Shinsedai Cinema Festival: Shorts and Short Programs

In this post I will chime in a bit on the shorts and short programs that I saw at this year’s Shinsedai Cinema Festival.

Short Programs

Enter the Cosmos: Takashi Makino Special
This short program featured three experimental shorts directed by Takashi Makino.  The works here are very reminiscent of the works of Stan Brakhage in the use of colours and movement.  The first short Intimate Stars featured a red colour scheme and images of an amusement park, accompanied by some very jarring music.  Elements of Nothing featured black and white scrambled images of trees, accompanied by some harsh piano music.  Finally In Your Star, included some space command vocals before going into an assortment of scratchy images.  Overall, it was definitely an interesting assortment.
 7 | FAIR  

Beyond Anime: The Outer Limits
I was personally looking forward to this short program, which featured the OTHER types of animation found in Japan. Nearly every type of animation was on display in this compilation, including the oil painting-like visuals of Syasou, the grotesque stop-motion kaleidoscope of Death of Phonebook, and the Ren and Stimpy-like Stinky Winky.  There was also a surprising amount of adult content, including Enchanted Forest, which contrasted the Disney-like visuals with topless tribal women, and Ta-Ta Tosy Tit, which featured a collage of disturbing and sexual imagery, accompanied by heavy metal music.  My favourite (and shortest) of the bunch was the, appropriately titled, short The Straw Girl and the Strange House.  Overall, I enjoyed this entire short program very much.

Pre-Film Shorts
Played before Ringing in Their Ears, this was a trippy little music video that moved through the street of Kyoto.  It was definitely an interesting little short.
 7 | FAIR  

On This Side
The short that played before Hiroshima Nagasaki Download was probably my favourite of the bunch.  It focused on an elderly couple – one who is sick and confined to a wheelchair and the other who takes care of her, but is being to suffer from Parkinson’s.  Even though there is no dialogue in this half hour short, you still get an excellent sense of the story through the actions of the couple.  It was definitely a great little short.

Socrates Excelsa
This short, which preceded Good for Nothing, focuses on the tree of the title, also known as “Walking Trees,” since they have been known to move in their pots.  The film features a girl, who rescues Walking Trees that have been discarded in the woods.  I thought that this was a so-so short.
 7 | FAIR  

The Feet
This short, which played before Tentsuki, is definitely a cute little short about a girl, who is talking to her brother that’s hiding under the bed.  Only the girl’s feet are visible and it’s amazing how much emotion can be conveyed by only foot movement.  I definitely liked this one.
 8 | LIKED IT 

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).