Monday, July 25, 2011

KC Fringe "Best of IFC Short Films" review by Rabid_Reviewer

Fun Films, Few Flaws
Rating: 3

Best of IFC Short Films
KC Fringe Festival

To be fair, I was late coming to the IFC short films, so I can only speak to the last half of the presentation.  This fringe show consists of several short films created by local filmmakers and the quality of each film varies.  The films I saw shared two things in common:

1.  The concept of each piece was refreshingly imaginative.
2.  The pacing was a bit slow.

As a general note, I would say, tighten up the editing.  I frequently found my mind wandering as I would look at a beautifully set up shot, then wonder to myself, "What has this got to do with the movie?"

When I judge editing decisions, I base it on the principle of "am I compelled to watch this?"  If the answer is yes, the editing is good.  If the answer is no, the editing needs work.  Using that principle, I would say that most of the films I saw could do with a much tighter edit, whether that means removing whole scenes or simply shortening the gaps between cuts depends on the director's style.

I came in the middle of A Good Crease, so I will limit myself to saying the dialogue felt stilted because of the pauses between the actors' exchanges.  (See what I mean about the editing?)

Working Blues seemed to meander through the lives of two working-class friends who lost their jobs and tried to find a new one.  Unfortunately, this short failed to hold my attention because I found the dialogue to be difficult to understand and I was not particularly sympathetic to the plight of the characters.

Pro Choice had a predictable ending, but it was still a bright and funny reprieve to the darkness of the earlier piece.  The actors in this piece did an extremely good job portraying their characters.  The in-joke felt a bit forced.

AB Trailer was awesome.  I want to see this movie.

A Brush With Life started off compellingly with a strange man working on a painting.  There was no dialogue for the first half of the film, so when a character actually spoke, it was a bit jarring.  The concept of the piece was clear, but at times I felt that some of the scenes went on longer than necessary.  The message of the piece was applied rather heavily.  I understood the motive for his painting, but I began to wonder why I should care.  The main character had an odd physical quirkiness that I really liked.

4:30 was very cute and very quick.  The ending was slightly anti-climactic and the leading lady could have done a bit more to make me believe her emotional state was real, rather than simply letting the dialogue do the work.

Works in Progress was intriguing, the cinematography great.  That's it.

Terminal started with a statement that this was only a rough cut.  I thought the performances were very well done, but the negative comments I had will have to wait until the final cut is completed.  The scenes and the order of their appearance were disjointed, the emotions did not ring true for me, but I say again, this could simply be due to the fact that it is not yet finished.

Overall, the concepts being shown are worth seeing.  The execution of those concepts would benefit from a bit more fine tuning.  Definitely worth a look, but not quite a must-see.

No comments:

Post a Comment