Shorts Block 2 – Review

Posted January 19, 2009 in
Shorts Block 2

Vapid Lovelies
Directed by Frank Feldman

Gaysploitation (though not exactly a real word)seems appropriate vocabulary here. I've never been especially tickled by brazenly gay humor, Birdcage being one exception, but Salt Lake's own fashionistas Chris Lemon and David Luna had the audience, including myself, in absolute stitches. What started as a short bit on KRCL’s radio show “Now For This,? has grown into the hands-down funniest and gayest thing you’re likely to see at the festivals this year. The bit never gets stale and I was continually surprised by all the characters’ deft comedic timing. Yes, it’s about BFFs searching for a fur coat - but don’t be too hasty to judge: this comic gem delivers.

Funny Guy
Directed by Frank R. Rinaldi

This is affecting material that’ll never see national exposure, regardless of its brilliance - it’s the kind of thing we go to film festivals for. Funny Guy is definitely on the bleeding edge of dark comedy: I gasped, I laughed, I winced, I feared, and each in pretty much equal proportion. Creator Frank R. Rinaldi weaves pity, wild-eyed desperation, and a palatable sense of dread into every minute of this film. A competent all around production, most impressive was Rinaldi’s tight control over the tone of every moment - he sends you sprinting from end to end of your emotional scale until you’re doubled over and out of breath.

Noise (Shor)
Directed by Raj Nidimoru

Easily the most professionally photographed and directed of the films with which it was screened, Shor is an honest and humorous narrative. Set against a striking background that alone tells half the story, this film follows the adventures of three friends, a bag of explosives, an impatient and shady businessman, and one fearless little boy with terrible timing. This short film has a complete and satisfying story arc, and manages to close with a moral to boot.

Directed by Peggy Bruen

A series of black and white body landscapes that speak to sexual deviance and sexual humor, Diversions is a bit of a mixed bag. As a viewer, I’m always ready to engage the metaphorical, but I gotta say, sometimes a vagina sundae is just a vagina sundae, nothing more. Though it was pegged as avant-garde - and each scene in Diversions is undeniably original - the film as a whole felt more like an attempt at the avant-garde “genre?, rather than an attempt at something original that becomes labeled avant-garde by virtue of its creative success. The often silly soundtrack invites the viewer to find humor in each scene of what-the-fuck-ery, which ultimately is the film’s saving grace. After all, if you’re not supposed to chuckle at oral sex with a juicy porterhouse, what are you supposed to do?
-Jesse Hawlish