I LOVE YOU AND ALL YOUR LITTLE FILMS
February 3, 2023
Ah, Cafe Amour; it’s a nice little art event here in Lincoln Park’s own main building. One of the main attractions of this previously L.A.V.A. event was short films by a group of mainly media seniors. I went there to get out in the field and run around like a chicken with no head for an hour and a half.
That’s right! I’m reviewing the short films. These short films were built on French New Wave, a type of movie that emerged in the 1950s that rejected the style of the time. Basically, it is the “edgy French movies” that goth teenagers watch in children’s cartoons.
When Sam Moose said the short film “Genny and Emma” had a shocking twist, I was not expecting a twist THIS shocking. Holy guacamole, nothing prepares you for this. It starts out cute with some nice music. It’s just two friends meeting up at a cafe. Then BAM! It ends with a bang; that’s for sure. This is a pretty good movie. Although, I feel like the editing for the final scene could have been more ironed out, but it ended up bringing some light to the situation, and I enjoyed that. Death is closely associated with love, and this was a perfect movie to start us out.
“Yellow to Grey no. 11” was an analogue animation, meaning that it was made completely of paper pieces and moved one frame at a time, like stop motion or Lotte Reiniger (famous German silhouette animator). Rowan Curry made a love story through colored backgrounds following these silhouettes through their entire relationship, the meet cute, the loving moments, and the end. It was very good and simple. I knew exactly what was happening, and while I did ask Curry what the film was about before the viewings, I felt like it explained itself. Very good!
“Pomegranate” was the first film that was a collaborative effort by Emma Kish and Zoe Purcell. When I talked to Purcell, I was told to remember “I never get angry enough.” This movie was disturbing, bright, and exuded evil vibes in a good way. When I talked to one of the main actresses, Frances Huffman, she told me that it was about cheating. The pomegranate represented the non-cheating character knowing and how that tears them apart inside. This movie was spectacular, but it was definitely quirky and needed a bit of a follow up. It looked gorgeous.
“Free Trail” by Molly Rose McCaffrey and Lucy Pauchnik was my personal favorite. It was creepy, and I knew it from the first shot, even without the glitches. It was how “Internet” held themselves, always smiling and being stuck straight in their posture. I loved the face of disappointment rather than agony on the other character’s face when the free trial ended. When I talked to one of the creators, Molly Rose McCaffrey, I was told that this one was about online love, and I could see that. The visual effects were awesome, and the acting was perfect, giving a shiny gem of comedy in this mostly depressing lineup of short films.
“Red on Yellow on Blue” was a glimpse into the process of grief and the remaining presence of someone who has left, either through moving on or moving onto the next plane of existence. Ben Smith created a beautiful animation with a good use of sound design. I do feel like I couldn’t quite understand the plot without Smith’s help, and it could use another day in the brainstorm chamber, but other than that, it was pretty good.
“Hot Pink on Grey” was another one of my personal favorites. Molly A. Green and Christina Schaefer created this film and they did an extreme excellent job. Green described this film as giddy love, and Schaefer called it “gay and quirky.” I loved how the color filled the space and combined with the music to create this effect that almost filled me with dread despite it being happy. The theme of the movie focused on being in the closet and hiding, with the movie starting with two people going into a closet and kissing and putting on makeup until they hear a parent figure coming up the stairs and they have to hide everything until they can escape again. It’s really beautiful.
“Splinters” by Simone Martel. From the audience, I heard positive feedback and it was deserved. Martel said this movie depicted moving out and reminiscing about past lovers, and how memories can stick into someone like splinters, and without proper care can get painful. The movie follows a girl packing up her house and as she picks up certain items, she remembers someone who has a special memory connected to these seemingly meaningless items. She ends up finishing packing up and grabs a vase of dead flowers, which could mean that she’s still not letting go. A+ movie.
All in all this was a successful event and a good showcase of excellent cinema created by excellent people.