Today, while riding the Sundance shuttles in a cold and snowy Park City, not one, not two, but three people got on the bus wearing shorts. What's the reason for their attire confusion? Maybe they were confounded by the rash of shorts programming at the film festival.
I went to the Shorts Program V and it was pure Sundance fun. These movies are indie in the extreme. And it always amazes me that strange themes seem to emerge from the group of films. This group's themes? Unexpected pregnancies and women peeing. Even one of the directors commented in the Q&A that he didn't know how his film made it into Sundance since no one was peeing. I'll admit it, watching all those women dropping their pants and squatting made me a little squeamish.
Here are a few of the highlights from the program:
Shimasani by director Blackhorse Lowe. This story about a Navajo mother and her two daughters in the 1930s is lyrical and immensely melancholy. It also features some of the most beautiful black and white cinematography I've every seen.
Tub by director Bobby Miller. A tale of absurd horror. When asked about his inspiration for the film, the direct blamed a friend who said he masturbated so much in the shower that there were babies in the sewer. And yes, this is the story about a horny guy rebuffed by his girlfriend. So, he masturbates in the shower. And later that day, clears the plugged drain by pulling out a horrific baby creature. Wow, this film is a lot better than it sounds.
Charlie and the Rabbit by directors Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck and Robert Machoian. A young boy watches Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits. And then grabs his BB gun and heads out on his own hunting adventure. A great story. The scenes of the kid on his bike are magical. And putting a gun to a rabbit's head was never so shocking. At least it all ends well.
These were some of my favorites but all the movies in this group were rewarding. I liked the Swedish lesbian drama of Birthday. The blue collar reality of Little Accidents. And the story of taboo love in Rob and Valentyna in Scotland.
Movies like this make me want to go out a tell great stories in ingenious ways. Thanks Sundance.