Showcase 8 of the D.C. Shorts is heavy on the conflicts that arise in relationships. Some of the interactions presented here are conventional (man/man, grandfather/grandson, roommates), while others are more abnormal (woman/husband’s parents, person/all-seeing foil). But each film teases out what happens when opposing elements touch, for the first or thousandth time. Program 8 runs the gamut of lame to successful in this endeavor, but on the whole, it’s a strong mix of comedy, drama, and animation. Shows 6 p.m. Sunday at E Street Cinema and 7 p.m. Friday at U.S. Navy Memorial.
A Finger Two Dots Then Me: An emphatically narrated poem that takes on sweeping, existentialist themes like—duh!—life, love, death, and zipping through outer space on a pony.
Friday Night Tights: Bro is butthurt that his roommate won’t get schwasty with him on Friday night and stomps out, leaving the roommate an empty apartment in which to practice his newfound skill.
Kill Brass: Ew, that’s a macro shot of a beetle—on the barrel of a sniper’s gun. The beetle is the most interesting bit of this rambling, pointless, and nearly plotless short, in which two men hash out war stories instead of killing each other.
Larsen Feedback: Zora, a 30-year-old who feel she’s accomplished nothing, passes the time with boilerplate amusements—like an affair with a married man. This French film redeems itself with the revelation that everyone’s got a personal panopticon, narrating the lives of their subjects as they see fit.
Magic: After a boy and his grandfather bury the family’s long-loved dog, the boy asks for a magic trick. Boys will be boys!
Slow: An awkward stripping scene leads to an even more awkward dispute between two men. One asks, “What the fuck you bring me here for?” My question exactly!
The Game: Woman is quite sexily handcuffed by her husband for a night of hanky-panky. His parents show up.
The Strange Ones: Two guys ostensibly roadtripping to visit their mom get stranded at a motel when their car breaks down. There’s a single white female owner and a sinister swimming pool, but more frightening is the brothers’ relationship.
Tulip Pink: Jessica sees her family in colors—pink, red, orange, gray, and paisley (to match the drapes).