With the shorts programs just being announced for this year’s FANTASTIC FEST coming up later this month in Austin, we have a chance to look into some of what played last year to great acclaim.
First up is THE QUIET GIRLS GUIDE TO VIOLENCE — a 15 minute short co-written and directed by Rafael Antonio Ruiz. I missed this last year, but made friends with Rafael despite this.
His full-length film HOLY HELL was the first film available in its entirety via iPad via chapter-downloads and came out in January of this year.
This film has a nice slow-burn build to it, that most shorter shorts (you know what I mean) don’t get the time to do, and it pays off nicely. Holly – a nerdy quiet girl decides one Christmas to take revenge on some childhood bullies the best way she knows how, Al Capone-style.
The story was co-written by the film’s star, Jennymarie Jemison, who will next be seen in soon-to-be indie cult hit ZERO CHARISMA.
Holly is a shy girl who works at a library and a coffee shop, and Jennymarie plays her a bit detached from everything… the kind of person you have to say things twice to in order to make sure they understood what you said. It’s a bit reminiscent of Angela Bettis’ turn in Lucky McKee’s MAY, to me, and that’s not a bad thing. Some performance-art references to Karen Finley made me laugh, but the rest of the film is not really funny; unless revenge as a dish served very cold makes you hungry. It’s those quiet girls you have to watch out for after all…
Next up is POSTHUMAN, the sci-fi animated short that packs a wallop into just under six minutes. Find my previous article about it here . Voiced by BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’S own post-human Cylon, Tricia Helfer, this will make you long for the rest of the story, and an additional 90 minutes to tell it in. So go to the site and clicky-click on the film that’s been accepted to twenty-five different film festivals in the past year, winning Best Animated Short at five of them.
Okay — now that your whistle is wet for cool, kick-ass short films — You can go here to see the full line-up of what is coming to Fantastic Fest. I love the shorts programs. Watching them lets me see like 30 movies at once and at FF they are not only programmed before most features, but have animated and horror-themed screenings as well.
Lastly we’ve got Cameron McCulloch’s THE TEA PARTY – a twisted and fun little short about a princess meeting her Prince Charming at last– though, he has no idea what he’s getting into. If you like inappropriate language coming from puppets and/or sex with the same this is for you. I won’t judge. It reminded me a bit of the episode of ANGEL wherein he became a muppety version of himself. It’s one of the first times you’re probably going to think, “That Wolf is a real dick…”
THE TEA PARTY was also at Fantastic Fest 2012 as part of their comedy block. For those more horror-minded (or zombie-themed) — check out McCulloch’s excellent short film HOME as well. He’s currently working on a documentary on the opposite of a Cat Lady — called Cat Men.
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H. Blain is hella excited to be going back to Fantastic Fest in the 100+ degree heat, and will try to cram in as much cinema as her noggin will allow. You can find her on the tweety @MediaTsarina.