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This showcase of shorts will make it’s screening debut this evening at 9 p.m. at the US Navy Memorial Center, offering a bit of drama but plenty of great comedy to lighten the day. Some are laugh out loud, others miss the mark a bit. All in all, worth a visit. Here are my thoughts about the 11 shorts in this set:
Expiration: This micro short proves that comedy is best delivered in simple packages. Sharply edited and without dialogue, this horror/comedy hybrid shares the perilous, universal experience of tasting a near-expiring carton of milk.
Where It Stops: Billed as a comedy in the program, this short is anything but. Rather it’s a suspenseful and riveting portrayal of a group of depressed elderly women seeking adventure in a dangerous game.
Bagged: Post break-up retail therapy seems a ubiquitous enough topic to punned, but the over the top nature of this woman’s crazed and some times sexual attraction to material items is so unrelatable it falls short on laughs.
Alpha Beta Complex: Graffiti takes on Times New Roman in a battle of the typeface. The animation is rather crude for a film that will clearly appeal to the graphic design set, but the film’s wordless dialogue is nevertheless charming.
Andre: A veritable Fatal Attraction remake only the man in the affair becomes crazily obsessed with his married female lover. While the plot line is overused and the melodrama overdosed, the suspense is sharply executed—no pun intended.
Therapy: A therapist for the gods settles a dispute between Jesus and his evil twin the devil in what was clearly intended as a farcical critique of religion but one so unsophisticated and obvious it disappoints.
Enter the Beard: Though more of an television episode of Punk’d than a short piece of cinema, this is never short on laughs as one jokester enters a beard contest in Alaska and surveys his competition’s life of beardom.
I Got Mail: This short is inventive in that’s a musical animation, a rarely seen cinematic form. Yet the animation and the lyrics of the song about our culture’s addiction to technology, is overly literal and rather hokey.
Rita: This beautifully shot film offers viewers the haunting perspective of a young blind girl, leaving them grasping for grounding and questioning reality.
Dead Hungry: Forget the high-brow zombie literature of late. This flick offers the perfectly gross and laughable tale of one zombie’s quest for bride and brains. Will love prevail?
Marius Borodine: This mockumentary about a genius inventor expertly blurs the lines between comedy and drama so that the viewer becomes unsure of whether to laugh or frown at the perilous means young Marius Borodine undertakes to create the next great invention. That becomes stomach-achingly clear by the end, and gratefully so.
Showcase 6 will also screen on the following days: Saturday, Sept. 11 at 5:00 p.m. at E Street Cinema (followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers) Sunday, Sept. 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 9:00 p.m. at E Street Cinema Tickets are available at dcshorts.com