February 19, 2011

Notes From BIFF 2011: Shorts Program One. ~ René Cousineau

Various shots from the films showing in Shorts Program One (from the BIFF program)

An elephant’s response to the first round of short films.

The Boulder International Film Festival is in full swing and in it’s second day of programming. While I didn’t get to see When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun last night, I hope that some of you did—and I hope you’ll tell us what you thought by commenting.

Onto my first BIFF viewing experience: Shorts Program One. As I said in my BIFF preview, I’m really into shorts. Why? For the same reason people like tiny spoons and mini muffins: it’s all you could ask for from a feature-length film, packed into a satisfying, bite-size piece of easily digestible cinema! BIFF’s first shorts program was no exception.

Lunafest featured director, Jen McGowan’s film Touch opened the program. Fitting title, you’ll see why when you go to the encore presentation of this program tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Boulder Public Library. I’ll just say that, even though I cry real easy, I found myself shedding a little tear. And an even better reason to attend: Jen herself is at the festival this year, and got onstage for a little Q&A after the show. Awesome!

The two animated films featured in this program (Miracle Lady and Pigeon: Impossible) were magnificent. Judging by these selections, I’m predicting that there will be no shortage of good animation at this festival—a category that can often get overlooked.

Roar, a “spine-chilling” thriller from the UK about a timid key maker, caused quite the audience reaction. I was into it. Many were not. In fact the guy sitting in front of me made a point of telling me that he would not be giving it a good score on the audience favorite ballot. I, on the other hand, liked it for almost that reason alone. Nothing against that guy.

In short (pun!), the comedies were funny (for the most part—Shotgun probably could’ve been longer and Glenn Owen Dodds probably could’ve been shorter, in fact the one and a half minute trailer I’ve linked to basically covers the entire 16 minute film), the drama was moving, the animation was whimsical and there was plenty of suspense (especially from the short short out of New Zealand called, Careful With That Power Tool).

More to come! I write it as I see it…

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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