TIFF 2015: Short Cuts Programme 4

Here is my roundup of reviews from Short Cuts Programme 4, which consisted of seven short films from around the world, which ranged from arctic depths to traveling between dimensions.

Casualties of Modernity
This is a dark comedy taking the form of a hospital soap opera. This involves a cross dressing nurse examining a number of patients representative of various forms of modern art. At the very least this is an interesting commentary on art, even if the presentation is a little off-putting.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 

World Famous Gopher Museum
The Albertan town of Torrington is famous for its gopher museum, featuring various stuffed gophers in a variety of cute poses. This is a very intriguing short documentary about the type of odd tourist trap you are sure to find in any small town. Just don’t think about how they got the gophers into those poses.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 

An animated short involving a pack of dogs. While, Peripheria does have a very interesting rotoscoped animation style, it was not able to hold my interest for the entire running time. It’s still visually intriguing.
 ★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR  

Beyond the Horizon
A short documentary about Parks Canada’s investigation of the wreck of the HMS Erebus. The story of this wreck is undoubtedly an interesting one, but an 8 minute short film is way to short to tell it. I really hope that there is a full length documentary about the HMS Erebus in the future.
 ★ ★ ★ 1/2 | FAIR  

The ghost of a young boy follows a classmate. Featuring a very clever use of double-exposure for the ghostly effects, this short is a touching little drama about the ghost of a boy trying to reconnect with his friend. I liked this one.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 

Beneath the Spaceship
A teenage Swedish girl’s friendship with her older neighbour goes under immense scrutiny from those around them. Beneath the Spaceship asks the question about whether you can maintain a platonic friendship with someone much older than you, even though such a pairing might look creepy to others. This helps to make Beneath the Spaceship a touching little drama.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 

Portal to Hell!!!
Full Disclosure: I donated to this film’s Indiegogo campaign
A grumpy superintendent finds out that a couple of tenants have performed a ritual in the basement and opened a portal to the ancient city of R’lyeh, awakening slumbering god Cthulhu. In what turned out to be the final acting role for late wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Portal to Hell!!! ends up being a hilariously fun horror-comedy, with gory tentacled action. There is a feature film version of Portal to Hell!!! in the works and I wonder how the filmmakers are going to address Roddy Piper’s death, since his involvement is really what make this short work. Altogether, I absolutely ended up loving Portal to Hell!!!, which just makes me more sad that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is no longer with us.
 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ |  LOVED IT  

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).