Come on, Short Stuff

Come on, Short Stuff

Thanks to YouTube, cellphones and iPods, short films seem to be back in demand. Unfortunately, the audience thirsty for bite-sized films doesn’t seem interested in seeking out the next Polanski or Cronenberg. Instead, in the words of the Globe and Mail‘s Liam Lacey, “the joke, the novelty, the parody and the instant shock rule, while emotional engagement and visual elegance have receded.”

If you’re gonna make a short film today, it’s more likely to get noticed if you keep it short and stupid. Why waste the time and cash on making it look good? Just paint a face on your hand and teach it to play soccer.

That said, the Worldwide Short Film Festival (which wraps up on Sunday) boasts many short-form gems. If my ramblings over the last month have made you even in the least bit interested in what short films are and can be, then check out the festival’s box of chocolate schedule.

Tonight, more adventurous viewers can check out Midnight Mania (featuring the gory and gross and best appreciated beyond the witching hour) and Slap and Tickle (focusing on the humorous lengths to which we’ll go for love and sex).

On Sunday, those who yearn for more traditional short film fare can check out the NFB animation retrospective showing at the Isabel Bader. High points in this program include Norman McLaren’s Oscar-winning Le Merle (which can be previewed on the NFB website and Caroline Leaf’s Inuktitut’s fable The Owl Who Married a Goose .

If you’re looking to avoid as much dreck as possible, try to get a ticket to the Award Winners program on Sunday June 18 at 7:00 pm at the Isabel Bader Theatre.

When it comes to festivals like this, it’s often best to just dive in. Even just as a chance to meditate on what types of short content are being produced in the digital age, the festival is well worth while.