Shorts watched May 2010

Uncle Ali (2000, Cheick Oumar Sissoko)
Cheikh’s uncle is super sick from AIDS, comes to live with his family after the uncle’s neighbors boot him from his apartment. Cheikh learns a bit about STDs, prejudice and love. The kid is Alioune Ndiaye of The Price of Forgiveness and Uncle Ali is Guelwaar himself, Thierno Ndiaye (also of Karmen Gei and Africa Paradis).

The Heart of the Matter (2004, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
It’s all monologue voiceover, and the voice acting isn’t the best. Actually all these “Scenarios from Africa” shorts online have been dubbed into English. I also checked out a Sissako (Good Reasons) and an Idrissa Ouedraogo (The Shop) from this series and none are interesting at all except as educational tools. Anyway, this one stars the mute girl from Haroun’s Abouna. It’s twice as long as the others, so I figured it’d have time to develop into more of an actual movie than a flimsy PSA, but no luck.

I’m Here (2010, Spike Jonze)
Where did this half-hour love story come from? Maybe Spike felt the need to create something personal after working on Where The Wild Things Are for years of his life. Awkward, traditional boy robot falls in love with rule-breaking girl robot. The twist comes when she keep losing limbs and he gives her his own to replace them, until finally she’s in a wheelchair, and he’s nothing but a head. Played at Sundance – somehow supposed to be an ad for a vodka company, but I didn’t see that.

Letter From Hong Kong (2010, Jimmy Lo)
Comes complete with deleted scenes of food, family and kitties. I liked the camera on the spinning table. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where the cameraman sneezes before.

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