By Al Kratina
January 13, 2008 - 18:46
Various directors, writers, and actors
Buy it here
You might be forgiven for never having heard of the Movieside Short Film Festival. It’s got little to offer in terms of glitzy red carpet photos or Britney Spears crotch shots, as the only celebrities it attracts are the kind that make video store clerks drool and everyone else shrug their shoulders in indifference while renting I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. But horror director George A. Romero, indie darling Jim Jarmusch, and cult filmmaker John Waters, all fans of the festival, can’t possible be wrong. This DVD from Microcinema contains 20 films from the festival, range from the strange to the strange and uncomfortable, though not quite as uncomfortable as that Britney Spears crotch shot.
Knuckleface Jones – Todd Rohal
The longest and possibly the weirdest of the films on this disc, Knuckleface is a primer for what the rest of the collection has in store. It has a linear narrative, provided your train of thought is conducted by a schizophrenic, but explaining what goes on would take longer than the film’s 16 minutes.
Monkey vs. Robot – Nathan Pommer
The title says it all. Essentially a music video for the titular James Kolchalka Superstar song, Monkey vs. Robot has a hypnotic beauty, and also a monkey fighting a robot. Apparently Andy Samberg, the SNL comedian successfully basing a career on the juxtaposition of Jewish middle class with hardcore rap, is the monkey.
Dance Habibi Dance – Usama Alshaibi
Think White Zombie go-go-dancers with Persian flair.
Warplay – Bryan Lefler
Video games don’t make kids kill. They do, however, make them aggressive losers with weight problems, as evidenced by Warplay.
State of the Union – Brian Boyce
When I think of George W. Bush, I don’t necessarily think of him shooting bunnies with his laser mouth on the set of Teletubbies. Or at least, I didn’t before.
0502 – Mark Hejnar
My favourite film in the collection, black and white stock footage of children somehow quickly makes the viewer feel like a murderous pedophile.
And Knowing was Half the Battle – Eric Fensler
These are G.I. Joe public service announcements. With crazy people doing the voices. I have rarely laughed this hard.
Harry Knuckles – Lee Demarbre
A fake trailer for the greatest movie never made, though the fact that kung-fu star Harry Knuckles carries his knapsack like a middle-school science nerd is somewhat unnerving.
Printer Jam - Doug Lussenhop
Office Space mashed-up with Casio keyboard–created techno. Works better than you’d expect.
A Primer for Dental Extraction – Carl Weidemann
Subversively experimental stuff that plays like Stan Brakhage with an oral fixation.
Cabrini Green – Brett Foxwell
A quiet calm in the eye of the storm, classical music plays over the destruction of a condemned building in this short.
30 FPS – Micah Scarpelli
A skate video that reminds me of high school with less Beastie Boys playing in the background.
Grain – Eric Medine
A beautiful mix of animation and video art with elements of Norman McLaren.
Communista – Jim Finn
Soviet communist folk songs juxtaposed with American standards that reminds me why I like neither country.
Damn You Mister Bush – Skizz Cyzyk
Likely the best ukulele-based music video I’ve ever seen.
A Moment – Bob Hurst
A series of mundane moments are expanded visually to warp time and space.
Track One: Incomplete – Ricky Cozzolino
If Aphex Twin liked black metal and hated everything else, this would be his next single.
Construction: One – Christine Hart
I don’t really know what’s going on in this strange animated film, but I know that I am now very sad.
Monkey Walken: An Intimate Portrait – Jason Woliner & James Dean Conklin
Exactly what it sounds like, but so much better.
Forced Entry TV State – Christian Matts
Another effective experimental film, that feels like found poetry created by that talking Internet dolphin from Johnny Mnemonic.
Rating: 8 on 10