Review: Aesthetica Short Film Festival, day three

Ian ColeIn his review of the final day of the mini movie marathon Ian J Cole dishes out a last helping of brickbats and bouquets

 

The day started with a nice motorcycle ride into York on this last morning of the festival. My plan was to start at the New School House Gallery with an Artist screening.

Unlike last year, when I picked specific films I wanted to see, this year I chose at random one of the screenings for each genre (I only missed Experimental and the screenings for specific countries).

When I got to Micklegate hill the traffic was gridlocked through town. This could have been because of the Remembrance service or because no cars are allowed across Lendal Bridge.

After about an hour winding my way across the city I arrived at the School House Gallery and settled into an armchair with a pair of headphones to watch Artist Film Screening 2.

asff-black-box-recorder

Black Box Recorder by Abinadi Meza was the first film I watched. This is an experimental film based on found film footage and feels very much like a student project. I quite liked it but ultimately felt unmoved by the piece.

Ian’s rating: ★★

Next up was Emma Charles’ Fragments On Machines which according to the ASFF programme “reveals the physical framework and materiality of the internet and explores its connection to the evolution of architecture and economics in the city”. I didn’t get that but I quite liked the views of New York and the huge server rooms that control computer networks.

Ian’s rating: ★★

asff-ma

Ma by Imran Perretta was third and this film follows her grandmother as she reflects on the loss of her daughter (Imran’s Mother) this is a lovely, sad, poignant film told beautifully by Imran’s Bengali grandmother.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

Intrusion by Natalie Plaskura is a surreal mismatched jumble of scenes that are just plain weird – I loved it, especially all the stuffed animals and I didn’t feel so bad about missing the Experimental section as this was definitely out there.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

asff-not-clear-cut

The penultimate film in this screening was by Paul Turano. Not Clear Cut is a beautiful film involving a voice over conversation with the filmmaker’s father about the heart-breaking decision to harvest 70-year-old hardwood trees in an attempt to make up for money lost from the recent financial crisis

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

asff-paced

The last film was Paced by Stephen Chen, a multi-screened mess of moving images changing every ten seconds whereby I ended up counting to 10 a lot.

Ian’s rating: ★

 

I had decided to pop into White Stuff to watch a few pop videos before heading to Kings Manor to watch some animations but it was full as it was showing all of the screenings from the Micklegate Bar Museum which was closed because of ice on the bar walls (Health & Safety I guess).

So I took a leisurely walk to Kings Manor and just waited for the films to start in the Animation 2 Screening.

 
Oh Willy… by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels
We find Willy returning to the naturist community where he spent his youth to visit his dying mother. In confused sadness, he flees to the forest, finding motherly protection in a big, gentle beast. This is funny and sad piece but be warned there is a lot of nudity.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

 
Ed by Gabriel Garcia
A confusing mismatch of a story that was hard to follow and understand so couldn’t tell you what it is about.

Ian’s rating: ★

 
Darkness by Benjael Halfmaderholz

The story of a carnival strongman who makes a chance discovery which brings back memories of a departed friend and subsequently transports him along on an out-of-this-world trip.

Ian’s rating: ★★

 
Tempest In A Bedroom by Laurence Arcadias and Juliette Marchand
Weird animated pornography and I still can’t believe the ending.

Ian’s rating: ★

 
Ctrl by Matt Waruszynski
A delightful daft movie where office worker Graham learns there is a fine line between having no control and having too much and that the copy and paste function on a computer keyboard is king.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

 
The Nether Regions by Maria Lee
We meet the Devil (voiced by Brian Blessed) who is surprisingly likeable in this funny movie about his visit to a massage parlour.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

 
Next at Kings Manor was Thriller Screening 2 so I decided to stay put…

 
The Black Scholes Conspiracy by Tim Bassford
A cracking good thriller set in the high-pressure world of global finance it could have been a major full length movie – so good it wasn’t long enough.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

 
Pro Kopf by Sascha Zimmerman

A bored businessman makes a phone call home only for his maid to reveal a shocking discovery about his wife and her fidelity – a really good short film with a nice twist at the end

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

 
Inertia by James Moffett

Just torture as for ten minutes an army deserter decides to take his own life then he doesn’t, and then he does, then he… You get the picture – I just wish he’d done the job in the first frame.

Ian’s rating: ★

 
Juaritos by HF Crum

A good thriller with a few holes in the story – from the depths of Juarez’s brutal drug war, a narcoblogger fights back to expose the gangs that are murdering his town. However, sooner or later he must venture outside and when he does he pops down the supermarket to buy a four-pack of Red Bull (oh please…)

Ian’s rating: ★★★

 
Shackled by Nour Wazzi

A five–minute psychological thriller in which Malu is held captive by a circus (we’re not sure why) and rescued from her shackles by her husband Jesse. As she anxiously waits in the darkness for her chance to escape, a disturbing memory she’s hidden away keeps her on edge. Malu is played by award winning actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys in Game Of Thrones).

Ian’s rating: ★★

 
The Whole Picture by Louis Lagayette

An interesting look at three people who appear to have nothing in common and plays with our preconceived ideas of what is going on and who we think these characters are.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

 
And that’s it… See you next year.