By MATT COKER
By AIMEE MURILLO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By JONATHAN KIEFER
By INKOO KANG
By STEPHANIE ZACHAREK
By CALUM MARSH
Shorts and the American Dream. Mostly dark shorts about crime, featuring Chris Dollard's Show & Tell, in which a student brings a gun to school only to learn that his teacher is armed as well. Whew . . . awk-ward!
Shorts Are GAY GAY GAY! Well, I think that title's not quite accurate. Spandex short-shorts are gay gay gay. Ruby-spangled shorts are gay gay gay. But movie shorts are not, by definition, gay gay gay. Except for these. These are very gay indeed.
The Shorts at the End of the Universe. So even when I finish writing these endless blurbs, there will still be more shorts awaiting me in the great beyond? Somehow I'm not surprised. This show includes James P. Gleason's Antebody, about a man who discovers, to his considerable consternation, that his dead body is in the morgue.
Shorts Bloody Shorts. A collection of horrific short films with a title that's plenty horrific all by itself. Bloody shorts! That dry-cleaning bill is gonna be a killer. Anyhow, the evening's fare includes Jake Kennedy's We All Fall Down, in which a dead girl returns to haunt her killers in a chiller rather obviously inspired by the recent Ringu/The Ring franchise and 25 years' worth of slasher flicks. Sadly, it's just as clichéd as all the rest of 'em.
Shortus Dramaticus. A selection of dramatic shorts featuring Tamela D'Amico's Volare, about an Italian boy struggling to fit in at his new American school.
Six Feet Undershorts. Sometimes I think the people who devise the titles for these shorts programs employ the Burroughs-ian cut-up method, in which random blocks of text are jumbled together to create surreal and deliberately perplexing juxtapositions. And then they tack the word "shorts" on the end.
Sofa King Funny Shorts. Heh heh. Say that title aloud. Get it now? Heh heh. This collection of comedy shorts includes Suny Behar's Chaos Theory, in which a chance encounter turns a lovelorn goofball's life upside-down. It's a clever little gem propelled by the physical comedy skills of actor Donovan Oakleaf. Both he and Behar will be heard from again.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Shorts. Well, that's it. The goofiest shorts title of all time. Having seen it, I can die happy. This sprawling collection of shorts is aimed at the young'uns, with such entries as Beat Boxing, in which Sock Puppet Grand Master Sock dazzles us with his mad gangsta skillz (See, I can still speak the language of the streets. I'm not old.) and Coffee and Coco, Alex Johnson and Connor Stoyke-Riley's short animation based on the myth of Kali.
USC Shorts. Films from the University of Southern California film department, including Elan Glasser's Induction, about two best pals scheming to avoid the draft.
Viva La Shorts. A collection of shorts with a Latin flavor, including Jean-Pierre Jacquet's Contrapunto, a sensual animated offering set to an Argentine tango.
Wicked Shorts for the Witching Hour. A collection of dark, campy shorts. Everett Aponte's Samuel DeMango follows a sheltered boy with mango coursing through his veins who tries to elude Death and his controlling mother. Quirky, yes, and it took some talent to make this, but unfortunately this short has no compelling reason to exist. The evening also includes shorts with titles like Gay by Dawn, Needle Anus and Deliverance: The Musical. Sensing a theme?
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