Atlantic Film Festival’s Shorts 3

Last night was a night of the absurd – absurd in a good a way, although one could argue anything absurd is intrinsically good. The Atlantic Film Festival’s “Shorts 3” screening showcased short films from Canada, the US, the UK, France and Sweden. Each left me pondering the depths of the writers/directors/creators’ imagination and whether the source of their ideas came from day or night dreams, random, passing thoughts or even from distant planets. Each short was funny in its own right, in non-conventional fashion, ranging from cleverly witty to “can’t stop laughing-I’m crying-my sides hurt”.

Included in the collection were some films that still resonate hours later. Audience members ‘lol’-ed for the entire 13-minute duration of Las Palmas. Disturbing in all the right ways, the short presents an alcoholic baby, wearing a bra and fanny pack, who literally breaks into a bar before 9am, double-fists cocktails and runs up a tab of thousands of dollars. Johannes Nyholm makes creative use of props including dynamic fabrics to replicate lapping waves and rolling hills.
Director/writer Jeff Norton’s The First Zombie presents Nicholas in a Dianne Sawyer interview style. As the world’s first zombie, he shares his struggles and triumphs reconnecting with his family; the “coming out” is flavoured with comedic gems, including story time with his traumatized baby. Norton brilliantly balances the film’s five minute duration and makes good use of settings, such as the gothic cemetery and sidewalk scapes where Nicholas displays his characteristic zombie-limp.

Finally, “The Philosopher” is riddled with questions on how to live one’s life combined with randomly wild humour. Baggio, played by famous Frenchman Jean Reno, decides to give away all of his possessions, wrap himself in a bed sheet and transfer his free will to the charge of Leo in order to devote his life to philosophizing. The story slightly tugs at audience heart strings while keeping them entirely entertained. ~ Michelle Brunet

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