The films in this showcase capture both dreams and nightmares: dreams of being a pro wrestler or a deaf football coach, nightmares both farcical and tragically ironic. From touching documentary to poignant drama to satiric comedy, this showcase delivers on the possibilities of the short film.
Anyone Like MeDirected by Mimi D’Autremont
Anyone who has seen a 30 for 30 knows that the best sports documentaries are about much more than what happens on the field: they tell stories that are personal and political, about entire countries or cultures. That’s certainly the case in Anyone Like Me, a doc that explores the complexities and facets of deaf culture through the biography of Shelby Bean, a Hard of Hearing player-turned-coach at Gallaudet University. Shot, produced, and edited by Mimi d’Autremont as her M.A. New Media Photojournalism Thesis project at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University.
FugitDirected by Marta Bayarri
A fatal car accident has karmic repercussions as guilt and shame tear apart the relationship between a father and son. Spanish writer/director Marta Bayarri doesn’t let Fugit turn into melodrama, delivering a wallop of an ending and pairing the story’s despair with the gray days of the Catalonia countryside.
Make Them BelieveDirected by Taimi Arvidson
The Russian government helped elect a WWE Hall of Famer as President of the United States, so perhaps it’s the perfect time for a documentary about Moscow’s pro wrestling scene. Taimi Arvidson follows Tim Maltser, a 140-pound rookie whose pro-American gimmick makes him the heel, as he faces his biggest challenge: Ivan “The Locomotive” Markov, an ex-lawyer who’s built like a linebacker. Like wrestling, this one uses tricks—slow motion, quick cut montages, reenactments, sound effects—to amp up the spectacle, but at its core, it’s about following your dreams – even if that dream is a Moscow Screwjob.
No ReservationsDirected by Trevor Carroll
In No Reservations, writer/director Trevor Carroll ponders what would happen if the Dakota Access Pipeline protests had happened in suburbia, in all its basic, pumpkin spice latte-sipping glory. A broad and zany satire that might be a little on the nose for some, but the denouement lands and its production was impressive: it was made as part of Vancouver’s Crazy8s challenge, wherein filmmakers have only 8 days to shoot and edit a film.
Ruby Full of ShitDirected by Jean-Guillaume Bastien
Denis attends his boyfriend’s family’s Christmas dinner, but the strictly Catholic family reduces him to being simply a “friend.” The only one who sees through the ruse is a precocious six-year-old, Ruby, with whom Denis wages a cold war. A sharp takedown of “traditional values” with plenty of fourth-wall breaking and POV shots that turns the viewer into a guest at the party, but the voice over and black box interludes make the film feel like a one-man show adapted for the screen.
These Colors Don’t RunDirected by Via Bia
Via Bia’s These Colors Don’t Run tells the story of how a young girl subverts her First Communion with Sharpie tattoos. Maggie Celeste is adorable as the Young Yola, and the documentary-like framing device lends verisimilitude to a film with self-discovery at its heart.
ToysDirected by Amanda Quaid
Amanda Quaid utilizes stop-motion animation to bring a poem by actress Peggy Pope to life, turning a young girl’s quest for her father’s love and acceptance into a sepia-toned children’s book of a short film. Toys comes in at less than two minutes, but makes its arrow-sharp point with economy.
Showcase 4 screens Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Landmark’s E Street Cinema.