Phoenix Film Festival 2017: Live Action Shorts A

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This collection of films was featured on Monday, April 10 during the Live Action Shorts A block.

Shy Guys

You ever have problems peeing in public? I don’t. Except maybe when there’s no walls between urinals. That Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry holds up the construction of the restaurant because of that is my spirit animal. As a matter of fact, that whole show was written with me in mind. But that’s not what this is about, what Shy Guys is about is two like-minded gentleman who meet at a urinal because they both have problems peeing in public. While I can’t relate, I know people who do and it was still pretty hysterical to watch these two gentleman interact with one another at the urinal.

A Beautiful Day

This one tells the story of an older gentleman who lives by himself and is a diabetic. On this beautiful day he decides that he’s had enough with that and through a conversation with his landscaper that he has a plan for the day. Through an adventure to his regular watering hole and a conversation with an escort that he is fixing to do something drastic. It’s only at the very end to we learn that his daughter is in an abusive relationship and he is on a mission to stop it. It pays off as he fulfills a feeling I’m sure we’ve all felt one way or another.

Swim

One of the coolest parts of going to a film festival is the Q & A’s following the movies. You usually get some sort of insight into the filmmaker’s inspiration and motivation, and I learned through that that this one was autobiographical. A young boy is teased at a pool party about not wanting to get in the pool, only to later steal his mom’s swim suit in the middle of the night and take a dive wearing it. The mom knows something is amiss, but at the end we get to see a neat transition as the boy dives into the pool and emerges as an adult after her transformation.

The Retriever

This a neat little snippet of a movie about basically one of the many background characters you see in mob movies. Just a general mob laborer tasked with retrieving a finger from a body that they had buried in the woods. It was fun to get a peek at what goes on their minds when conducting these menial tasks.

Mine

What would you do if you stepped on a land mine? Me? I’d probably run and hope I make it before it explodes. Probably not though. In an unnamed war-torn middle-eastern country the main character is about to find out exactly what he needs to do when this happens. Why a single land mine in is the middle of a tight canyon I don’t know, but it’s actually a problem that plagues the rest of the world.

Miriam’s Balloons

At the Q & A I learned that the director wanted this to me like a visual poem. For all intents and purposes, I think he pulled it off. It’s a somewhat non-linear story, with minimal dialogue, about a young girl who made friends with another young girl who is dying. She is able to detect balloons which are attached to everyone and that are essentially their life force. Knowing that her friend is about to run out of balloons she goes around clipping everyone else’s balloons to prolong her life, but unfortunately that’s not how things work.

The Babysitter Murders

So I’ve been watching a lot of older movies lately. I blame this new podcast I’ve been listening to, and this one started out like so many obscure VHS movies we used to have, so it was clear these filmmakers took some nostalgic cues when crafting this. It’s set up like a typical babysitter in trouble plot, but it turns into so much more with interesting visuals, dialogue, and a nice little cringe worthy twist. It is actually part of an episodic movie called The Mortuary Collection that the filmmakers are trying to get made, if the rest are as enjoyable as this I will be first in line to view the final product.

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Jim Lincoln (The Film Department)

A man of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. Writer of things. Watcher of stuff. Quoter of movies. Master of puppets.

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