By Cody Clark
When most people think of Sundance, it's the feature-length films
that spring readily to mind. But there's a thriving Sundance
subculture of short films, most notably including the festival's six
Short Program presentations, and the 31 submissions presently hosted
at the Sundance Online Film Festival. Most of the Short Program
selections won't be screened for media members until Saturday, but
more than a few of the shorts that have people talking aren't even
in that group.
We speak of what you might call the "short shorts," the cinematic
snippets that go off like a joy buzzer in front of select feature
films and documentaries. The mini-documentaries tend to run longer,
but the short shorts that screen ahead of such films as Pieces of
April and Bookies usually have running times under eight
minutes (well under, in some cases). There's probably no other place
to see these than at another film festival, which is a shame. We'd
drop at least the price of a DVD for any compilation that included
the following five:
1) Wilfred (directed by Tony Rogers) — Boy meets girl,
then meets girl's "dog," Wilfred. Is sex with Sara worth the cost of
sharing nachos, a DVD, and the bathroom with Wilfred?
2) A Ninja Pays Half My Rent (directed by Steven K.
Tsuchida) — We didn't think the movie itself could make us laugh any
harder than just reading its title. Then "pass the syrup" taught us
the error of our ways.
3) Devil Talk (directed by Illeana Douglas) — Even Satan
hates making the obligatory phone call to mom.
4) Tim Tom (directed by Christel Pougeoise and Romain
Segaud) — Miniature men with flipchart noggins persevere in their
quest to shake hands.
5) 72 Virgins (directed by Uri Bar-on) — The solution to
peace in the Middle East is right before our eyes. Or should we say
"before our mouths."