This week there is a short film festival taking place in Regensburg (by which I mean a festival of short films). There are a number of prizes to be awarded in a few categories: international, German and Brazilian films; films about Bavaria, eastern Bavaria, Germany in the 1970s, communication; dance films; and films about love of the cinema.
Yesterday I went to see the 2nd collection of international films. There were eight of them altogether:
- Per lei e me (Swiss Italian: For her and me). A rather hard to understand film about a woman whose boyfriend (who doesn’t actually appear) wants her to be him. So we see her wearing a greasepaint moustache and taking a piss standing up. Don’t ask me, I didn’t direct it.
- Was ich noch sagen wollte (Austrian: What I just wanted to say). A very personal film about the director’s relationship with his aunt, a nun, who helped bring him up and who, later in his life, sent lots of letters to him without reply. Touching, and certainly different.
- 1 clé pour 2 (Belgian French: 1 key for 2). A couple come home from holiday and find they’ve forgotten their keys. They argue. Sounds pretty prosaic but it turns out in fact to be a very intelligent film about their relationship. Very close camerawork — the actors might well have shot it themselves.
- La révolution des crabes (French: The crab revolution). A cartoon about those little crabs you find at the beach that snotty kids like pulling the legs off of — species Pachygrapsus mormatus (“Depressed crab”). Their main characteristic is that they are incapable of turning. Strange but very funny French humour. (Edit: YouTube link, unfortunately with no subtitles)
- Most látszom, most nem látszom (Hungarian: Now you see me, now you don’t). A rather schmalzy film about a boy whose father tests his new invisibility drug on him. Rather poor acting and a total overuse of music.
- Optinen ääni (Finnish: Optical sound). A recital of Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers. Yes, you read that right. Sadly dot matrix printers don’t make very good musical instruments — their dynamic and tonal range is not very big. Actually, it reminded my somewhat of Gimbo’s music, except that this sounded somewhat like 6 minutes of fingernails scraping on a blackboard, whereas Gimbo’s stuff is actually fairly pleasant.
- Ces aléas-la (French, [Edit: something like “those risks”]). 3 minutes about a comically unlucky woman. Not much more to it than that really.
- 2+2=5 (Spanish). Set in a town populated with mentally disabled people. The protagonist escapes from prison (having been banged up as a result of his apple addiction) and is pursued by his inmates, a group of clowns. Utterly mad, but rather funny.
It was certainly a refreshing change to see all these low budget films — instead of lobbing money at them, the directors have to actually write a good script and use skill to make it work.