short film review

Reviews and news about short films, short film festivals, reviews, links and guides to short films online,images from short films,directors,writers,cinemaphotographers. Copyright 2005, 2006 by Allan Maurer. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shorts Programs Can be Tops

A number of critics and many viewers have said for years that documentaries are often the best films at Sundance and many another festival.

These days, we often find that festival shorts programs are among their strongest offerings and sometimes far outdo the features in creativity, production values, cinematography and other qualities. This weekend, the "Nevermore Horror Film Festival" in Durham, NC, presented a number of intriquing features, but the programmers themselves admitted the shorts program equaled if not bettered the features lineup.

Horror and sci-fi shorts often work better than other genres, or it could be we're just prejudiced toward those genres generally. In any case, "Feast of Souls," "Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day," and "The Last Piece Standing," entertained and amused me and my journalist colleagues as much as any feature at Nevermore.

"The Big Thing," was nominated for a Genie Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars, for best live action short. It is lusciously shot and won a slew of festival awards. You can buy a copy here's the site: The BIG Thing.

I was impressed by the feature work of Andrew van den Houten, director and producer of "Headspace." Although this is his first feature, he did something like 15 short films prior to "Headspace," and I'm going to see if any are out there, because I'd sure like to see them.

"Headspace" had the added attraction of honest-to-movies stars: Olivia Hussey, William Atherton, Udo Kier, and Sean Young. Orson Welles and John Cassevettes used to maintain that performances were more central to the success or failure of a movie than direction, and in many cases, I'm inclined to agree with them. "Headspace" has good performances thoughout and not just by the established stars.


  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Dom said…

    Hello! My name is Dom Zook, I produced "Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day." I'm glad you enjoyed it. We're working on a feature that contains a lot of the same elements that we think cooks just as well as "Snow Day". Be on the look out for "Plight of the Living Dead" in 2008! Thanks again for the kind words.


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