Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IndieLisboa'12: "Cat Cradle" and other shorts

Cat Cradle (2012) was one of the most interesting Portuguese films I've seen in quite a while - possibly since Viagem a Portugal (2011), at the last edition of the festival. I now regret having not watched Blood of My Blood (2011) yet, for the 57-minute short film I saw today was a truly, sincere, genuine, socially relevant approach to the life of a girl in a poor neighborhood. Written and directed by Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra, it is a hybrid take on the life of a teenage mother - her daughter, her friends, her routines, the imprisoned father of the child, her family, the whole social context. Joana Santos is herself on the movie, providing the drama both with its documental structure, pacing and events and with a huge emotional drainage, voraciously credible and accurate dialogue and very funny moments. A character study of how to carry on with the days by assuming joy instead of pamphleteer the mourning.

Les Dimanches (2011), by Jean-Guillaume Bastien, only works as a documentary, which is not how it is classified. And it does work well, indeed. It shows us the way a handful of people go through the typical boring Sunday, with a special intonation on going to church. There's an amazing scene of this opera playing on a red-lit turned-on dish-washing machine, as imagined by a kid. What felt great about it was the little situations that suddenly aroused for each of the characters. What I missed was the rest. You know, suddenly that was not a normal Sunday for anyone and I would've liked to see what would expect each one of them afterwards. Belly (2011), a 7-minute animated short by Julia Pott, is a bizarre imaginative tale of three man-mashed-with-animal creatures going to the beach and to the bottom of the sea. There were also Juku (2011), by Kiro Russo, and Afrikka (2012), by Katti Harju.

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