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Short reviews of films from this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival
A few bright spots highlight this mostly bland mix of drama and comedy. The first film, Tiny Miny Magic, is easily the weakest of the showcase, but luckily it picks up after that, and doesn’t disappoint too deeply after that. The two animated shorts and Say It Ain’t Solo are highlights, and sure to be audience favorites.
Tiny Miny Magic: An impossibly attractive woman courts her impossibly attractive mailman by leaving a series of gifts and notes in her mailbox. It’s twee and somewhat charming, but it’s a mostly groanworthy little romantic comedy that jocks Woody Allen too hard.
Waiting on a Train: As a series of trains arrives at a station, a dapper young man eagerly awaits a mystery woman. Though the morbid twist of the film becomes pretty apparent early on, it’s still a clever, albeit depressing, short.
Dziad i Baba (The Old Man and the Old Woman): Based on the Polish fable by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, this kitschy stop-motion animation follows the argument between an elderly couple when death, quite literally, comes knocking at their door. It’s billed as a dark comedy, but with the eerie animation style and brooding score, it’s hard to find any laughs.
Retrato de una Familia (Portrait of a Family): A straightforward, rather disappointing Spanish-language melodrama about a young boy and his family mourning the death of their father in different ways.
Say it Ain’t Solo: Not that long ago in a boardroom far, far away, a bunch of studio executives thought it would be a good idea to remake the original Star Wars. That is until Stephen Tobolowsky and his son Richie got wind of it and enlisted the likes of Joe Mantegna, Christopher Lloyd, Malin Akerman, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jason Alexander, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and more to protest the potential remake. This clever and funny film is sure to be a big draw for any self-respecting Star Wars fan, but the biggest draw is obviously its all-star cast.
The Freedom Chair: Pretty entertaining mini-doc about Josh Dueck, a once-prominent ski coach who suffered a devastating injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
The Future: In this dark comedy, a happy, recently engaged couple gets a grim visit from two surprise strangers when they ponder what their “future will look like.”
The Windmill Farmer: Quirky animation and a slick score but not much else highlight this minimal short about—-you guessed it—-a farmer who plants windmills.
Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. at U.S. Navy Memorial
Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. at Angelika Film Center