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There were a total of thirteen comedy shorts in this collection which was shown on Thursday night as part of Bristol’s wonderful Encounters Short Film Festival. It was a brilliant programme which shows how vibrant and exciting the short film and animation industry is looking.
I’ve highlighted some of my favourites.
A Brief History of Princess X
A supercharged history of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s infamous ‘Princess X’.
Portuguese director Gabriel Abrantes has made a funny and playful film that mixes historical analysis with a Woody Allen style deconstruction. Abrantes narrates the story of Constantin Brâncuși’s notorious cock-shaped sculpture and the amazingly true story behind its creation. I think he will go far.
The Good Mother
A Mexican mother, with her only child’s birthday looming, embarks upon an epic journey across land and through her politics, to find the right piñata for her son…
The award-winning short film ‘La Madre Buena’ (The Good Mother) is wonderful. Plain and simple. Director Sarah Clift has crafted a simple, tight and sweet tale of a Mexican mother torn between her politics and pleasing her son’s birthday wish – to have a Donald Trump piñata. I feel Wes Anderson is a huge influence, that’s no bad thing.
An object lesson of when life weighs you down.
Director Daniel Greaves amazed me in the space of two minutes. This slick piece showed me why short animation can be such a treat. Greave’s traveller does not outstay our welcome. That lack of dialogue will hopefully help this film travel further. More laughs into its run-time than some most of The Big Bang Theory, Big Bag is a light-hearted treat from a heavyweight talent.
Fern is a black comedy, charting the complicated and intense love that grows between a woman and a plant. It’s situated entirely inside one woman’s apartment, in the weeks following her husband’s death.
I absolutely loved this one, and wanted to see more. Look out for its director, Johnny Kelly.
Second to None
Frederick Butterfield has always been runner up to his twin brother Herman. When Herman, the older by a mere minute, becomes the world’s oldest man, Frederick finally sees an opportunity to be first place. ‘Second to None’ is a stop motion comedy about ambition, where second best is never enough.
Directed by Vincent Gallagher this is a skillfully made stop motion black comedy about the world’s second oldest man who still vies to be first. This is century-old sibling rivalry at its best, though the story’s been told many times over, this reiteration is laugh out loud funny and an absolute delight.
With a surprise twist ending, sure to induce a barrel of laughs, we see that if we want to kill our brother it’s best not to employ tunnel vision.