The big winner in DC Shorts’ Showcase 14 is obviously Time 2 Split. Other than that, nothing really stands out, although Dear Someone is probably one of the better music videos you’ll see this year, and F**k the Parents enlists some serious comedy talent in its gentle raunch-fest.
Dear Someone: A wildly inventive music video for a song by someone named Walter Lukens. It’s the story of a young man falling in and out of love, with one catch: He lives in a Polaroid picture. The film is fun and breezy; the song is even better.
Dreams in the Depths: A father and his teenage son kill time in a tunnel beneath the Gaza wall, waiting for supplies to be delivered. Their relatable conversation—-kid wants a bike, father doesn’t want to get him one—-sets the stage for a stunner of an ending.
Drone: It sucks getting called into work early, unless you’re doing important work, like operating a drone and killing a suspected terrorist in the Middle East. That’s what happens in this efficiently tense wordless short. Ewen Bremner of Trainspotting fame plays the lead; his odd, expressive face is a perfect portrait of the complicated ethical landscape.
Ending Up: Color-coated dildos and “multiple foodgasms” your thing? You’ll like Ending Up, a sitcom-y little comedy about a newly single 40-something woman whose friends take her out for a “divorce party.” The sentimental ending is a misstep, but the cast is game and the dialogue quippy, which will likely be enough for some.
F**k the Parents: You know that thing where you want to have a three-way with your girlfriend’s parents, but you can’t because you’re, you know, dating their daughter? But then you break up, so you can, and it’s awesome? Oh, you don’t? Me neither. I was just wondering. Fans of comedy will recognize Pam Adlon (Louie, Californication) and comic Rob Delaney as the sexy couple.
Memory Sculptor: If you took Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and crossed it with a Japanese thriller, you’d get something like Memory Sculptor. Two technicians enter the mind of a sleeping husband—-at the request of his wife—-to erase memories of his young girlfriend. Complications arise when one of them reveals an ulterior motive. It’s a little too clever for its own good but has some nice original touches.
Thank God: Shot in a single, three-minute take, Thank God consists of a series of transactions: A person find a pair of shoes on the ground, takes them, and leaves their current pair. Each pair is rattier than the last, and the last guy shows up with no shoes at all. A simple, well-executed concept, but it gives you less to chew on than it wants to.
The Mole at the Sea: A cute, little animated mole watches all the humans going to the beach, so he decides to see what all the fuss is about. Problem is there is no room for a mole amid a beach full of fat, annoying people. Mole waits it out and get some nice quiet time in the evening. Pretty but slight, with a quietly elegant message: Nature is better without people there.
Time 2 Split: The title has two meanings: A young French couple with a child breaks up, but filmmaker Fabrice Bracq keeps them together through the use of split screen. An expertly crafted and deeply moving film that is more inventive than most big-screen Hollywood romances.
Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. at Angelika Film Center
Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. at Angelika Film Center
Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. at U.S. Navy Memorial