Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Short Films Seen at the 2006 Cork Film Festival

These are various and sundry short films that were shown before the evening features…

Eut-elle été criminelle… (Even If She Had Been a Criminal…) literally fast-forwards us through early 20th-century European history and slows down at the 1944 liberation of France. Archival footage then lingers on the public punishment, typified by head shaving, of women who were known or suspected to have collaborated with the occupiers. The jury winner for best international short, Jean-Gabriel Périot’s film seems to be making some point. Are we meant to be shocked by the public humiliations? What you think may have a lot to do with your age. (Seen 15 October 2006)

The Faeries of Blackheath Woods, a cautionary tale for children who don’t heed their parents, starts out like a Disney-like fantasy. Little Melissa, who looks to be living in the Victorian age, is on an idyllic picnic with her parents. To her delight, she comes across fairies, who lead her into the woods. This splendid-looking three-minute epic was directed by Ciaran Foy and got the jury prize for the best Irish short. (Seen 15 October 2006)

Fish features perhaps the ugliest thing ever to be pulled out of the sea. It is disturbing, kind of like the baby in Eraserhead. What does it mean? Something about collecting the strange odds and ends of life’s debris? And what of the young man and woman, apparently living rough on the waterfront? Are they part of life’s debris as well? This strange and thought-provoking 13-minute film is by Australia’s Eron Sheean. (Seen 10 October 2006)

Imagine This is a tour de force of clever editing work and the absolute perfect short film to warm up the Cork Film Festival opening night audience for the main feature (which similarly used clever editing techniques), Death of a President. I cannot even begin to, um, imagine how much time and effort Irish director John Callaghan went into piecing together the myriad sound bites to make George W. Bush sing (sort of) John Lennon’s classic peace anthem Imagine. Count the edits yourself. This is on YouTube. (Seen 8 October 2006)

Les Volets (The Shutters), makes a not-so-subtle comment on the movie business, but it makes a much more profound statement about life’s priorities and the universality of human experience. A 12-minute film by Lyèce Boukhitine, it tells the simplest of stories. A gofer on a location film shoot, in Brittany, is asked to cross a field and ask the residents of a house to open their window shutters, so that the shot will look better. More than the shutters get opened. (Seen 14 October 2006)