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Monday, January 20, 2014

Slamdance Shorts: Feature 1

A still from "Meet My Rapist"Courtesy of Jessie Kahnweiler
I am now covering the 20th annual Slamdance Film Festival.  Last year's festival introduced us to such brilliant films as The Dirties and Bible Quiz.  This year, I will be featuring reviews of shorts and features, so to kick off coverage, here are some brief reviews of three excellent shorts that are playing the festival.

"Meet My Rapist" - Jessie Kahnweiler's "Meet My Rapist" tells the story of a woman (Kahnweiler) who meets her rapist in a farmer's market years later and learns how to get over him.  What makes this short so brilliant is its gutsiness.  Rape is obviously a serious topic, but Kahnweiler turns the post-rape experience into a cathartic and funny journey.  Ms. Kahnweiler is a comedienne to watch out for - she reminds me in all the best ways of Sarah Silverman.  She realizes that the best comedy comes from pain and takes full advantage of this.

"R/B/G" - Alejandro Peña's singularly wacky short, "R/B/G" seems to be a comment on the media's saturation with violence (and everything bad in general) and its ability to drive someone insane.  Featuring an assaultive sound design (I mean that in the best way), a surreal production design, and some impressive VFX and editing, this film is an experience to watch, further highlighting the wonders one can create on an extremely limited budget.

"Pink and Baby Blue" - Catrin Hedström's moving "Pink and Baby Blue" tells the story of a transgendered woman, Kim, who must decide whether to enter the men's or women's bathroom.  With fluid cinematography and some surreal lighting, Hedstrom accomplishes something impressive - she creates a moving human story set in a highly stylized world.  This is a very interesting film that highlights a dilemma many people must face daily.

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