Extended descriptions of the varied shorts being screened as part of QFF2017.
Nicolas Dunn | 2016, 6 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
A wayward loner. A solitary runaway. A common desire to be alone, and to share that loneliness with someone else. Loneliness is hard, it’s good to be alone.
DCP Courtesy of Nicolas Dunn
Amelia Rose Towers
Jackie Farkas | 1992, 11 minutes Part of the Blood Below the Skin screening
Amelia Rose Towers whose initials spell ART – faces off against an adversary whose initials spell MAN, after passing through surrealistic chambers and screens offering images of a personal identity that can never be reconciled. Camp, baroque, decadently theatrical, with a distinctly Warholian rap on the soundtrack, Amelia Rose Towers is filled with an acute atmosphere of fear and loathing, and a suitably perverse ethic of survival. – Adrian Martin
DCP Courtesy of AFTRS and Jackie Farkas
A Million Miles Away
Jennifer Reeder | 2014, 29 minutes Part of the Blood Below the Skin screening
An adult woman (the conductor) on the edge of failing and a pack of teenage girls (the choir) simultaneously experience a supernatural version of coming-of-age. The transformation is equal parts tense and tender. It unravels patiently to the infectious beat of an 80s era heavy metal anthem rearranged as a lamentation.
DCP Courtesy of Jennifer Reeder
A River Twice
Audrey Lam | 2017, 15 minutes Screens as part of Half Moon Screening
A father and his daughter plan a sailing trip; his daughter sails down a creek alone. Lam’s latest short is a miracle of contemplative dovetailing editing, as present, narration, conversation and the past become one.
HD Courtesy of Audrey Lam
Blood Below the Skin
Jennifer Reeder | 2015, 33 minutes Part of the Blood Below the Skin screening
This musical narrative chronicles a week in the lives of three teenage girls, from different social circles, who form a bond in the week leading up to the school dance. Countdown to prom night is actually countdown to irreversible change for each girl. Two of the girls are falling in love with each other against all expectations, and the third girl is forced to mother her own mother in the wake of her father’s disappearance. Each girl seeks comfort within the walls of her bedroom where the music blasting from the turntable provides a magical synchronicity between them all.
DCP Courtesy of Jennifer Reeder
Brouillard – passage #14
Alexandre Larose | 2013, 10 minutes Screens as part of Half Moon Screening
Filmed by repeatedly walking along the same path, exposing each trip over the same roll of film, Larose has transformed his journey from family backyard to Lac Saint-Charles into a radiant depiction of memory—a vision of sparkling impressionistic intensity.
HD Courtesy of Light Cone
Natalie Erika James | 2016, 10 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
While a young woman helps her father pack up his house, they are both increasingly aware of the presence that they always knew was there.
DCP Courtesy of Natalie Erika James
The Devil Wears a Suit
Eli Mak | 2017, 20 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
Devil Wears a Suit is a confronting high-concept drama/scifi about a Jewish boy who must decide whether to ‘cure’ his homosexuality with an injection or be ostracised from his community forever.
DCP Courtesy of Eli Mak
Alice Waddington | 2015, 12 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
An infernal civil servant is on a mission to rescue her boss. But the Devil is not ready to get back to her daily routine.
DCP Courtesy of Marvin&Wayne
The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography
William E. Jones | 1998, 19 minutes Screens prior to The Human Surge
Every image in The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography comes from gay erotic videos produced in Eastern Europe since the introduction of capitalism. These images, harvested from the non-explicit opening sequences of such videos, provides a glimpse of young men responding to the pressures of an unfamiliar world, one in which money, power and sex are now connected.
DCP Courtesy of William E. Jones and David Kordansky Gallery
Bjargey Ólafsdóttir | 1998, 4 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
A psychological thriller about an ambitious dentist with nothing on her mind but teeth and dentistry, a callous woman who seems to be living in her own world.
DCP Courtesy of Bjargey Ólafsdóttir
Lucy Gouldthorpe | 2015, 6 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
Online dating sucks, literally. Why we don’t want impossible monsters to keep up-to-date with modern technology.
DCP Courtesy of Lucy Gouldthorpe
I Know Where I’m Going
Ben Rivers | 2009, 29 minutes Screens as part of Half Moon Film Screening
“What would be left of human action, human traces, human constructions, human buildings and wider ripple effects of humans after that length of time…assuming, that humans disappear in the geologically near future.”
A fragmented road trip through Britain on the peripheries. Down empty roads, off in the wilderness, a few lone stragglers. My first stop was with Jan Zalasiewisz, a geologist who had been trying to imagine the Earth in one-hundred million years, which seemed like as good a start as any.
HD Courtesy of LUX
Bjargey Ólafsdóttir | 1998, 4 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
Jean uses abstract sequences to indicate the ambiguous emotions of the narrator, an ex-lover who recounts his relationship with Jean: from falling in love to being totally possessed by jealousy.
DCP Courtesy of Bjargey Ólafsdóttir
Radheya Jegatheva| 2016, 8 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
Alone in space, an astronaut drifts through the empty void. After finding another astronaut in the same predicament, she gives him a polaroid image of the Earth.
They then team up to go on an epic journey across the universe to return to their planet. Will these star-crossed lovers find home?
DCP Courtesy of Radheya Jegatheva
Lara Gissing| 2017, 10 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
Set in rural Victoria, a young couple goes camping in an attempt to salvage their relationship. Is this what they really want?
DCP Courtesy of Lara Gissing
Michael Thomas | 2016, 12 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
Kyle, a young boy is up late watching old movies on TV when a burglar breaks into the house…The burglar and Kyle slowly form a bond, and a true friendship. Only for some darker secrets to come to the forefront.
DCP Courtesy of Michael Thomas
The King’s Body
João Pedro Rodrigues | 2012, 32 minutes Part of the free Historical Bodies screening
What would it look like, the body of Dom Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, tutelary figure, subject to successive mythifications throughout Portuguese history? Or, João Pedro Rodrigues (QFF2017 The Ornithologist) holds a casting call for body builders to play the role of King Afonso, making them recite what they know of the King, his life, and then their lives—creating an acute series of portraits of life under contemporary Portuguese austerity.
DCP Courtesy of AGÊNCIA – Portuguese Short Film Agency
The Junk Shop
Juraj Herz | 1965, 31 minutes Screens prior to The Cremator
A black ribald comedy about a man surviving working in a junk shop.
Shot in the very junk shop where author and co-scenarist Bohumil Hrabal worked for seven years, Herz’s exuberant Pearls of the Deep episode heralded a singular new talent.
DCP Courtesy of National Film Archive in Prague
Mia Forrest | 2017, 13 minutes Screens prior to Grace, Who Waits Alone
Two women traverse around one another in a motel; a guest retiring to leisure, and a housekeeper resisting it. A study of the quotidian details of two womens’ contrasting lives.
DCP Courtesy of Mia Forrest
L’Oiseau de la Nuit
Marie Losier | 2015, 20 minutes Screens prior to The Ornithologist
Mysterious portrait of Fernando, aka Deborah Krystal, the glittering and poetic performer of the Lisbon club Finalmente, where he has been performing every night over 30 years in golden dresses. Under the layers of his colorful fabrics, the many skins of Fernando are revealed, letting Lisbon’s legends come to life. Alternately woman mermaid, female birds, woman lion, we are taken into the desires and dreams of metamorphosis and myths.
DCP Courtesy of Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency
Lost My Head
Bjargey Ólafsdóttir | 1998, 9 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
A drama following a wife, who after getting what she had always hoped for, persists in contemplating her relationship with her husband.
DCP Courtesy of Bjargey Ólafsdóttir
Malena Szlam | 2013, 5 minutes Screens as part of Half Moon Screening
Lunar observations shot frame-by-frame and long exposures on hand processed 16mm Ektachrome film create a chronicle of the lunar phases. Through their layering, the filmmaker emphasizes that the observer, burdened by memory and changing frames of view, moves along a non-linear time-plane.
HD Courtesy of Malena Szlam
Thien Nguyen| 2017, 11 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
In a desperate attempt to search for peace in their relationship, Jean and Anna justify the nature and the core reason of their intoxicated liaison. Inspired by the famous biblical figure, Marie de Magdala, Ma Madeleine explores the concept of human sexual, emotional nature and love.
DCP Courtesy of Thien Nguyen
Natpwe: The Feast of the Spirits
Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel | 2013, 31 minutes Part of the free Ecstasy in Film and Editing Panel
In Natpwe, the Feast of the Spirits, co-directors Champassak and Dubrel have produced an immersive, seemingly timeless document of an annual Burmese trance ritual that dates back to the eleventh century. Shot in Super 8 and 16mm in sooty black and white, the film conveys the astonishing sense of liberation of tens of thousands of bodies and minds — a mass expression of faith, but also an ecstatic rapturous respite from societal intolerance.
DCP Courtesy of Tiane Doan na Champassak and Jean Dubrel
The Oil Spill
Blair McMillan | 2017, 14 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
In the wake of an oil spill, an office worker must deny his firm’s culpability, while dealing with a mysterious black substance that leaks from his nose and mouth.
DCP Courtesy of Blair McMillan
On the Dragon’s Flake
Ivo M. Ferreira | 2012, 23 minutes Part of the free Historical Bodies screening
A reporter and a camera operator from a Macau TV channel embark on a journey to the south of China in order to unravel the sinking of a 12th century Chinese junk, contemporary of the sinking of Don Fuas Roupinho’s galley, admiral of the fleet of Dom Afonso Henriques, First King of Portugal.
HD Courtesy of AGÊNCIA – Portuguese Short Film Agency
Emily Avilia | 2017, 8 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
In a beachside tourist town, the body of a fifteen-year-old girl is found in a cane field. Her murder is a mystery that envelops the community as those close to the girl grapple with death, in all its senselessness.
DCP Courtesy of Cosmia Films
Jennifer Perrott| 2016, 23 minutes Screens as part of Mixed Shorts
When young Ruby’s father returns unexpectedly from war, his volatile state makes it difficult for the family to reconnect. Ruby’s anxieties are projected onto a pair of ravens, vigilantly defending their nearby nest, who become a catalyst for the troubled family’s journey from crisis to healing.
DCP Courtesy of Jennifer Perrott
Giovanni Giaretta | 2017, 9 minutes Screens prior to Rey
A voice-over tells the story of a sailor that dreams of a homeland he has never had; day after day the sailor constructs his new native land shaping it to his imagination. Inspired by Fernado Pessoa’s static drama “The Mariner” the video deals with the notion of what each of us addresses as home and foreign and at the same time with issues related to language and its translation.
DCP Courtesy of artist and Galleria Tiziana di Caro
Sarah Winchester, Phantom Opera
Bertrand Bonello | 2016, 24 minutes Screens prior to Occidental
A baroque meditation on the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, playing like a ballet-cum-horror film; an ornate tapestry of enigmatic images, chilling synths, and traces of a tragic and eccentric life.
Featuring the explosive ballet work of Marie-Agnès Gillot, this astonishing short plays with the notion of incompleteness: an incomplete house, an incomplete film, an incomplete life.
DCP Courtesy of Shortcuts
Solitary Acts #4
Nazli Dinçel | 2015, 8 minutes Part of the Blood Below the Skin screening
She observes popular icons, dismissing the agency of their body, she then rejects the other, objects outside of her body: with some teenage angst, denies climax to everyone else but herself. With Wittnerchrome, Exacto Knife, and Typewriter.
DCP Courtesy of Nazli Dinçel
Gabriel Abrantes | 2014, 23 minutes Part of the free Historical Bodies screening
In this short comedy, Luís Vaz de Camões, the greatest Portuguese renaissance poet, struggles creatively while engaging in a hedonistic, coprophagic, and drug addled lifestyle. Gabriel Abrante’s (QFF2016, Ennui Ennui & The Hunchback) film follows the poet, and his lover Dinamene, as he writes his masterpiece, his epic The Luciads, a fantastic poem that tells of Portugal’s voyages of discovery and colonialism. He travels from the cacophony of the Indic jungles, surrounded by allegorical elephants and rhyming macaques, to the frontier of Heaven and Hell, where he is confronted by his fantasy: fame and immortality.
HD Courtesy of Gabriel Abrantes and Hermaphrodite Films
Gaspard Kuentz | 2015, 27 minutes Screens prior to Brimstone & Glory
Held every October in the city of Matsuyama, the Dogo Autumn Festival is one of the most violent religious festivals celebrated in Japan. Eight teams of men carrying massive portable wood shrines that can weigh up to a ton collide them together in a holy battle, leaving many injured and exhausted.
UZU is an immersive documentary film that focuses on the physical and spiritual experience of the festival from its inside. A thrilling ride into its violence as well as a penetrating glance into its meaning, UZU propounds a unique cinematic experience, between sensory ethnography and “war” reporting.
DCP Courtesy of Gaspard Kuentz
The Wheels on the Bus
Joshua Long | 2016, 10 minutes Screens as part of Horror Shorts
A bus breaks down in the North Korean countryside. The two drivers must put their differences aside and overcome a series of setbacks to get their bus back up and running and cargo delivered on time.
DCP Courtesy of Joshua Long
The Wold Shadow
Stan Brakhage | 1972, 3 minutes Screens as part of Half Moon Screening
A stand of birches. Sunlight brightens and dims, revealing more or less of the woods. A little grass is on the forest floor. Something green is out of focus. The light flashes, and the screen goes dark from time to time. We look up close at the bark of trees. Is the god of the forest to be seen?
HD Courtesy of NFSA
Woman with an Editing Bench
Karen Pearlman | 2016, 24 minutes Screens as part of the free Karen Pearlman Editing Masterclass
Inspired by the woman who edited Man with a Movie Camera (1929), Woman with an Editing Bench reveals the personal impact of Stalin’s censorship of cinema on a woman navigating politics, bureaucracy and the impetuous outbursts of collaborators to create something beautiful despite the odds.
HD Courtesy of Physical TV
Image: Alexandre Larose’s Brouillard – passage #14