had love only for straight lines was bizarre enough to hook interest; however, the ending felt rushed and almost thrown together in order to get a quick laugh and an easy exit.
‘Bunny’ was the serious side the opening night needed, a harrowing tale of police brutality and rights abuses. This story hits home, it brings to light issues that still haunt Australia. ‘Bunny’ is the sombre history lesson that Australians need to start coming to terms with.
‘Appy Ever After’ opens with the classic “Honey, I’m going to be late, I have to work” but what follows is doused with quirkiness. True love is realised, lost and rediscovered in this movie, with hilarious results. A definite stand out and a great way to end the festival.
As if the quality of the films wasn’t enough, the atmosphere and networking potential are clear draw factors to this year’s SHORTS festival. It has easily worked itself into a staple position in the Adelaide cultural scene.
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.