We caught a block of Drama short films on Wednesday evening, the first night of the Dam Short Film Festival.
We’re ashamed to admit that we had never been to the Boulder Theatre before. It’s exactly the sort of thing that’s sorely lacking here in the valley; good for a field trip in any case. Here’s a recap of the first night:
Drama D: Emotional Baggage
Baggage: 10 minutes
Directed by Ivan Kander
Shot in a faux airport check-in desk where patrons are literally “checking-in” their emotional baggage. Some nice filming techniques (dirty singles, consistent 180° lines) were used, but ultimately the acting was unconvincing (director Ivan Kander admitted to the crew taking double-duty). The consistent use of a typeface was appreciated though.
Static: 11 minutes
Directed by Mel Miskell
This Australian student film was beautifully shot, seemingly on 16mm. The lighting and grading was beautiful and dramatic. A young 20-something is both emotionally distraught and haunted by the recent reconnection with an ex. The story is very loose, focusing more on the imagery and less on the incredibly noisy sound production. It’s ultimately like watching an 11-minute perfume commercial.
Beyond Belief: 19 minutes
Directed by William Stribling
The easy takeaway winner, Beyond Belief was also a student film (NYU). The difference here was a focus on storytelling, overall production quality, and a veteran journeyman actor to help reel it in. It highlights the life of a down
and out magician. Along with his assistant, the protagonist endures the humiliation of living life as a wash out, but his skill of turning heartbreak into moments of playful wonder help turn the surprisingly intricate plot on its head. Even more surprising is the short’s snappy dialogue and aesthetic quality. Our tokens weren’t the only one’s dropping into this film’s voting box.
Too Late Now: 10 minutes
Directed by Kelly Young-Silverman
This film was exemplary of the category (drama) with jarring emotional family dysfunction at it’s heart. The dark and brooding quality of the lighting and production really placed you inside the bar and sleazy motel room it was filmed in. An emotionally scared daughter takes revenge on a parent in a twisted act that ends bleakly, though less shockingly than originally intended.
Stage of Mind: 12 minutes
Directed by Robbie Vicencio
A confusion fusion of genres, Stage of Mind offers a brief and bizarre plotline with little dialogue and too much dancing and singing a la Cop Rock.
ArtsVegas: Covering Las Vegas Art and culture since 2009.