T/F-ish Shorts 2021

The Coyote Shorts Program:

Department of Injustice (Travis Wood & Chloe Gbai)

Didactic anti-racist dialogue in an ironic-jokey automated phone tree framework. Looks like street and news photography mapped into a 3D gaming engine, which is neat at least.

Spirits and Rocks: An Azorean Myth (Aylin Gökmen)

Opens with b/w volcanic rock photography, so a good pairing with last night’s Rock Bottom Riser. The stock footage scenes announce themselves when the widescreen frame goes square. Smoke and trees and rock, textures and landscapes, really great looking.

VO (Nicolas Gourault)

Former Uber self-driving test riders tell all, circling around an accident that killed a bicyclist in Arizona while the human operator was watching TV episodes on a cellphone instead of looking at the road. Along with news footage and camera views inside and outside the car, we get repeated radar-view driving scenes, what the car “sees” of its environment.

Maat Means Land (Fox Maxy)

Takes the game-engine mashups of the first short to the next level… also this and the second short featured lizards, and there has been a theme of image manipulation – overall a well assembled shorts program. This film has everything at once, too many to start listing, all kinds of distorted music and styles and presentations, returning to scenes involving indigenous people and land. A sign about killing the colonizer in your head cuts straight to Tupac, extremely reminiscent of the latest Adam Curtis.

The Truth About Hastings (Dan Schneidkraut)

And finally the Adam Curtis connection brings us to a Nebraska-set numerology-obsessed conspiracy-theory voiceover over shots of a conference-room family gathering full of meats and Husker games, the picture gradually shimmering and smearing to reveal the alien intelligence underneath. “A Runza restaurant exactly nine minutes away – think about it.”

Plus some non-Coyote shorts we watched over the course of the week…

The I and S of Lives (Kevin Jerome Everson)

Simply a guy rollerskating around the Lives in DC’s Black Lives Matter Plaza… Sicinski compares Everson’s films to Lumiere actualités, I dunno, I find them especially pleasant to watch and hope they become regular, comforting presences in T/F programs. I’m even leaning towards checking out Park Lanes, or at least the shorter Tonsler Park.

Brontosaurus (Jack Dunphy)

This guy’s name kept coming up – I think he was in the online game show with the Beasts of the Southern Wild director and an especially good MC, and this made us decide to check out his film. I was pretty sure I’d remember an eight-minute short i watched late at night (which somehow offended Katy so we watched the Everson afterwards as a palate cleanser) but now it’s a month later and I’m afraid I do not… the only letterboxd review just says “Raw,” which is no help. I can see I rated it 3.5 stars, that ain’t bad!

Homage to the Work of Philip Henry Gosse (Pablo Martín Weber)

Another forgotten short, but apparently well loved and referenced in my All Light, Everywhere notes. Fossils vs. creationism, artificial images and Syrian war.

O Arrais do Mar (Elisa Celda)

The one where we could barely see anything happening, filmed late at night on a Portuguese beach. Some fishing was involved, some hanging out – a long and sleepy movie.