Saturday, 4 June 2011

Worldwide Short Film Festival: Oh, No, They Didn't!

Laughter Without Borders
Royal Ontario Museum
Saturday, June 4, 9:30 pm
89 Minutes

Yes! If you missed it at Hot Docs, you will have a chance to see one of my all time favourite short films: Two’s A Crowd. Shorter really is better for me when it comes to short films (8 minutes, and I’m good), but at 20 minutes Two’s A Crowd leaves me wanting more. More time spent with New Yokers, Allen and Collette, a middle-aged who have been successfully married for four years while maintaining separate domiciles about a mile apart: he lives in Chelsea, she lives in the West Village. After four years of separate but together, the economic situation has forced Allen to move into Collette’s rent controlled apartment. Neither is really happy about changing a situation that has kept them happily married and are each very worried about what impact living together will have on their relationship. The film explores these fears as we meet Allen and Collette in their apartments, showing us what they each enjoy about their own places, and what they feel they will be sacrificing by moving in together. Even friends and family, who have come to accept their relationship, have qualms about the pair living together Yes, their marital situation is unique, but what makes the film work is Allen and Collette: they are hilarious! Collette doesn’t want to see Allen brush or floss his teeth; Allen doesn’t want to argue about watching what he wants to watch on HBO. Allen and Collette are in love and committed solely to each other, but will two become a crowd in this rom-com documentary?

Canada has three entries in this International programme: 4 Pounds and 52 directed by Josh Levy and written by Kids in the Hall-er, Scott Thompson (who also stars), and Family First directed by Chris Hanratty and written by Mike McPhaden. What. The. Fuck! Offended by my language? Then you better skip this programme, or ask someone to tell you when Two’s a Crowd is showing so you can sneak in and out once you’ve seen it. Not offended? Great. Buy some popcorn and get ready to have your head spin and your eyes bug out at the Canadian contingent. Scott Thompson tackles gay men’s fears of weight gain and aging in two fictionalized bio shorts that satirize the narcissism and self-doubt that plague all actors, but which are compounded by being gay. Mike McPhaden, you dirty dog! What were you on when you wrote Family First, and how on earth did you convince his ensemble (which includes such notable stage actors/playwrights such as Michael Healey and Dianne Flacks) to partake in a comedy so squeamishly icky and so twistedly tawdry that I wanted to pluck out my eyes and take a scalding hot shower after watching it? May you rot in hell for what you put me through for 7 minutes. Okay, 14 minutes (so, what if I watched it twice, you sick bastard!) Um…call me when you write something else;-)

It’s Christmas in June with Irish comedian Chris O’Dowd’s Capturing Santa. Ever wished year after year for a gift that Santa never, ever brought you? You will be able to relate to this humourous short about O’Dowd’s childhood bad luck with Christmas presents and his downward spiral into Santa hatred. Will little Christopher be scarred for life by Santa’s slights, or will Santa redeem himself in time to save Christopher from a lifetime of therapy? Since Chris O’Dowd is Irish, the ending could go either way!

Rounding out this section is the The Dark Side, a spoof of Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side as interpreted by Saturday Night Live writer, Seth Meyers and starring NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning; When the Wind Changes, and Australian short that is way too long at 17 minutes, but which offers up an original take of the bromance by pushing the envelope on the concept of being of the same mind-set; and the German short, Arts + Crafts Spectacular #1, a 1 minute animation about “idyllic” country life.

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1 comment:

Tom said...

Thanks so much! We had a great time showing TWO'S A CROWD in Toronto!

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